2017 has been a monumental year for America’s favorite teen, Khalid Legend Robinson, better known simply as Khalid. The El Paso artist released his debut album American Teen earlier this year to commercial and critical acclaim, earning the platinum certification this month from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The 19-year-old has also traveled across the country and world, as well as collaborated with a number of artists including Logic, Calvin Harris, and Lorde. Just take a quick scroll through his Instagram and you’ll see Khalid living the ideal teen dream, taking pictures with Solange, SZA, Lil Yachty, and many, many others.
Okayplayer got the chance to speak with the artist ahead of his performance as a part of Vevo’s 2017 Halloween concert in Richmond, California, where we talked about best taco joints in El Paso, Halloween costumes, and the most overrated Halloween candy and yes, it’s absolutely the candy you’re thinking of.
Okayplayer: The first question I’m gonna ask you is not even from me, it’s from one of our staff writers, from El Paso. He wants to know what you think the best taco joint out there is.
Khalid: Ooh. Best taco joint in El Paso? There’s so many though! El Paso is the city of good food. If we wanna talk about favorite restaurants, let’s forget tacos. My favorite restaurant has to be Track One, they have the most fire wings, double dip wings, hot sauce, and honey, so great.
OKP: You’re passionate about this. (laughs)
Khalid: Yeah, I’m passionate about it, that’s my goal is to eat every time I go back home.
OKP: Are there any hometown Halloween rituals that you took part in growing up?
Khalid: Hmm, Hometown Halloween? I feel like just kicking back with friends and just chilling out. Like I’m so regular, I like to pop in a movie, you know, some popcorn, some juice, I love Hi-C personally. Chillin’, just enjoying, just company. That’s my favorite thing to do on Halloween.
OKP: You’ve had a banner year with your career. What was the scariest thing about this year?
Khalid: The scariest thing about this year had to be the day that I released American Teen. That day, there was so much pressure on me, where I’m like, ‘this could work, this could not work, are people gonna get it, am I gonna get myself?’ But, it all paid off because of all of that angst, and just excitement drove me to just continue to kick the rest of the year’s behind. I’m out here just living my best life and taking my best friends with me along the way so it’s just so much fun.
OKP: I love that. You’re young and having fun.
OKP: Young, dumb and fun (laughs).
Khalid: Yes! I love it.
OKP: Alright, if you could only wear one Halloween costume for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Khalid: Ooh, probably this one. This one Vince. Vince from Recess. If you guys didn’t get that. Y’all see it? Basketball? You know. He’s my favorite.
OKP: Speaking of Halloween, if you had to pick one member of The Roots to dress up as, who would it be and what would you wear?
Khalid: Hmm … that’s hard. That’s hard because I’ve personally, I’ve met them. I did Jimmy Fallon, and that was the most exciting thing ever. Quest. I’ma go with Quest.
OKP: What do you need to dress up as Quest?
Khalid: Ooh! One, I need a wig. Because we don’t have the same hairstyle right now. Yeah, I think that would be it. He’s so dope. His personality, he’s just so awesome, and I signed a drumstick and I thought that was the greatest feeling ever.
OKP: what is the most overrated Halloween candy?
Khalid: Candy corn! Ugh, by far, I hated it!
OKP: I thought we were having fun here, but I guess not.
Khalid: No! You like candy corn!?
OKP: I love candy corn! What is the scariest thing that’s happened to you during a performance?
Khalid: I ripped my pants in Toronto and I panicked because nothing like that has ever happened to me. And it was so big, the hole was huge. And so I run off and I’m like trying to yell at people I’m like, “Yo, my pants are ripped, my pants are ripped!”, no one’s being responsive, so I just run backstage and I throw on a pair of sweatpants with the tag still on it, I just tucked the tag just underneath, and it was the worst thing ever. It was so much fun afterward, during it I was pissed, I was so mad.
Check out the recap from VEVO Halloween, including a performance from Khalid below.
Rachel Hislop is a native New Yorker who also happens to be the Editor-in-Chief of Okayplayer and OkayAfrica.