With Afrobeats taking over the music space in the most beautiful way, it’s only right we pay homage to the ones who are paving the way. Insert Khaid, the 18-year-old superstar in the making who prides himself in creating Afrobeats and trap music.
Hailing from Nigeria, Khaid began his musical career at the young age of 12, dropping standout freestyles and performing on the streets of Ojo in Lagos. Growing up in a family of 10, with two parents and eight kids, Khaid’s past jobs include being a mechanic, a barber, and a painter. Soon, he’d be discovered by one of Nigeria’s most popular content creators, Sydney Talker, who went on to sign him to his imprint Neville Records.
Fast forward to 2023, Khaid unveils his highly-anticipated new EP titled Emotions. The six-track project is spearheaded by lead singles “Anabella” and Jolie.” One thing that does not go unnoticed is Khaid’s soulful melodies over Afrobeat rhythms, and his ability to freestyle timeless anthems for audiences all the world to listen and dance to.
Plus, Khaid was recently sighted spending some time with Lil Durk, with fans only hoping the two would collaborate on a record.
The Source spoke with Khaid via Zoom to discuss his background, love for music, linking with Lil Durk, roots in Lagos, dream collabs, and more!
What was the moment you fell in love with music?
I fell in love with music at a very young age, due to the influence from my parents. They liked playing songs a lot, and I fell in love with listening to songs at first.
Which artists made you fall in love with Hip-Hop?
Our mom, she liked playing Michael Jackson a lot. And Celine Dion. From there, I wanted it to be like Michael Jackson, and following the steps of Michael Jackson’s style. When I was growing older, I started knowing more people, like Meek Mill, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne. From there, I got to know Polo G, XXXTentatcion, etc. That’s how my Hip-Hop journey started.
How’d you linked up with Lil Durk? That’s dope!
The link up with Lil Durk, me and Durk have been talking online and video calls. When I was in the United States, I was in Atlanta and he called me. He FaceTimed me because I was with his producer DJ Bandz. He called me and he asked me when I was going to come to California. From there, we had a couple meetings with some record labels in California. We had to go to California. When we were in California, he called me again. We spoke again. From there, we went to his house two days after. He called me like “yo, we should come through when we are less busy.” That’s how we ended up going to his house.
Did you guys record?
[laugh] It’s funny you ask. Nah, we didn’t. We just vibed. After then, we’d met a couple of times. So definitely, we gon’ do something.
Were you a huge fan of Lil Durk?
Yeah, I’m a huge fan. I love Durk. I’ve been listening to Lil Durk since when I was not signed.
You just dropped your new EP, Emotions. Favorite song off the project?
The one that the fans are really listening to right now is “Jara,” because it got that emotional feel. So they’re a lot of songs I’ve dropped but none is as “JARA,” speaking on the emotional aspect. “JARA” is just a song that speaks to the heart of people and it’s easy to cling on to
Who or what inspired “Anabella”?
I didn’t get no major inspiration from “Anabella.” It was that moment in the studio where you just vibe. You just want to happy, you want to make something so creative. I wasn’t inspired by nothing. I think the song’s good, I was just recording. I didn’t even write lyrics or anything. We just made the beat and I started freestyling. That’s it.
It has over 8 million views on YouTube, did you think it would go up like this?
The first release, I didn’t even know it was going to be this big. Or I didn’t know people were going to like it. When we dropped it, everybody was so skeptical about what we dropped. They asked, does he do it? Do we react to this one? Obviously, they really like it. I’m grateful.
Best memory from the video shoot?
I was supposed to drop the snippet that day of the video shoot. We kept going back and forth about this snippet because we got a couple of snippets. I ended up dropping it anyway. My head clicked because we’re like okay, we’re going to try something right now. We have this little game that we do in Nigeria, which we select by closing your eyes. I just picked any one and dropped it like that.
What does it mean to be from Lagos, Nigeria? Afrobeat has a huge wave right now.
Lagos, Nigeria is one of the major cities that support me and show me love. It’s great to see how far I’ve come. I’m from the streets of Lagos. I’ve experienced that life of the streets and everything. Coming from where I came from, it’s hard because it’s the deep part of Lagos. You wouldn’t expect or you wouldn’t imagine somebody will get to see your video, or listen to your song. One day they’ll give you a call and say, “Yo, I want to sign you.” So it’s hard. But if you’re consistent and if what you’re doing is real, definitely you’re going to prosper.
Any goals for yourself at this point in your career?
Right now, my major goal is to work on how people see me. My image, the way people see me. It’s one thing to deliver when you’re making your music, and it’s something else to shape how people see you. It’s something else to keep yourself branded in a certain way in people’s eyes. Right now, one of my major goals is to project how people see me.
How do you want people to see you?
Everybody got the image that they want people to see. For me, I want to be seen as this normal person, but spiritual and sees the world more than what it is. There’s more to the world than what is going on right now. There’s more to the world. Aside from music, there’s a lot of things going on with people. You see people get depressed. You see people going through some battles. They don’t need to physically have scars on their faces for you to know they’re going through something. I want to shed light on that part of the world too. It all starts from the image. What type of image are you trying to go put out there? Once people see “oh, you’re really creative and you’re really came up on this stuff, they tend to share more light and help people in that situation.
Is there an artist you want to collaborate with, that you haven’t yet?
I got a lot. I do want to welcome everybody as much as possible. I’d like to work with Burna Boy, Wizkid, Lil Durk. I’d like to work with Polo G. I’d like to work with Ed Sheeran, Billie Eilish. A lot of people, I cannot stop mentioning.