Bonnaroo Artist Focus: Khalid

Photo by Rebecca Smeyne /

Story by Taylor Blanch / Contributing Writer

With Bonnaroo tickets on sale and the Manchester festival’s June 7-10 dates around the corner, it might be a little daunting trying to decide which of the 100+ artists will give you the most bang for your buck. In this column, we’ll focus on a different artist every week to give you a sense of who they are and who will be worth checking out once summer rolls around.

Khalid Robinson is a 20-year-old fresh talent coming out of El Paso, Texas. He stepped into the spotlight mid-2016 when his debut single, “Location,” made its way to mainstream media and onto pop culture icon Kylie Jenner’s snapchat.

“Location” peaked at number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was nominated for numerous awards including “Best R&B Song” at the 2018 Grammy Awards.

With influences ranging from Kendrick Lamar to Lorde, his rugged voice paired with sultry and eclectic beats made him the perfect mix of both pop and soul. He first started releasing music in 2015 through his SoundCloud account and was quickly discovered and signed with RCA and Columbia records.

Since his debut single, Khalid has continued to have growing success. He has made singles with popular music icons including Future, Imagine Dragons, Post Malone, SZA and super-producer Calvin Harris. His hit single with Alessia Cara and Logic titled “1-800-273-8255,” which is the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, made a huge social impact.

The five-time Grammy Award nominee debuted his album, “American Teen,” on March 3, 2017. The album peaked at number three on the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The album went on to win Khalid iHeartRadio Music Award’s Album of the Year and Best New R&B Artist. He has also won Best New Artist at the Video Music Awards and been featured on top hit shows like “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Along with the continued musical success, the cool and collected singer sold out every venue on his 21-city “Location” tour, spanning from his hometown of El Paso, Texas, to London.

At not even a legal drinking age, Khalid has produced more accomplishments than he could have ever dreamed. He will be in among the second wave of artists to grace the Bonnaroo stage on Friday, June 8.

Watch the music video for Khalid’s “Location” below.

Tickets and information can be found on the Bonnaroo website.

To contact Music Editor Hayden Goodridge, email

For more updates, follow us at, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter/Instagram at @Sidelines_Life.

Previous Video: Third annual 'Raiderthon' raises money for Middle Tennessee children's hospital
Next Civil rights activist, Southwest Minnesota State University professor reflect on Martin Luther King Jr's legacy at MTSU