I have my favorite singers who I can rely on to make my day better and brighter when I need it most. For me, Khalid has become one of those musicians.
My constant repeating of his album American Teen and Free Spirit inspired this blog post. I took several of his hits and turned them into creative writing prompts for those who have been bitten by the writing bug and love to combine music note with word.
“Love to see you shine in the night like the diamond you are.”
Khalid is known for his love songs expressed through gentle, yet strong, pop and R&B vocals. Better is another beat about love and the addiction of being around a certain person. The song is based off of a love on a deeper and more secretive level. This love story dives beneath the surface. For the first creative writing prompt, write of love expressed in an in-depth way that tackles the topic and explores unknown and untouchable territory. Write of love in a way that has never been done before.
“Can we just talk? Talk about where we’re going.”
Talk was the single of Khalid’s sophomore album. The song is about wanting more communication and understanding between both parties. Without dialogue, a friendship and relationship can not exist. Without dialogue, a story would be weak and boring. The creative writing prompt that can be inspired here, is to take an idea and write about it using different amounts of dialogue. For example, the first version may be sole description, where another version is a balance of description and dialogue, and the final version is nothing but thick dialogue strings.
“‘Cause the world keeps spinning, the sun won’t shine on my face.”
The quick spontaneous beat of this song matches the message of the swiftness life breeds and the consistency of things that must be accomplished. Khalid leads a fast paced life, balancing being young and a successful singer. Using selective language, write a poem about how quickly something can change. For a further challenge, write a series of poems that examines the realistic life, vibrantly writing of chaotic obstacles.
“I guess there’s certain dreams that you gotta keep.”
Saturday Nights is a mellow beat with descriptive imagery that can serve well in a story. The song’s message expresses the care Khalid has for a girl. Finding inspiration through the imagery, write about your own Saturday night memories with the people you care about. Write of the proud, happy, sad, frustrating, or nostalgic of Saturday nights.
“I forgot to mention, I’m so entranced by you, it hurts.”
It is another love song by Khalid and is debatably the most captivating of love’s raw emotion. From the lyric above, the word entranced is used, a word I realized is not spoken or written nearly enough. The best thing about passionately loving someone is that it is those who can express it best. And Khalid did just that. For this writing prompt, write a love letter to an imaginary being or a real person, admitting your love for them without using the word “love.” Use the lovely language that doesn’t get used enough, just like entranced.
“Send me your location, let’s focus on communication.”
Khalid has spoken about this song before, its meaning and what the initial sound meant to him. The song is central to the digital age and the era of texting conversation. Focusing on the generation of communication, write a story that is told through the narration of short text message notes. How can the quickness of typing fingers translate to the feeling of the conversation? How can the battery percentage reflect the scene? How can the dialogue help to reveal something metaphorical?
“So I’ll be coasting, roller-coasting through my emotions.”
I like the similes and metaphors that can be created from a roller coaster. Compiled into one ride is a layer of intimidation, fear, and excitement. Khalid takes that idea, comparing it to love once again. The purpose here is that he uses it as a way to express his stable state of simply being, previously coming out of a relationship. Rather than lifting and dropping, the identical motion of a roller coaster, he just coasts. Use the comparison of a roller coaster in your story, figuratively or literally. You get to select the ride’s path and course.
“But the days get harder in November, love grows colder in the winter.”
Khalid enjoys representing his city of El Paso, Texas, which is mentioned in the song. The idea of location in this writing prompt is important in connection with the song’s main message. The theme is a dying love that turns colder as the season of winter approaches. The changing season in relation to a shifting love is clear. For this writing prompt, select a location around the world, whether it be a state, country, or even a city. Now, pretend you are currently in the midst of the location and write about what a certain season is like in that place. Consider creating multiple comparisons to this location.
“I’ve been seeing angels.”
The words of this song can touch someone whether they view this hit as spiritual or not. This song packs a lot of beauty and its lyrical language is powerfully expressed through Khalid’s vocals. Write about a time that gave you pain, but you rose above and made it out alive. Write about a time where you struggled viciously and believed there was no way out. Write about something painful that gave you light. Write about your journey to happiness. Mention angels in a religious way or from the perspective of comfort. Try writing in third person point of view, offering your reader a perspective that sees things “from above.”
*Images from Rolling Stone, Grammy, Vice, Vogue, and Red Bull. I own no rights.