Songs of the Issue: Khalid: “Saturday Nights”
Singer-songwriter Khalid released his first song, “Location,” shortly after graduating high school, and he released many successful songs about his experience as a teen and a young adult since.
In his second complete album, Free Spirit, Khalid grows from the years described in his first album, American Teen. Although he may have gotten older, many of the characteristics of his teenage life have moved with him.
The last song on the album, “Saturday Nights,” is one of the songs that discusses this continuation. Khalid sings, “And all the things that I know/ That your parents don’t/ They don’t care like I do.” He describes how, during the teenage years, confiding in each other is a more comfortable and caring experience than confiding in their parents.
Going to friends for guidance and support is a prominent part of growing up for many people, and Khalid captures this in his album. While the issues he alludes to may be more personal or weighty for him, the idea of going to friends for support applies to a variety of aspects in teenage life. He sings about how parents may not understand, so going to someone at a similar place in life for advice could prompt a more emotional and caring response.
Beyond advice, friends can also be people to confide in about anything, with the ability to reveal true feelings instead of worrying about an outward appearance: “I guess there’s certain dreams that you gotta keep/ ‘Cause they only know what you let ‘em see.” The “them” is outside of their connection.
Khalid’s message can resonate with his large young-adult audience, and, in itself, will provide guidance. For many, music and song lyrics can be a way to rewind on a rough day, and on “Saturday Nights,” Khalid conveys that you do not need to go to an adult for guidance--they cannot connect the way friends can. Advice and comfort can come from whoever and whatever connects with you.