Just 4 days ago, on August 14th, 2020, Alicia Keys and Khalid released the edgy yet inspiring product of their newest collaboration, the new song “So Done”. The duet incorporates both of the two popular singers’ very different voices and lets them both shine. Throughout the song, especially starting the refrain after the second verse, Khalid just gets to freely bring out his riffs accompanying the lines of the chorus and it is a beautiful addition to both diversify the chorus and add more of a deeper, more emotional effect to the soulful and motivating lyrics, such as “Guardin’ my tongue, holding me back, I’m living the way that I want”. The meaning behind these lyrics is pretty straightforward, saying that the protagonist of the song wants to break free and not let others around them keep them from expressing their true feelings and desires. The protagonist is ready to speak up for themselves and follow their true goals. With the line “I’m living the way that I want” being repeated a whole 6 times in each entry of the chorus, this idea of breaking free and learning to think independently is very strongly emphasized. Each time this line is sung, it is done so more and more loudly by both Khalid and Alicia Keys, and their tone and their mutual, synergic crescendo adds a smartly crafted sense of pride, ambition, and determination to the message that is a very important one to drive home to both the audience, and probably the for the protagonist themselves as they are encouraging themselves that they are in fact following through internally with this.
In addition, the repetition and crescendo portray an emotional touch, especially in the way that Khalid and Alicia Keys harmonize together, with both singers letting the soulful vibes out as they sing the same notes together an octave apart, with Khalid nicely carrying out the low bass notes. In the music video, that emotion comes out not just in the words but also in both singers’ eyes and body language. One can hear the balladic melody of the verses that Alicia Keys sings in the music video with a happy, relaxed and trusting yet pensive look as she glances at Khalid. Khalid returns this moment and looks on passionately and pensively as he confidently sings the equally balladic bridge of the song.
In fact, it seems so uncommon to see Khalid belt out an incredibly emotional melody and let his voice fill with riffs and long, stretched out notes as much as he does here. Khalid is so commonly associated with more chill songs that people can even vibe to at some parties, that may relate to love or relationships but are usually much more happy. He has hits that are collaborations with rappers like Swae Lee or pop singers, like Normani and Shawn Mendes. While Alicia Keys is also a pop singer, her songs are typically more of the hype pop. Both Khalid and Alicia Keys get to delve into a slower, soulful style that is less meant for happily jamming out but more of a singing along and self reflecting song. Alicia Keys and Khalid work together well to comfortably sing in a tone that is less typical for both of them, yet they really complement each other well and make it work. This beautiful new release is available on Spotify and the video is on YouTube!