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Khalid releases new ‘Scenic Drive’ mixtape named after famed El Paso lookout spot

EL PASO, Texas -- El Paso native and R&B star Khalid is returning for the holidays with some special friends.

The 23-year-old released his long-awaited new mixtape Friday titled Scenic Drive, which is meant to be a companion piece to his 2018 album, Sun City.

"Present" is the debut song from the tape and was released last month as a preview; it was Khalid's second new song of 2021, following "New Normal."

Speaking to Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, Khalid told the world that the tape is named after a real-life place in his hometown of El Paso: “It’s this drive up this mountain side."

Scenic Drive features eight songs, six of which are collaborations with R&B or hip hop artists, including Ari Lennox, Lucky Daye, 6lack and Kiana Ledé. 

“Those are artists that I listen to, that I love,” Khalid told Lowe. “Everybody that I collaborated with, we’re friends, and we love each other. We respect each other as artists."

He added in an Instagram post: "I’m so excited for everyone to hear this and live with it. I’m always nervous to release new music but can honestly say this is a project I’ll hold close to my heart forever. I wanna thank everyone from the producers to the features for bringing this to life!"

Scenic Drive comes more than two years after Khalid's second album, Free Spirit, which he dropped in April 2019. The singer is also featured with Kirk Franklin on Mariah Carey's new track, "Fall In Love at Christmas." They perform the song in her holiday special, Mariah's Christmas: The Magic Continues, which also premiered on Apple TV Friday, the same day as Scenic Drive's release.

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