Khalid Premieres “New Normal” During Virgin Galactic Flight Launch

Khalid premiered his new single “New Normal,” ahead of its July 21 release date, during the Virgin Galactic Unity 22 launch at New Mexico Spaceport America on July 11.

Videos by American Songwriter

The spaceflight brought Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson and his five-person crew to the edge of space and back to earth aboard the rocket-powered VSS Unity space plane, marking the beginning of his mission to make space flight more accessible.

Hosted by Stephen Colbert, Khalid performed several of his songs at the New Mexico launch site, including “Better” and Talk,” before premiering “New Normal.”

Khalid, who released his second album Free Spirit in 2019, recently shared that the track was written as his own “personal therapy,” around the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, and it’s a song about transformation and change and all the new normals people experienced during those unprecedented times. Coincidentally, Khalid said he also became fascinated with space, following the comet Neowise in 2020, which made the Virgin Galactic performance a kismet event.

“I’ve been going through the motions of understanding this new, postmodern future that’s coming together,” said Khalid in the interview, “especially when it comes down to technology, it’s something that really excites me.”

He added, “To me, this song, it just embodies hope for the outcome of our future.”

Following his performance, Khalid was interviewed by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield and said he hoped to gain the confidence to visit space one day.

“It seems surreal,” said Khalid. “I think that’s kind of how we all feel about the times right now. But it’s true, it’s our new normal. We’re going to have to get used to it, because we’re going to see a lot more to come.”

Watch the full livestream with Khalid performing around the 1-hour, 20-minute mark.

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