Khalid Quesada

Khalid Quesada

 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
BandAlternativeSinger/Songwriter

How would we describe Khalid Quesada using influences whose names you may or may not recognize? As such: Think Elliott Smith, wearing an Elvis Costello t-shirt, fronting Weezer for fans of The Beatles.

Biography

As a precocious child, raised on the pop antics of The Monkees and Kiss, Khalid Quesada decided at an early age that the one thing he wanted to do was make music. He started writing songs before he could even competently play an instrument, but eventually taught himself to play guitar a few months before his 14th birthday. Trading in a naïve love of Def Leppard and Michael Jackson for something with a little more substance and purity as rock bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam guided him into adolescence, he fell in love with the electric guitar and, by association, the distortion pedal. The friendships, most lasting into adulthood, formed at this time were partly based on a love of rock music, and ultimately helped shape the songwriter he soon became. Through high school, while alternately shifting between electric and acoustic guitar, he also began a love/hate relationship with poetry as a means of dealing with the boredoms of class and the trappings of cliques. Teenage life was just as wonderful and terrible as anyone else claims it was, but he used his way with words to put more into his lyrics than most of what he was hearing from his contemporaries. While he later admits that the majority of songs he was writing weren’t very good, he was determined to write the best songs he could without compromise. A strong focus on melody, his love of power pop titans like Weezer and the Pixies weighed heavily on how he crafted songs as he was exiting his teenage semi-rebellion years. Around the same time, he also fell in love with the work of Elliott Smith, especially in the obvious nods to The Beatles, and appreciated the simplicity of sometimes just crafting songs around an acoustic guitar, while not always being bound to it. While most of the songs written in his early years as a songwriter were designed to accommodate and even please other band members, his decision to write and perform largely as a solo artist opened doors into the craft he hadn’t considered. When he was only writing for himself, it was easier to be honest with himself about what he was trying to say and where it truly was the sound his heart was leading him to. Naturally, most songwriters share their emotions through their songs, but his work has leaned more towards presenting sometimes haunting, often beautiful melodies through a genuine talent for poetry and unabashed pop hooks. In recent years, he took a break from performing live to focus on composing an album of material from scratch, even with a catalogue of 200 plus songs at his disposal. While aiming to write 12-14, he ultimately ended up with 19. Two of the song from the album, which he is currently working on, Radio Silence and We Love In Stereo, were also lifted for an EP with 4 additional songs shifted from the album proper. The EP, entitled On The Verge Of Context, was self-released in physical form last year and recently had a digital release as well on iTunes, Amazon and Napster, among other digital music retailers. While not working on the album, The Beauty In Chaos, set to be released this fall, he has been performing live almost endlessly, mainly in Philadelphia, at venues such as World Café Live, Lickety Split, Connie’s Ric Rac, The M Room, Murph’s Bar, Triumph Brewery, among others. He will also be performing in Atlantic City this summer for the third annual Elephant Talk Indie Music Fest, a festival he has played for the past two years.

Lyrics

Parlour Game

Written By: Khalid Quesada

Dear Rosaline, you made me the mess I am.
They're waiting out the eighties. A proper scam.
I've never known an angel that laughs like you.
I'm crashing here without you. Do you crash too?

Goodbye, sweetheart. La la la la.
Goodbye, sweetheart. La la la la.

Oh, Rosaline, I've met me a damaged soul.
So full of life and conflict, as we grow old.
I never will forget you. Hey, what's your name?
I'm finding peace in chaos, a parlour game.

Goodbye, sweetheart. La la la la.
Goodbye, sweetheart. La la la la.

Please, Rosaline, I beg you. Just let me die.
You'll find no truth in comfort, a precious lie.
I'm questioning my conscience to make this right.
But I'd give anything to hold you just one more night.

Goodbye, sweetheart. La la la la.
Goodbye, sweetheart. La la la la.
Goodbye, sweetheart. La la la la.
Goodbye, sweetheart. La la la la.
Goodbye, sweetheart...

The Optimist

Written By: Khalid Quesada

I know that this will come as a surprise.
We're such an ugly conflict in disguise.
I'm trading in convenience for a prize.
There's nothing but disaster in your eyes.
I've watched you fall apart in fractured scenes.
This cinematic kiss is so obscene.
I just can't be the martyr in your dreams.
Reality is often what it seems.

We deserve something better, oh oh oh.
We deserve something better, oh oh oh.

I'd like to take this time to break your heart
While everything around you falls apart.
I can't pretend I haven't let you down.
We'll use the color black to paint this town.
I can never bury what I steal
As you convince the world this isn't real.
You just can't chase a fix with nerves of steel.
It takes a broken heart to make you feel.

We deserve something better, oh oh oh.
We deserve something better, oh oh oh.
We deserve something better, oh oh oh.
Don't you want something better? Oh oh oh.

Radio Silence

Written By: Khalid Quesada

Your carnival skin is buried in silk.
I'm shooting the moon and fronting the milk.
Tonight, it's alright.
You tell me He can't see sins in the dark.
And all of this passion is bound to leave marks.
Sometimes we are crimes.

They can't tell us what to do.
A careful lie could make it true.

Give me a kiss, I'll give you a hit.
Let's savor the moment, then we can split.
Today, it's okay.
There's no need to save us, honey, we glow.
There's beauty in chaos and all that we know.
In time, we will shine.

They can't tell us what to do.
A careful lie could make it true.

I'm trying to carve our love in the mud.
You're laughing hysterics; I'm coughing up blood.
It's alright. I know I'm alright.
This miracle montage is severed in doubt.
Radio silence from here on out.
It's okay. I swear, it's okay.

They can't tell us what to do.
A careful lie could make it true.
Loaded aim we both refuse.
We can't keep the love we choose.

This miracle montage is circled in doubt.
Radio silence from here on out.

We Love In Stereo

Written By: Khalid Quesada

Maybe we can take a walk.
There's just so many things we need to solve.
I can tell you're lying when you cough.
Maybe you're addicted.

You're alright. I'm alright.

I catch the darkness in your eyes.
You're such an ugly junkie when you cry.
I love you better when I close my eyes.
I'm probably in denial.
(I just wanna see you smile.)

I'm alright. You're alright.

We love in stereo tonight.

God, you're such a pretty mess.
It seems you spilled our party on your dress.
I've got an angry monkey on the phone.
So get somebody else to drive you home.
(I think I'm probably better off alone.)

We're alright. We're not alright.

We love in stereo tonight.

Maybe I'm addicted to you.

Proverbial Knives

Written By: Khalid Quesada

Leave it to me to fall in love
With someone who's a much better liar than me.
Leave it to me to fall apart.
If I can hide the moon, will you bury the sea?
Leave it to me to make a scene.
I'm such an ugly drunk when I'm setting you up.
Leave it to me to not come clean.
With all these nervous ticks, you don't know who to trust.

Your moral ground is on the floor.
And I'm not stupid anymore.

Leave it to me to make you doubt
Everything you felt. Maybe our luck is dumb.
Leave it to me to sell you out.
We could play this game til we're both barely numb.
Leave it to me to break your heart.
They only love when they don't know who you are.
If you leave it to me, it will fall apart.
Proverbial knives leave a wonderful scar.

Your moral ground is on the floor.
And I'm not stupid anymore.
Do you know just what's in store?
Cuz honesty is such a bore.

If you leave it to me, it will fall apart.
Your knife in my back leaves a wonderful scar.

Your moral ground is on the floor.
And I'm not stupid anymore.
Does lacking morals leave you sore?
Cuz I'm not biting anymore.
Decisions plastered on the door.
But I am rotted to the core.
My dirty angel, pretty whore.
I'm so much better than before.

I give you blood and you want more.
But you don't know what blood is for.
I give you blood, but you want gore.
But cleaning up is such a chore.

A Casual Bomb

Written By: Khalid Quesada

You're nearly perfect with your flaws.
I melt so deeply when you pause.
The undetermined disease
Has made a monster out of me.

A casual bomb is armed. You're armed.

I'm nearly burnout; a waste.
Your resolution in taste.
The accomplice closes the deal.
We're finally learning how to feel.

A casual bomb is armed. You're armed.

Your pulse is steady; this heartbeat
Has set the motion in repeat.
Your light shines brightly in reverse.
Are you a promise or a curse?

A casual bomb is armed. You're armed.
A casual bomb is armed. Come on.
A casual bomb is armed...

Angel In The Dark

Written By: Khalid Quesada

So goodnight, princess. You're home.
The execution is on.
These moods determined by light
On the verge of context tonight.

Good morning, heartache. I know
You're temporary, like snow.
Oh, I'll make an angel in the dark.
I'll set a fire for the spark.

This is dishonest. It's all that's meant to be.
A broken promise to never be complete.

Hello, my Godsend. Do you
Believe that soul mates hold true?
I will build an empire in the sand.
Your waves come crashing through my hand.

This is dishonest. It's all that's meant to be.
A broken promise to never be complete.
Spare me tradition. It tends to make me weep.
So let's be dishonest. Cuz honesty is cheap.

Goodnight, my sweetheart. You're gone.
This perfect moment? Well, it's wrong.
You are always burying this fix.
But you can't stop shaking for a kiss.

So let's be dishonest. Cuz honesty is cheap.
Let's be dishonest. Cuz honesty is cheap.
Let's be dishonest. Cuz honesty is cheap.
Like how you make me out to be a creep.

World Without

Written By: Khalid Quesada

I still remember how you laughed softly.
All these true moments come to pass, lately.
You built your walls without regret, baby.
Come on, let's make a toast to that.

Three cheers for falling apart.

And I still miss you every single day.
I long to kiss you. What does that make me?
Maybe an asshole. Probably something more.
This world without you is such a perfect bore.

Three cheers for falling apart.
Three cheers for falling apart.
Three cheers for meaningless heart.
Three cheers for falling apart.

Making Shadows In The Dark

Written By: Khalid Quesada

You are so full of love and crippled modesty.
I'm quite enamored of your crushed anatomy.
If you could give a damn, I'd give you back your skin.
A complicated plan triggered by lots of gin.

Every distraction has a price, a civilized bark.
I promise we'll always feel this nice
Making shadows in the dark.

Sweetheart, your vertabrae can't stand the weight of thought.
I hate the lies you break and all the truths we caught.
All of your plastic bones lack proper clarity.
When you invade my lungs, I miss your charity.

Every distraction has a price, a civilized bark.
I promise we'll always feel this nice
Making shadows in the dark.
Making shadows in the dark.

She said, "Baby, you can't come home."
She said, "Baby, you can't come home."
I don't feel like anyone is safe at all.
No, I just can't smile for free.

And so we speak in tones of tragedy
With broken clocks where our hearts should be.
You hide your coffin nails under your party dress.
So sell me fairy tales, forever more or less.

Every distraction has a price, a civilized bark.
Every decision serves a vice, a trivial mark.
I promise we'll always feel this nice
Making shadows in the dark.
Making shadows in the dark.
Making shadows in the dark.
Making shadows in the dark.

Conversation Skills

Written By: Khalid Quesada

So Sara calls me lonely on the telephone.
She's just a rumor buried in a book I own.
I'm waiting for her to show.
Lately, I wait for years.

The sky has threatened rain for almost all the day,
As Sara washes all her pretty flaws away.
I'm blatant in my desire.
I'm saving this empty fire.

She says that I lack conversation skills.
A gentle giant that politely kills.

I've held a twitch that couldn't penetrate this mask.
We're full of questions we're too ignorant to ask.
I've loved her a million times.
And shaped her five dozen songs.

She says that I lack conversation skills.
A gentle giant that politely kills.
"Th-th-th-think of a scenario where I don't let you down.
Again."

So Sara says she heard me on the radio.
Like I was cloned and coming through in stereo.
"I did this all for you,"
I tell her and I mean it.

She says that I lack conversation skills.
A gentle giant that politely kills.
"Th-th-th-think of a scenario where I don't break your heart.
Again."

Discography

Radio Silence/We Love In Stereo promotional single
On The Verge Of Context EP
Parlour Game digital single
The Optimist digital single