Although the song, titled “New Normal,” won’t be officially released until July 21st, the singer will debut the track on stage following the Unity 22 crew’s landing of the 22nd flight test for VSS Unity. It will be the company’s fourth crewed spaceflight and the first to carry a full crew of two pilots and four mission specialists in the cabin, including Virgin Galactic’s founder, Sir Richard Branson, who will be testing the private astronaut experience.
When it comes to the track’s inspiration, Khalid tells Rolling Stone: “Around this time last year, I was super fascinated and gravitated toward space. I was watching this comet by the name of Neowise last year, and space travel is something that I’ve always been interested in as well. And I’ve been going through the motions of understanding this new, postmodern future that’s coming together, especially when it comes down to technology — it’s something that really excites me.”
Khalid describes the song as his own “personal therapy” that he wrote toward the beginning of the pandemic. “Writing the song ‘New Normal’ was my way of coping with the anxiety and coping with the misunderstanding,” he says. “I had to come to terms with who I was as an individual and the type of person that I wanted to be. And to me, this song, it just embodies hope for the outcome of our future.”
The livestream of the launch will be available to watch on Virgin Galactic.com and will be simulcast on the Virgin Galactic Twitter, YouTube and Facebook channels. It’s expected to begin at 7 a.m. MDT/9 a.m. EDT on the day of the flight.