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News August 4, 2020

Who’s that Kid? Sydney teen Kid LAROI lights up international charts

Senior Journalist, B2B
Who’s that Kid? Sydney teen Kid LAROI lights up international charts

“Who was the 16-year-old Aussie kid who cracked the top 10 in the week Taylor Swift’s ‘Folklore’ broke records?”

It’s the type of tricky question pub quiz masters can wheel out in years to come. Remember the answer, because some day you might need it: The Kid LAROI.

The Kid is a baby in the major music world. But he’s all grown up on the international charts.

In the U.S., The Kid makes his first appearance this week on the Billboard 200 as F*ck Love starts at No. 8, with 40,000 combined units (including 33,000 in SEA units and 7,000 sales).

“Not bad for a rookie,” he boasts on Instagram. “I love you family, this is more than I could of ever asked for. It’s hard for anybody to do this type of shit, but for a 16 year old kid from Australia? beyond blessed. and you guys are the reason for it all.”

F*ck Love opens at No. 12 on the Official U.K. Albums Chart, just one place behind the debut of two-time Grammy-winning U.S. hip-hop star Logic’s final album, No Pressure.

In his homeland, LAROI (real name Charlton Howard) impacts both main ARIA charts as his debut mixtape starts at No. 3 on the albums survey, behind only TayTay’s mega-hit and Cub Sport’s fourth album Like Nirvana.

Also, album track ‘Tell Me Why’ sneaks into the ARIA Singles Chart Top 50, at No. 49.

It’s his second stint on the singles chart after ‘Go,’ which features vocals from the late Juice WRLD, peaked at No. 23 in June.

Its official music video, directed by Steve Cannon, is closing in on 17 million views on YouTube and 62 million hits on Spotify.

Check out The Kid LAROI and Juice WRLD’s ‘Go’:

Born in Sydney, now based in Los Angeles, LAROI has carried the weight of “next big thing” status since he placed third in triple j Unearthed High in 2018, and gave the world his ’14 with a dream’ EP.

Life travelled fast. A record deal through Grade A with Sony Music transpired, LAROI teamed up with Lil Skies on ‘Moving,’ and a batch of singles rolled out in ‘Blessings,’ ‘Boss Up,’ ‘Let Her Go,’ ‘Diva,’ ‘Addison Rae,’ and ‘Fade Away’.

He was name-checked in YouTube’s first “Artists to Watch” spotlight for Australia and New Zealand, scored a slot on Rolling Loud’s inaugural New York festival, made his major label debut (with ‘Let Her Go’) and cut a string of music videos with Cole Bennett (‘Diva,’ Laroi’s collaboration with Lil Tecca, has blasted past 31 million views on YouTube).

The lad’s talent was spotted by Chicago hip-hop star Juice WRLD, who invited the prodigy, then aged just 15, to open for him on a 2019 tour of Australia.

The Kid has spoken of the pain of losing his close friend, mentor and “big brother,” who died in 2019 of an accidental overdose, aged just 21.

“From all the months you let me live at your crib, to all the nights I spent watching and learning from you in the studio, to all the concerts and tours I got to witness,” LAROI recounted in June as ‘Go’ dropped, “I got to learn from a real life legend.”

The pandemic has changed everyone’s plans, and pulled the handbrake on the Kid’s touring ambitions. For now, LAROI is focused on improving his game.

He’s got a lot growth to come. And there’s more than enough in the well.

Speaking to Billboard ahead of the mixtape release, LAROI admitted he’s been subjected to old-fashioned tall poppy syndrome.

“I’ve heard everything from people back home, like, ‘Oh you’ve abandoned us! You live in America now, you’ve abandoned us! Why did you change and abandon us?,’ he explains.

“But it does give me something to write about.”

Read more here.

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.

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