In March, Spotify launched our global emerging artist program, RADAR, to help artists at all stages of their career use the power of our platform to deepen connections with their audiences. We recently doubled that commitment by launching the Global RADAR Huband today we’re continuing to grow RADAR in the US through our new partnership with teenage hip-hop artist Kid LAROI.
The 17-year-old rapper, born Charlton Howard, proves that for a rising generation filled with up-and-coming talent, yesterday’s borders are no longer barriers. LAROI was born in Sydney to an Aboriginal mother and a French father, and grew up with his mother and uncle. He always listened to beloved American exports (e.g. hip-hop and R&B) and was especially passionate about icons like Tupac, Erykah badu, the refugees, Lil wayneand Kanye West.
After the tragic death of his uncle in 2015, LAROI and his mother moved into a housing estate. To overcome his desperation, LAROI perfected his music, filling notebooks with rhymes and polishing his lyricism and flow. It wasn’t until he started uploading freestyle videos that he started gathering an audience to tell his stories to.
Now based in Los Angeles, The Kid LAROI has 11 million monthly listeners on Spotify, and his name graces some of Spotify’s most popular playlists, including RapCaviar, PopRising, most needed, internet people, Tear, Hot rhythmic, and more. LAROI has also cultivated collaborations with leading artists across all genres, including marshmello, Lil Tecca, Lil Tjay, Lil Mosey, internet moneyand the end Juice WRLD. Its steady stream of top titles this year are just the start, with highly anticipated projects slated for release this fall.
“The Kid LAROI is an artist we have been following closely for eighteen months,” says Ned Monahan, Head of Global Hits at Spotify. “LAROI developed a rabid fan base in Australia and then translated it to an even wider audience in the US, which is incredibly rare and a testament to his potential as a global hitmaker. The vulnerability and audacity of his music put him at the heart of young musical audiences around the world. We can’t wait to see LAROI break through to the level of a superstar.
As a RADAR artist, LAROI will be featured on our RADAR playlist, they will create a Spotify Singles record, and they will receive promotional support for their upcoming releases. Kid LAROI’s campaign will also include an upcoming mini-documentary which will premiere later in November.
We caught up with the newly anointed US RADAR artist for a look at his plans for 2020 and beyond.
At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to pursue a music career? What was your first step to achieve this?
Right from the start, honestly. Some of my earliest memories are of music. The first step is to do it. You can’t do much planning before it’s time to execute it. I was already writing and recording when I could, so getting that studio experience early on was essential.
You’ve been very open about Juice WRLD being your mentor. How did this relationship influence your creative process? What memories do you have of your tours together?
My biggest memory of Juice is how he always went out of his way for his fans no matter what on tour. No matter how he felt that day or if he wasn’t having the best day, you couldn’t tell once he got on stage, and that’s how I want to be. You have to put the fans first because we wouldn’t be here without them. Working with him has definitely expanded my creativity and increased my love for music.
What are you looking forward to as Spotify’s new US RADAR artist?
All. Looking forward to seeing how fans receive everything. The family is getting stronger every day.
How has growing up in Australia influenced your perspective and work ethic as an artist? How has this journey been like transitioning to (and now gaining recognition in) the US market?
My upbringing really made me a go-getter. It implanted the work ethic that got me to where I am now. The trip has been fun and challenging so far. Quarantine has kind of slowed things down a bit when it comes to outings and shows, but even so it was worth it. The transition was much easier thanks to my team around me. They make sure I’m always comfortable and at home.
What is one thing you wish budding artists knew?
Things might not go as planned at first, but never give up on pursuing your dreams.
Listen to “This is The Kid LAROI” below. So get to know other RADAR artists Alaina Castillo, Agnes Nunes, Lous and the Yakuza, CHAIIand more.
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Meet Kid LAROI, Spotify’s Third American RADAR Artist – Spotify
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