The Kid Laroi

With Justin Bieber: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTJczUoc26U

With Miley Cyrus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvB4GUTWDcI


Elton John thinks he’s going to be one of the biggest musical artists in the world… he has more monthly Spotify listeners than BTS… and not that long ago, he and his mum were homeless. This is your Squiz Kids Shortcut to The Kid Laroi—the podcast where we dive into the who, what, when, where, why and how of the big news stories. I’m Amanda Bower.

And I’m Bryce Corbett.

Throughout 2021 on Squiz Kids Today, we kept hearing about The Kid Laroi – he cleaned up at the ARIA awards, and his collaboration with superstar Justin Bieber got him nominated for two Grammy Awards.

Today, we’ll take you through WHO Charlton Kenneth Jeffrey Howard is; WHAT made him so famous; and HOW he’s inspiring other Aussie kids.
Listen carefully – there’s a Squiz at the end!

Bryce, it’s not unusual for music artists to have stage names… Elton John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight; The Weeknd was born Abel Makkonen Tesfaye; Lady Gaga has Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta on her birth certificate. And when The Kid Laroi was born in inner-Sydney in 2003, he was plain old Charlton Kenneth Jeffrey Howard. He chose the rap name The Kid LAROI because of his indigenous heritage – his mum’s side of the family is Kamilaroi.

Aha… Kamilaroi… Laroi…

Exactly. And his mum has had a huge influence on his life, particularly since his parents split when he was little and, according to The Kid Laroi, his dad wasn’t around much. Their life wasn’t easy – they moved around from Sydney to Broken Hill to Adelaide and back to Sydney, with a two-year period of being homeless and sleeping on friend’s couches. But his mum introduced him to American music, and from a very young age, The Kid Laroi was recording verses on her phone, and uploading them to Soundcloud. That’s an online platform where artists can upload their work and find audiences. It didn’t take long for him to get a following and start on his path to stardom.

So his mum inspired him in those early years… anyone else?

He’s said many times that his uncle was a father figure to him after his parents split up. Sadly, his uncle died in 2015, and The Kid Laroi has said that this is what pushed him to work even harder on his music. His uncle had told him to stick with it, and not get in trouble. In fact, Bryce, The Kid Laroi said that when he was little, he’d told his uncle he wanted to be just like him when he grew up. And his uncle said, “If you turn out like me, I’ll be disappointed.” Those words have stuck with The Kid Laroi ever since.

Wow, he’s definitely had his fair share of challenges in his young life, hasn’t he? WHAT made The Kid Laroi go from being homeless, to rich and famous?


Well, obviously his talent … but there are a lot of talented people out there who don’t ever rise to the top, let alone by the age of 18! The Kid Laroi worked really, really hard – he would go to school during the week, then hit the studio all weekend. When he was in high school, he made the finals a high school competition run by radio station Triple J , and started to get a bit of a following. In 2019, when he was 16, The Kid’s music caught the attention of a music executive at a record label. When another artist from the label, Juice WRLD, toured Australia, The Kid Laroi opened for him. The two of them became really close friends and even collaborated on some songs

Okay, I can see how working with a famous artist would get you a bigger audience, and make you more famous too.

And that’s the genius of The Kid Laroi… he’s very good at connecting with people and growing his audience. Here’s an example: he wrote a teensy mini-song, just a couple of lines, that dropped the name of a TikTok star with an audience of 50-million people. He uploaded the video, she made a video of her reacting positively to it… and that introduced him to all her fans. If a song is successful on TikTok, that’s going to make it way more successful everywhere else.

Smart… and collaborating with Justin Bieber in their chart-topping song Stay, and recording a remix of Without You with Miley Cyrus… well that’s definitely going to get a whole lot more eyes and ears on The Kid Laroi. I’ve popped links to both in your episode notes, although there is a little bit of fruity language.

Yeah, rap is kind of known for that. But Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber… Big names that bring big audiences and big fans. In early 2020, The Kid Laroi had 13,000 Spotify listeners. At the beginning of 2021, it was up to 27 million. Now, it’s 52 million – more than BTS!

Wow! 13,000 to 52 million in less than two years. That’s incredible.

You know, in 2020, Elton John interviewed The Kid Laroi on his show Rocket Hour, and told him that he thought that by the end of 2021, he’d be one of the biggest artists in the whole wide world. And in that year, he became the first male Aussie artist to top the Billboard 100, his mixtape was streamed more than 1.5 billion times, he had five platinum singles, nine gold singles, a performance at the MTV Video Music Awards … I think Sir Elton was right.

Things really have changed a lot for The Kid Laroi. He’s gone from wearing cheap tracksuits to fancy designer labels, from living on people’s couches to having his own place in Los Angeles… Is he becoming an American?

Well, it’s true that the way he speaks often sounds kind of American… but as someone who also lived there, sometimes it’s just easier to put on an accent than have to keep repeating and explaining yourself. And when The Kid’s album made #1 on the Australian charts, he said “Words cannot describe this feeling. Anyone who knows me knows that where I’m from means everything to me.”

So he’s still an Aussie at heart. HOW is his success inspiring other Aussies?


Well Bryce, I think it’s fair to say that Australia is known for many things internationally, but until The Kid came along, rap wasn’t one of them.
He said that when he started out, there was only a small group of people in Australia making rap. Now, he gets sent music every day from an Australian kid who’s rapping… and he loves it. One of his biggest goals, he says, is to show the rest of the world what Australia has to offer, and how much raw and unseen talent we have.

Sounds like he’s got a great opportunity to pay it forward – to collaborate with unknown artists and help them succeed, the same way that people did for him.

Yep, and it sounds like that’s what he’s doing. He’s recorded with a number of Sydney groups, and has also featured Australian producers on his own work. And when he heads home in May for his first headline tour – that means that he’s the main artist at the concert – well, it’ll be big for the acts that support him. His shows sold out so quickly that they added extra dates… the name of the tour is The End of the World, but things are really just beginning for this Kamilaroi kid.

The S’Quiz

1 In which Australian city was The Kid Laroi born? ”
2 Which older music star told The Kid Laroi he’d be one of the world’s biggest artists?
3 Name one artist that The Kid Laroi collaborated with in 2021.