The Kid LAROI talks tall poppy syndrome, teases ONEFOUR collaboration

"I used to never want to tell anybody that I wanted to rap, because you know how it is. People will be like, 'Oh, what are you doing?'"

The Kid LAROI had discussed the tendency for Australian artists to shy away from talking openly about how passionate they are, or how much effort they put into their work – the phenomenon frequently referred to as “tall poppy syndrome”.

In a new interview with triple j’s Bryce Mills and Ebony Boadu, the rapper was asked what he thinks it took for him to become as successful as he is in Australia’s music landscape, and what set him apart from other artists.

“That is a wild question,” he responded, “because I don’t know, Australia has loads of different talent. Everyone’s still figuring out and developing what the distinct sound is or whatever, but I think that’s the beautiful thing about it. It’s growing every single day.

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“The question of what makes me stand out, I don’t know, because I don’t really think that much of what I do anyway, I just kind of do it. So, I don’t know. I just always was trying really hard and just grinding. I think that’s the only reasoning I would say, just trying to go super hard, always wanting to do it, always motivated.”

When Mills and Boadu offered that Australia can foster a culture of artists appearing as though they’re laid-back or aren’t really trying with their practice, LAROI agreed.

“I used to never want to tell anybody that I wanted to rap, because you know how it is. People will be like, ‘Oh, what are you doing? You’re trying to do that? It’s a little out of the regular.'”

Elsewhere in the interview, LAROI was asked if he had plans to head to collaborate with any other Australian artists, to which the rapper replied in the affirmative.

“Probably the whole time while I’m here I’m going to be popping in and out and making some stuff,” LAROI said. “Definitely got to get up with the boys, the ONEFOUR boys. Definitely got to get up and make some more stuff.”

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LAROI and ONEFOUR have collaborated in the past. In 2020, LAROI appeared on ‘My City’, the closing track from ONEFOUR’s ‘Against All Odds’ EP.

LAROI’s Australian arena tour kicks off in Sydney with back-to-back shows at Qudos Bank Arena tonight and tomorrow (May 26 and 27), before he continues to Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane. He’ll also appear in Hobart next month as part of this year’s Dark Mofo program.

Over the weekend, LAROI returned to his home suburb of Waterloo in Sydney, visiting a local youth service and making a donation of $100,000, as well as surprising customers at a McDonald’s by handing out orders from the drive-thru window.

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