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Home » News » Koori Radio + The Kid LAROI

Koori Radio + The Kid LAROI

9 June 2022
The Kid Leroy Koori Radio

That’s a wrap for the Australian leg of The Kid LAROI THE END OF THE WORLD tour, his first massive international world tour that is now traveling to Europe and the US. We caught up with The Kid LAROI in the Koori Radio studios before the tour began.

Listen to our catch-up with The Kid LAROI

THE KID LEROY INTERVIEW WITH KHI-LEE THORPE + JESS COX @ KOORI RADIO

The 18 year old-year-old Kamilaroi performer pictured above with Koori Radio Board Member & Broadcaster Jinny – Jane Smith has been the focus of media attention since arriving back in the country in mid-May releasing his first single for the year “Thousand Miles”. It’s not the first time the National Indigenous Music Award (NIMA) artist of the year winner and GRAMMY® Award-nominated multi-platinum recording artist has visited Koori Radio, he was here 4 years ago.

A lot has changed since then.

I was there as an audience member for his first hometown show in three years, snapping the photo above at Qudos Bank Arena. Performing on Sorry Day and with a Welcome to Country by the Metropolitan Aboriginal Land Council, it was special night, given the councils’ supportive welcome and the massive crowd chanting every song.

Best wishes are sent to The Kid LAROI from Koori Radio and those who met him at the station for the interview – we hope to see him performing at a Yabun Festival sometime soon!

Check out our The Kid LAROI interview about how he is feeling being back in his home city of Sydney, his connection to Waterloo, and how he came to have the name The Kid LAROI.

THOUSAND MILES is accompanied by the blockbuster music video directed by Christian Breslauer.

and co-produced by Andrew Watt and Louis Bell.

LISTEN TO THOUSAND MILES

For those reading the interview. Enjoy!

Two-time ARIA Award winner, GRAMMY® Award-nominated, that’s quite a spiel, to introduce you with, and I think there’s one more that is even more important – which is last year you took out the National Indigenous Music Award (NIMA) for Artist of the Year. How does it feel to win those awards and in particular the NIMA?

“Man, it’s incredible. It’s all surreal. I mean, all of it, you know, that in particular, I mean.  I don’t know, you know, it’s just three years ago I just came from the Fact Tree Youth Service there and it was just crazy because just three or four years ago, I was up there going on excursions to the trampoline park and the movies and stuff like that. And then all this other stuff happens. It’s been pretty quick. So it’s been weird trying to process it all. Yeah, definitely.”

How does it feel when people are rattling off all these awards? Do you feel like as an Aboriginal person that it is a major thing? Do you feel any responsibility?

The Kid LAROI

100%.  I think the main thing is, I feel proud. You know, I think that’s, that’s really what it is. And I mean, I think, you know, my thing I think it’s really cool to be recognized. And I think it’s obviously a huge thing to be recognized.  But I don’t really do it for the awards. You know, I think that’s a cool thing that comes with it. It’s a cool piece of recognition, but it’s more about trying to, like, inspire, you know.  Those are my two goals with doing music was to be able to support my family and help inspire other people. So yeah, that’s the two main reasons I do it for and the other stuff is just the icing on the cake. All the cool stuff. Yeah.

Do you keep your eye on the music that’s coming up with Aboriginal artists in Australia at the moment? I know you’re in the states all the time. But are you watching what’s going on and looking for new talents?

The Kid LAROI

Yeah, I’m always telling people to send me stuff back home.  I’m always asking people to send me stuff. I mean, you know, there’s a couple of kids that I grew up with have started rapping now up there and I’m actually bringing them to come and open for me on Thursday and Friday, they’re going to come out and do three songs. Chazza and my other boy Arthur who goes by Little Arts. Boys that I grew up with up in Waterloo. And I think that’s really cool to see as well, you know, them going hard and being really serious and focused and motivated and driven. You know, I think that’s a really cool thing. So I’m always you know, when I see something like that I always want to try and help out and help however best I can really. 

Are you about to start THE END OF THE WORLD tour? Why the name? What does that mean to you?

The Kid LAROI

So to be completely honest, it was just, ‘Oh, we’re going on a world tour. What do we call it?’ And we were just trying to find a cool name ad there’s just like, ‘The End of the World Tour.’  Really silly name.

Jess Cox Koori Radio’s Marketing Manager was in the studio and her mum is a massive fan of The Kid Leroy. We noted that Jess has missed a soccer game to be in the studio that day. This led to the question.

So do you play any sport at the moment?

The Kid LAROI

You know I used to I used to play every sport on the planet, now my time is taken up so much. But it’s funny you say that because recently I think I want to enroll in playing some basketball again in my free time. I think it’s good for the body, also good for the mind though. You know, there’s always a million things going per minute and just to take your mind away from everything get back to the real world and just focus on something like that is yeah, that’s important too.

What we read or hear is that Waterloo, for you is somewhere that you really connect with and where you found a lot of your friends.  Tell us a bit about that and why it’s important to you.

  The Kid LAROI

Yeah 100%.  A lot of my friends and it helped me find myself a lot, too, I think. You know, I always was growing up moving around a lot and never really had a lot of friends growing up, and never really had a sense of like community or anything like that. I was always changing schools and always moving different places and then when we moved back to Waterloo it was like you find a sense of community and you find your brothers and you find, you know, like, it’s a whole different thing. And I think that helped a lot, you know, discovering a lot about myself that I didn’t know, and just helped me growing up and having things like The Fact Tree and Weave and all those different places that kind of help out with that, you know, like figuring out what you want to do and who you want to be and how you want to do things. So yeah, definitely.

His new single “Thousand Miles is explained in various media as The Kid LAROI literally facing himself confronting himself as his one true rival. I asked him about this with the question around...

I don’t see you as being your own worst enemy. I think that you’re an entrepreneurial kind of happy person, right?

The Kid LAROI

Yeah I mean, I try. I always try to be good positive vibes at all times, you know, even if I am going through something.  I never tried to give that off to anyone you know, because it’s not anyone else’s fault. So but no, basically, the song is just me when I first met my girlfriend and I just didn’t know, you know, I really liked her. I just didn’t know if like, with my career path and what I was doing, if I was going to be ready to be able to, you know, give, like – when you enter a relationship, you are like giving a lot of yourself and a lot of your time and stuff like that. And I didn’t know if I was ready to do that. So that whole song is just kind of about that.”

Jess then asked if he had any dream collaborations?

The Kid LAROI

I mean, well, my big dream collab I actually ended up doing but it’s not out yet. It what with Tame Impala.  So that was a that was a huge dream collab for me and we did do that, but it’s just not out yet. So yeah, that was really cool.

I then asked if he listened to any Aboriginal music growing up, apart from the influences we read about such as Erykah Badu and Hip-Hop artists?  What about Archie Roach or was there anyone like that?

The Kid LAROI

So you know, like I said, I growing up, honestly, I was moving around a whole lot and when I was when I was super young, I didn’t really know a lot about my culture or my ancestors and stuff like that.  I didn’t really know a lot about that stuff. So, honestly, no.  But I do respect and love all of it and I definitely go back to it now and you know, check all that stuff out.  But growing up, if I’m being completely honest, no.  It was always listening to stuff like, yeah like Erykah Badu and all the stuff that my Mum would play. I wasn’t really in tune like that when I was young. No.

Tell us about your name The Kid Leroy and how you took that from your language?

 The Kid LAROI

“So it was interesting, I was always trying to find a cool name to go by, because my name is pretty boring, like just Charles and Howard – just sounds like the most plain name ever. So, obviously, you know, I was talking to my mum a lot and then obviously, it comes from the Kamilaroi tribe. And that’s, you know, the tribe that my family is from and then the weird coincidences after I was like, ‘Okay, I’ll shorten it to make it you know, Laroi, like a little nickname type of thing. Years later, I found – so my dad comes from French heritage and the way Leroy is spelled in French means the king. So it was just kind of like a strange coincidence that it just all kind of worked out. And I was like, oh, yeah, this is meant to be. I’m keeping it.”

Are you Keeping it forever? I mean, when you’re 50?

The Kid LAROI

Yeah.  I don’t know if I’ll be the kid. I gotta figure it out. But always be Laroi. Yeah, it’s weird. Even before music started doing anything, I was Laroi.  Even when I first came over, people would know me Roy, not as Charlton.   Like I’ve been Laroi for God ever since I can really remember honestly. So it was like it was a rap name, but also kind of like not really because a lot of people – I didn’t tell anyone I rapped, I just loved, I just loved Laroi and just thought it was so much cooler than Charlton.

Speaking of your mother, can you speak about how important family is to you?

The Kid LAROI

Yeah, I mean, you know, growing up, I mean, like I said, I didn’t really have a lot of friends, I was all over the place so my best friend was my mum.  So we got super close. And it’s like, during that time, I learnt to trust my mum with everything and my mum’s my best friend.  I also saw her do a lot of stuff and put her life on the line for me. And that was like something, you know, like, I don’t know, when you see certain things, you just you never go against, you know, that person now because you know, you see different stuff. And I don’t know, I still never met anyone as solid as her. So, yeah.

So tell us about the tour. Where are you going over the world? Have you been to these countries before that you’re going to?

The Kid LAROI

You know, I’ve been to London before, but yeah, honestly, a lot of these places, no I haven’t been.  So yeah, a lot of these places it’s going to be my first time and I’m excited.

Jess then asked if there is a city that you’re most looking forward to?

The Kid LAROI

I like Belgium. I don’t know I’ve always wanted to go to Belgium.

Well, best wishes for the tour. Thank you for coming in and come back anytime. And yeah, tell your mum to drop in and say hello. See you at the Yabun Concert soon !

The Kid LAROI

Yes, please.

We’ll be in touch about that. So, May 26th Qudos Bank Arena.

The Kid LAROI

Yeah.

Thanks again.

The Kid LAROI

Amazing.  Thank you. Thank you very much.

Thanks

Thanks to Sony Music Australia for organising the visit and to The Kid LAROI‘s girlfriend Katarina Deme for also dropping in.

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