Exclusive: Kidd G talks about finding his footing in country music as a genre-bending artist

by Tiffany Goldstein

5 m ago

Within the last decade, the music industry experienced a significant shift and entered the streaming era. With valuable tools at their fingertips, the country music genre became more competitive than ever. The saturated market forced creative creatives to think outside the box to stand out from the rest and fast-growing artists Jonathan Gabriel Hornebest known as Kidd G did just that.

Kidd G may only be 19 years old, but his artistry speaks volumes and proves that he is a musical risk-taker at his core. Before finding success on TikTok, the aspiring artist would mix beats and teach himself to freestyle in his Georgia childhood bedroom. With a deep passion for country music and hip-hop, Kidd G began experimenting and drawing inspiration from respected musicians in every room. It didn’t take long for the savvy singer-songwriter to find the recipe for success by finding a delicate balance to cultivate his signature crossover sound.

As he fearlessly pushes the boundaries of country music, the breakout star graced the top of the Billboard charts with his 2020 single “Gravel road.” The fast-paced tune that showcases his spitfire verses and deep southern drawl lives on on his critically acclaimed EP, “Teenage dream.” The 10-song compilation peaked at No. 3 on Billboard’s heatseekers album chart upon release, and he even graced Billboard’s “21 Under 21” chart. Soon after the world learned his name – Kidd G was propelled into the spotlight as a genre-bending artist , and he hasn’t looked back since.

“It’s truly a blessing every day. I thank God and my friends for the support and the things they’ve done for me. I’ve come a long way over the last few months,” Kidd G told CMT before elaborating on the naysayers who have doubted his craft. “It always feels good to prove someone wrong at the end of the day. I mean, who would expect a kid from a small town to live these types of dreams?”

While genre-defying artists such as Nelly, Kane Brown, Lil Nas Xand Breland making waves in the industry today, Kidd G succeeded in breaking new ground among the Gen-Z demographic. With 1.4 million followers on TikTok alone are “Summer in a small town” The singer built a loyal fan base that allowed him to embark on his own nationwide treks.

“I have tremendous respect for everyone in the country music genre and some of my biggest influences are very traditional country artists. So I always want to give respect where it’s due,” he explained. “But it feels really good to have such an impact where I can blaze a new trail with other artists my age. Hopefully more people are able to follow us and make music based on what they enjoy instead of to feel constrained by any genre.”

To keep up the positive momentum, the up-and-coming musician teamed up with the cross-country star Breland on aGravel road” remix and Chase Matthew on “Summer heat.” Kidd G shared exclusively that he often turns to Matthew for advice on how to navigate the ever-changing musical landscape.

“I get some of my biggest inspiration from Chase Matthew and Thomas Rhett. I really admire what they’ve done as artists, so I try to use their careers as a guide as I chart my own path,” stated Kidd G. “It Breland was a blast to work with, the music video was insane. Just getting to hang out with Breland for a few hours, it was really fun to make a “Gravel road“remix with another young artist on come-up.”

Kidd G went on to praise Breland’s character and craft.

“I like the way he’s just different and he can embrace the fact that he’s different by doing something that really not a lot of other artists do,” he shared. “It feels great just to know that I’m doing something different and I’m just having fun doing it.”

The collaboration track is just one of many he delivers on his must-see People Talk Now Tour, which runs until the beginning of August. While on the road, Kidd G said he has grown exponentially as a performer.

“This tour is about the growth I’ve had this past year. I’ve learned so much since The Real Me Tour and I bring all that knowledge to every aspect of this tour. I think I grow naturally with every show , because I’m trying to learn something at every stop and adjust myself. So I’m getting better with every show. With more dates on this tour, I think it gives me even more opportunities to figure out exactly how I want to shape my sound as I put out more music and keep moving forward in my career,” he enthused. “I’m also reaching more people on this tour since there are more dates. So visibility-wise, this allows me to grow my fan base with each show.”

Although Kidd G enjoys testing his limits while on stage, he shared that his favorite part will always be connecting with his devoted listeners before and after the show.

“I love being on the road because it’s just a constant influx of new experiences. My favorite part has always been meeting the fans after the show. So now with these new tour dates it means I get to meet a lot more of them , which is super exciting,” he explained. “There are also a few places on my tour that I haven’t been to yet, so it’s exciting to be able to explore.”

Kidd G summoned newcomers from Nashville Willie Jones, Dustin Castellowand Logan Michael as direct support on People Talk Now Tour. Tickets for his high energy show are currently available for purchase, here.

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