Exclusive: Kidd G talks about finding his place in country music as a genre artist

by Tiffany Goldstein

25 months ago

Over the past decade, the music industry has undergone a significant change and entered the era of streaming. With valuable tools at the fingertips of musicians, the country music genre has become more competitive than ever. The saturated market has forced creatives to think outside the box to stand out, and that’s exactly what rising artist Jonathan Gabriel Horne, better known as Kidd G.

Kidd G may only be 19, but his artistry speaks volumes and proves he’s a musical risk-taker first and foremost. Before finding success on TikTok, the budding artist was mixing beats and learning to freestyle in his childhood bedroom in Georgia. With a deep passion for country music and hip-hop, Kidd G began experimenting and drawing inspiration from respected musicians in every space. It wasn’t long before the savvy singer-songwriter found the recipe for success by striking a delicate balance to cultivate his distinctive crossover sound.

As he fearlessly pushes the boundaries of country music, the rising star has graced the top of the Billboard charts with his 2020 single “Dirt road.” The fast-paced tune that flaunts its spitfire verses and deep southern drawl, lives on on her critically acclaimed EP, “teenage dream.” The 10-song collection peaked at No. 3 on Billboard’s Heatseekers album chart upon release and it even graced Billboard’s “21 Under 21” list. Shortly after the world learned his name, Kidd G was thrust into the limelight as a genre artist, and he hasn’t looked back since.

“It really is a blessing every day. I thank God and my friends for the support and the things they have done for me. I’ve come a long way in the past two months,” Kidd G told CMT before detailing naysayers who doubted his art. “It always feels good to prove someone wrong at the end of the day. I mean, who would expect a small-town kid to have that kind of dream?”

While genre-defying artists such as Nelly, Kane Brown, Lil Nas X and Breland are making waves in the industry today, Kidd G has managed to become a trendsetter among Gen Z. With 1.4 million followers on TikTok alone, the “Summer in a small townThe singer has built a loyal fanbase that has allowed him to embark on his own nationwide treks.

“I have huge respect for everyone in the country music genre, and some of my main influences are very traditional country artists. So I always want to pay tribute where it’s due,” he said. he explained. “But, it feels really good to have so much impact where I can blaze a new trail alongside other artists my age. Hopefully more people can follow us and make music based on what they love rather than feeling confined by any one genre.

To keep the positive momentum going, the up-and-coming musician teamed up with cross-country star Breland on a “Dirt road“remix and Chase Matthew on”The heat of summer.” Kidd G exclusively shared that he frequently turns to Matthew for advice on how to navigate the ever-changing music landscape.

“I take 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 career as a guide as I chart my own path,” Kidd G said. “It was great working with Breland , the music video was crazy. Just hanging out with Breland for a few hours, it was really fun to do a “Dirt road“remix with another young artist on the come-up.”

Kidd G continued to praise Breland’s character and craftsmanship.

“I love how he’s just different, and he can embrace the fact that he’s different by doing something that not many other artists really do,” he shared. “It’s great to know that I’m doing something different and just having fun with it.”

The collaboration track is just one of many he delivers on his must-have People Talk Now Tour, which lasts until early August. Along the way, Kidd G said he grew exponentially as an artist.

“This tour is all about the growth I’ve had over the past year. I’ve learned so much since The Real Me Tour, and I’m bringing all of that knowledge to every aspect of this tour. I think I grow naturally with each show because I try to learn something at each stop and adapt. So I get better with each performance. Since there are more dates on this tour, I think that it gives me even more opportunities to figure out exactly how I want to shape my sound as I release more music and continue to move forward in my career,” he enthused. also reaches more people on this tour because there are more dates. So, in terms of visibility, it allows me to expand my fan base with each show.

Although Kidd G likes to test his limits on stage, he shared that his favorite part will always be connecting with his dedicated 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, that means I’m going to meet a lot more of them, which is super exciting,” he clarified. “There are also a few places on my tour that I haven’t visited yet, so being able to explore is exciting.”

Kidd G called Nashville newcomers willie-jones, Dustin Castellowand Logan Michael as direct support on the People Talk Now Tour. Tickets for his high-energy show are currently available for purchase, here.