The Kid LAROI talks new single ‘Stay’ with Justin Bieber and shares update on debut album
Watch the 17-year-old pop phenom discuss the making of his new single, linking up with Justin Bieber and Machine Gun Kelly, and why ball pits are a must on his rider
The Kid LAROI has released his new single ‘Stay’ with Justin Bieber, and has spoken to NME about the status of his debut album and why he’s his own “biggest hater”. Check out the video for ‘Stay’ below and watch our interview with The Kid LAROI above.
- READ MORE: The Kid LAROI – ‘F*CK LOVE’ review: Juice WRLD’s protégé is similarly adept at turning heartbreak into massive tunes
The new track is the Australian wunderkind’s first since last year’s Miley Cyrus featured ‘Without You’, and it’s his second collaboration with Bieber following the release of ‘Unstable’ back in March, taken from Bieber’s sixth studio album, ‘Justice’.
Speaking to NME about the origins of ‘Stay’, LAROI said that it was probably the most organically created song of his career so far.
“I’ve had ‘Stay for about a year now,” he told NME. “I was over at my friend Blake’s [Slatkin] house. It was me, Blake, my boy Omer [Fedi] and Charlie Puth. We were all just hanging out, and Charlie went over to the keyboard and just started playing stuff…and what he played was the ‘Stay’ [melody], and I was like, ‘What’s that?’ and he’s like, ‘Oh, no, I’m just fucking around.’ And I’m like, ‘No, no, no. Pull up a Pro Tools session, record this shit, this shit’s fire.’
He continued: “It was probably the most organic way of making a song I’ve ever done – ever. It reminded me of the first time [I got to] get into a studio and stuff. We didn’t plan for the song to happen. We never planned a studio session or anything like that, so it was crazy.”
After sitting on it for a while, the 17-year-old said he returned to the record a few months later and knew he had to make an addition. “One day I was just listening to it and was like, fuck, Justin [Bieber] would sound perfect on this,” he explained.
“So I actually pulled up to the studio that he works at, and I just came with the fucking file. I was like, ‘You ready?’ and he was like, ‘Yup’. And he just did it. He just went into the booth and just freestyled the shit off top; it was the craziest shit. I was like, ‘Yo, this guy’s out of his mind.’”
According to LAROI, Bieber was questioning whether what he was laying down was actually any good. “He’d be like, ‘Yo, do you like this? Is this good?’ And I’d be like, ‘Just keep going. Keep fucking going. Just shut up and keep fucking going,’” he remembered.
Asked about how he first came to work with Bieber, LAROI replied: “I actually never asked him how he found my shit. He just DM’d me one day on Instagram and was just like, ‘You got the sauce’, and I responded back and was like, ‘Yo, what’s up? I’m a big fan’. He liked my message and that was it from there.”
He continued: “Two months later he DM’d me again and was like, ‘Hey, what’s your number? I think I have the right song for us. Let me send it to you.’ He sent [‘Unstable’] to me and I was like, ‘This shit’s crazy’, went [and] wrote the verse, sent it back, and that was that.”
Asked whether the pair might ever work on a full joint album or project together, LAROI told NME: “Hey man, I’m open to anything. That’s Justin’s call. I’m down.”
The video for ‘Stay’ was filmed in an abandoned hotel in downtown LA not far from the notorious Cecil Hotel, which has played host to many suicides and deaths since being built in 1924. It was the subject of a recent Netflix documentary, Crime Scene: The Vanishing At The Cecil Hotel, which explores the mysterious death of Canadian student Elisa Lam.
“I watched [the documentary] on Netflix like two days after we shot the video and I was like, Oh God, that’s a crazy area,” LAROI said, revealing that he didn’t know about the hotel’s chequered past until he mentioned the location of his video shoot to a friend. “So I watched it and was like,’Oh fuck’. I feel like if I had watched that before going there I don’t know how long they would have had me there for.”
Speaking about the actual making of the video for ‘Stay’, LAROI admitted he’s “not a big fan” of shooting videos because there’s “a lot of waiting” but he breaks up the monotony with a ball pit, which is something that he always requests on his rider.
“On the list of things I need everywhere, one of them is a ball pit,” he told NME. “So that was a highlight of my day, just jumping in the ball pit. I had my little brother come past the shoot, we were all fighting in the ball pit. It was pretty fun.”
LAROI’s debut mixtape ‘F*CK LOVE‘ was released almost exactly a year ago on July 24, 2020, with a ‘F*CK LOVE: SAVAGE’ deluxe edition following in December. Reflecting on the project, LAROI admitted that he hates some of the music he made a year ago.
“I remember when I first finished ‘F*CK LOVE’, I loved it and thought it was the greatest thing I would ever make in my entire life,” he said. “I felt like, oh God, how am I ever gonna make something better than this? ‘Cause I was just so in love with it and I spent so much time on it.
“Now I go back and I’m just like, oh God, I hate this shit, I wanna make better stuff. But that’s how I am. I’ll say this about the music that I make now that I love in probably a year. I’ll probably look back and be like, fuck, I hate this shit. It’s terrible.”
He added: “It’s weird. I’m like my biggest critic, I think. I’m my biggest hater. When I’m making the song I hate it, then I get obsessed with it, and then I hate it again.”
Next, LAROI is planning the release of ‘F*CK LOVE 3’, another repackage of the mixtape, with the aim “to close the chapter on the whole ‘F*CK LOVE’ thing” and to give his fans something being that it’s “been like seven or eight months” since he last gave them any new music. But after this, his focus will be on his debut album.
“I don’t wanna say too much but right now I’m working on my debut album,” he revealed to NME, before exclusively sharing when fans can expect to hear the album. “[It’s coming] next year, for sure,” he said. “I wanna drop the album before I go on tour, like on a big tour. So I’ll say that much. I wanna drop it before I go on tour so I can perform it and shit.”
Watch our full interview with The Kid LAROI above, where he also tells us about working with “really cool dude” Machine Gun Kelly, his dreams of collaborating with Drake and Kanye West, and what it was like to appear on SNL with Miley Cyrus and Elon Musk.
‘Stay’ by The Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber is out now