Within the last decade, the music industry experienced a significant shift and entered into the streaming era. With valuable tools at musicians' fingertips, the country music genre became more competitive than ever. The saturated market forced creatives to think outside the box to stand out among the rest, and fast-rising artist Jonathan Gabriel Horne, best known as Kidd G did just that.
Kidd G may only be 19-years-old, but his artistry speaks volumes and proves he's a musical risk taker at his very core. Before finding success on TikTok, the aspiring artist would mix beats and teach himself how to freestyle in his Georgia childhood bedroom. With a deep passion for country music and hip-hop, Kidd G began experimenting and pulling inspiration from respected musicians in each space. It wasn't long until 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 breakout star graced the top of the Billboard chart with his 2020 single "Dirt Road." The fast-paced melody that displays his spitfire verses and deep southern drawl, lives on his critically acclaimed EP, "Teenage Dream." The 10-song collection peaked at No.3 on Billboard's heatseekers albums chart upon release and he even graced Billboard's "21 Under 21" list. Quickly 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 really 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 over these past couple of months," Kidd G told CMT before detailing about the naysayers who have doubted his craft. "It always feels good to prove somebody wrong at the end of the day. I mean, who would expect a kid from a small town to live this type 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 managed to become a trailblazer among the Gen-Z demographic. With 1.4M followers on TikTok alone, the "Summer In A Small Town" singer built a loyal fan base that allowed him to embark on his own nationwide treks.
"I have huge respect for everyone in the country music genre, and some of my top influences are very traditional country artists. So, I always want to pay respect where it's due," he explained. "But, it really feels good to have that much of an impact where I can pave a new path alongside other artists my age. Hopefully, more people are able to follow us and make music based on what they enjoy rather than feeling confined by any genre."
To keep up the positive momentum, the up-and-coming musician joined forces with cross-country star Breland on a "Dirt Road" remix and Chase Matthew on "Summer Heat." Kidd G exclusively shared that he frequently 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 guidance while I carve out my own path," Kidd G declared. "It was a blast working with Breland, the music video was insane. Just getting to hang out with Breland for a couple of 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 craft.
"I like the way he's just different, and he can embrace the fact that he's different doing something that really not a lot of other artists are doing," he shared. "It feels great just to know that I'm doing something different and I'm just having fun with it."
The collaboration track is just one of many he delivers on his must-see People Talk Now Tour, which runs until early August. While on the road, Kidd G said he's grown exponentially as a performer.
"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 naturally grow with each show because I try to learn something at every stop and adjust myself. So, I'm getting better with each performance. Since there are more dates on this tour, I think that gives me even more opportunity 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 voiced, full of excitement. "I'm also reaching more people on this tour since there are more dates. So, visibility-wise, this allows me to expand 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 with the fans after the show. So, now with these new tour dates it means that I'm going to get to meet that many more of them, which is super exciting," he clarified. "There are also a few places on my tour that I haven't been yet so being able to explore is exciting."