Here’s How That Massive Justin Bieber And The Kid LAROI Collab Came To Be

As usual, it all started with someone sliding into the Insta DMs.

justin bieber the kid LAROI photo

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Last Friday, The Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber unleashed their new collab, a bounding pop crusher called ‘Stay‘.

It’s another huge moment for the Kamilaroi rapper, who, over the last year, has gone from Unearthed rapper to chart-conquering superstar — his 2020  mixtape F*CK LOVE debuted at #8 on the Billboard charts, while landing at #3 at home on the ARIA rankings.

Even with the commercial and critical acclaim, a Bieber collab is a big, big moment — it’s not every day that an Aussie rapper will link up with one of the biggest popstars in the world, you know? It’s not even the first time they’ve worked together: LAROI guested on Bieber’s track ‘Unstable’ on his latest album Justice. 

So just how did this all come about? As usual, it started off with an Insta DM slide.

“I actually never asked him how he found my shit,” LAROI, AKA Charlton Howard, told NME last week. “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.

“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’, I wrote the verse, sent it back, and that was that.”

As for ‘Stay’, it didn’t start with Bieber at all — it started with gifted songwriter and popstar Charlie Puth, who was noodling around on the piano while hanging out with LAROI when a melody began to form.

“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’,” LAROI recalls. “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.”

Getting Justin on the track was a simple as rocking up to his studio and getting him in the vocal booth, where he completely freestyled the whole thing.

“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’,” LAROI told NME.  “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’.”

In regards to whether new music is on the horizon, the answer is definitely yes — LAROI is currently gearing up to release F*CK LOVE 3, another version of the original mixtape, before diving into working on his debut album. Watch the full interview with NME over here.