Lil Nas X might be the most influential person of 2019. He broke records with his hit song #OldTownRoad, he came out and is not the biggest gay pop star in the world with six Grammy nominations to show for it.
Best New Artist, Best Record, and Album of the Year are just three of the Grammy nominations Lil Nas X has received. But, how do you take it all in at 20-years-old? Well, he says whatever comes his way, he’s ready to receive. “I’ve been in a constant state of realization that this is all happening, and I have to remind myself that I deserve anything coming my way,” said the rapper in an interview with Los Angeles Times.
The youngest of six kids said his decision to drop school for music at first didn’t sit well with his father. “He wasn’t happy about it. Gradually, he eased into supporting me. He was, like, ‘This is a one-in-a-million thing.’ And I told him, ‘Well, maybe I’m that one.’” And he was that one; he started off by promoting his music online. Many of his new fans may have been aware that he was actually somewhat well-known online. In fact, the Atlanta native says he knew the internet was the way to go. “One hundred percent. When I was putting out music before “Old Town Road,” I was using the internet heavily to promote [myself]. I would go to YouTube comments and try to get attention there and on Reddit, Genius, Instagram — everywhere I could.”
The day “Old Town Road” broke, was the day Nas X will always remember. “Almost from the first second of me putting the snippet out. I tweeted “country music is evolving” with a video [of a man dancing at a rodeo], and it immediately went viral. The song got stagnant at one point, but then TikTok came along and moved the song 100 times faster. I knew the song was going to be something from the first time I heard the beat — not that it was going to become a worldwide song or break any records, but I knew it was special. I’d heard a lot of songs, but I’d never heard a song like this.”
While Lil Nas X is talented and more or less a marketing genius, his most appealing attribute is rightfully his courage. The young artist decided to come out to the world as gay, and he said it was a decision that he doesn’t regret despite some people trying to talk him out of doing it. “Yeah, there was definitely someone trying. I think it was more of a protective thing than anything else. I had only come out to, like, my sister and my dad in the same month … but I wanted to be someone that people are proud of.”
We can only expect great things from Lil Nas X. At the moment, he’s working on his next project, and it’ll have some contributions from award-winning music producer #Pharrell. “It’s pretty great, but I’m not going to stop until it’s absolutely incredible. I want to keep it a little more under wraps for now, but I’m working with a lot of new people. I’m most proud of being able to work with Pharrell.”