While there have been plenty of big Australian rock, pop and country acts over the years — from AC/DC to Sia to Keith Urban — Australian rappers haven’t had as big of an impact internationally, until this year. In fact, two of them are up for New Artist of the Year at the American Music Awards Sunday night: The Kid LAROI and Masked Wolf.
Masked Wolf, born Harry Michael, tells ABC Audio that in addition to his own hit “Astronaut in the Ocean,” he appreciates what LAROI — born Charlton Howard — has done to help boost the genre.
“I mean, he has done some pretty massive songs and made some pretty big waves,” says Wolf. “Australia’s finally being put on the map. I think we’ve tried for a long time. A lot of artists have tried to break internationally, and now it’s like finally happening, which is really good.”
But do he and LAROI hang out? Wolf jokes, “LAROI doesn’t want to meet me because he knows I’d beat him in basketball. I know he plays basketball, so he’s trying to stay away.”
Seriously, though, there’s no rivalry there, and Wolf says he doesn’t necessarily need to win Sunday night to feel like he’s a success.
“It’s really special to have that acknowledgment. But you have to be first happy with what you’ve been doing before the award,” he explains. “And whether we win it or not, truly, I’m just happy with where I’m at and where I’ve come from. I’ve been grinding at this for like 11 years. So award or not, I feel like what I’m doing now is the award.”
See who takes home the award Sunday night when the American Music Awards air on ABC at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
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