Little Nas X rode a wave of accomplishment throughout the second half of last year, and now that wave is cresting again with a brand-new cover story in Variety.
The 20-year old music artist burst onto the music scene with his song “Old Town Road,” which went viral on the video-sharing app TikTok and spent 20 weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. He subsequently made headlines in June when he came out as gay via a post to his Twitter account. He went on to become the first out gay artist to win Song of the Year at the MTV Music Awards, and the first out gay artist to win a Country Music Association Award in any category, and to receive an American Ingenuity Award for Youth from Smithsonian Magazine. He has been nominated for six 2019 Grammy Awards, the most for any male artist, including Record of the Year, Album of the Year and Best New Artist, and he’s slated to perform “Old Town Road” at the Grammy ceremony on January 26.
In the feature story, Nas opens up to interviewer James Patrick Herman about his decision to come out.
“It could have gone either way,” the musician says of fan reactions, which proved to be overwhelmingly supportive. “I hope my actions are enough to inspire other young LGBTQ children coming up to not be afraid to be themselves, but I feel pressure to be a role model for the community.”
Coming out has also had an impact on his relationship with his father, Nas reveals, “We have become closer. I mean, especially now because I don’t have anything to hide. It was a shock for him. It’s still the beginning phase. I’m not comfortable bringing a guy around yet.”
On the subject of guys, he adds, “I have met a lot of great people this year. Relationships are hard because either I end up being too busy or I end up falling for another person. I fall super-easily.”
The rising music star touches on a number of subjects, such as finding his place in the music industry (“I don’t feel like any specific place in the music industry accepts me as a whole”), his strained relationship with his mother (“She’s an addict so we don’t have the closest relationship… But there’s still love”), and his plans to release an album by mid-2020 so that he can go on tour.
“This generation supports the artists themselves more than the music, and I want to meet my fans,” he explains. “I want to put together an actual show and not just do karaoke on stage.”
Based on his success so far, there’s little doubt that Little Nas X is up to that challenge. What comes across loud and clear in his interview is the drive and determination that has taken him this far.
“I want to rule the world, baby,” says the young star. “There is a difference between wanting to be a star or a superstar. And I want the superstardom.”