“I’m very aware of the difficulty of touring, especially for an artist who is 18 years old and is on his first world tour,” says Leber. “When you take the radio and promotional hits on top of that, it can be a recipe for disaster. It’s a top priority for me to make sure that while he’s playing these shows, traveling, trying to fit in promotional tours and radio stations, he’s very rested and has time to be a human and to be a child.
After a break of almost a month at the end of the European leg of the tour, LAROI will begin its third and final installment in Sydney. At the time of our conversation, he hadn’t returned for almost two years and was mostly excited to see his friends. Things won’t be the same as when he left them, of course. Back then, he was still struggling to get by; now he’s somewhat of a hometown hero, already getting daily messages about new Australian artists to watch out for.
As his Irving Plaza set comes to an end, LAROI sneaks off the stage, only to reappear from the VIP section. He’s been near his family and his girlfriend for over a year, influencer Katarina Demetriades, on the balcony, one leg hanging over the glass railing. He then swings his other leg, his heels barely touching the surface as he launches his closer set, “Without you.” He looks as cool as ever, moving to the beat of his precarious perch, as his security chief maintains a firm grip on the back of his shirt – ready, if necessary, to bring him back to earth.
Additional reporting by Melinda Newman.