Musician Aaron Newberry finds freedom and joy in ‘Kid Again’ project

Musician Aaron Newberry finds freedom and joy in ‘Kid Again’ project
Written by: Grace Wood (@grace_wood1)
Photographed by: ASLUT Staff Photographer
Creative Director: Kait Cada (@kaitcada)
If you could go back in time and be a kid again, what would that look like?
Would you try something new, without the burden of adult responsibilities or fear of failure? Would you rediscover simple pleasures, like blowing bubbles or jumping in puddles of water? Would you approach the world with wide-eyed curiosity, asking endless questions and eagerly soaking up knowledge about everything around you?
For Oklahoma City-based musician Aaron Newberry (artist name ‘Kid Again’), his music is all about connecting with his inner child — writing and producing songs on his terms that are judgment-free, ceaselessly curious, and collaborative. Through ‘Kid Again,’ a project he started in 2022, Newberry is allowing himself to be experimental, vulnerable, and honest, free of the need to impress anyone but himself.
“The whole idea behind Kid Again is to be able to create with the same freedom you had when you didn’t even understand what judgment was,” Newberry said.
Much of the past music Newberry has released as Kid Again has its roots in the singer-songwriter mold. His two most recent singles, “Heavy / Light” and “Pull Up,” however, lean into a different side of Newberry’s musical skills, and represent a sea change for him as an artist.
“The way I’m creating music right now is like a palate cleanser, to get [the listener] from the other side of singer-songwriter Kid Again and bring them back to the middle, which is rooted more in R&B, hip hop, and pop,” Newberry said. “These singles are to get [the listener] ready for things that are more in line with artists like Dijon, Mk.gee, Ryan Beatty, and Frank Ocean.”
Newberry’s goal is to release a full-length album (a first for Kid Again) in late summer or early fall of this year. Helping him accomplish this goal are the creative minds of Tulsa music powerhouses Logan Bruhn and Tyler Sexton.
“We just get into a room together and start making stuff — I think one of the most exciting things is how minimal it is [with Logan and Tyler], it makes it so that the idea of whatever we’re working on is the most important thing,” Newberry said. “It’s exciting because we’re always capturing something really strange and unique.”
Music and sound are two things that are integral to Newberry’s life, both personally and professionally. His current career consists of composing music for film, television and games, for which he has earned notoriety — Newberry was nominated for an Emmy for his work on “An Ordinary Martyr” (2018). Most recently, he helped mix the score for “They Cloned Tyrone” (2023) with John Boyega, Jaime Foxx and Teyonah Parris.
Before finding his calling as a composer, however, Newberry spent many years as a touring musician for Christian rock bands, a result of both his early musical prowess and conservative Christian upbringing.
Through the Kid Again project, Newberry is allowing himself to make music solely for himself. The music, he said, helps him unpack how he was raised and recalibrate his values and beliefs.
“I’ve been using this music as an outlet and a tool to tell myself, ‘You’re as free as you think, you can say anything you want,’” Newberry said. “When I think about the world, versus what I was raised to believe, the essence is just to try to be free. I think a lot of that is rooted in the idea that I grew up in a culture that built a box for me that I never really agreed to be inside of. When I was able to get out of that box, it just felt a lot more real, I stopped having to pretend that something was important or mattered. And now, I can spend my time and energy focusing on things that actually matter to me.”
As far as the listener is concerned, Newberry said he hopes that his audience will connect with the music in a similar way he has, and view listening to it as an opportunity to reflect on childhood.
“If there were any type of awareness I would like to bring around any of [the music], it would simply be to be a kid again, like, ‘What does that mean to you?’” Newberry said. “To me, I see myself sitting on the sidewalk with my sister in Muskogee, OK, where I grew up, drawing with sidewalk chalk for six hours … It didn’t matter what we were doing, what mattered was that we were doing it. That’s how I view this music: What matters most is that I’m doing it because it brings me great joy and satisfaction. And maybe someone else will feel the same way about it.”
Listen to Kid Again on Spotify and follow Newberry on Instagram @kidagainmusic to stay up to date with new releases.