Interview: Loyle Carner

If you’ve been anywhere near a radio recently, chances are you’ll have heard a tune or two from South London rapper Loyle Carner, whose debut album was released last week to almost universal praise.

Featuring the singles The Isle Of Arran and Ain’t Nothing Changed, Yesterday’s Gone is absolutely exquisite, and there’s little doubt that this precociously-talented 22-year-old is set to be one of 2017’s biggest breakthrough artists.

As a kid, Loyle (real name Benjamin Coyle-Larner) appeared in a couple of shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, but on Saturday, at Liquid Room, he’ll return as one of Britain’s most exciting new musical talents.

AAA caught up with Loyle for a quick chat ahead of his visit to the Capital.

Tell us how you got into music? 

Just from being around my mates at school, really. When I was ten years old, I heard Lethal Bizzle’s Pow, and that just blew my mind. I knew about grime but this was the first time me and my mates really accepted it. Skinnyman and Roots Manuva, they both shaped me too.

How did you start making your own music?

I had a lot of mates who made beats. We’d hang out together and make music, just for the fun of it. Then we’d send it to other mates so they could put it on while playing FIFA. Back then I wanted to be a footballer – it never really crossed my mind that I’d become a proper musician with an album out and playing sold out gigs. My family had always been into music, but it kind of got drilled into me that it was an impossible dream to follow… to be a musician.

You attended the Brit School… how did that shape your musical evolution?

Well, I was actually studying acting there, so really, it had little to do with music. I did learn a lot about myself from being there, and it was the first time I was treated like an adult.

Usually I just write in my head to begin with, just the first four bars. Then I put it aside until a beat comes that matches the feeling of what I was writing. It could be right away, or it could be months later. I record in various bedrooms in South London. That’s where I make my music.

Tell us about your debut album…

I really wanted Yesterday’s Gone to sound like home. That was important to me, as I  wanted the record to be very honest. It’s a true reflection of what it feels like to be living in South London in your early 20s… hopefully.

Are you looking forward to coming to Edinburgh?

Yes, definitely. I’ve been a couple of times before. I used to come during The Fringe, so I know the city really well. It will be great to be back. I can’t wait.

Yesterday’s Gone is out now.

Loyle Carner, Liquid Room, Victoria Street, Saturday 4 February, 7pm, £15, 0131-225 2564

 

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