we talk poetry, plays and keeping it honest with loyle carner

South London's finest and chillest wordsmith will always be a Little Late.

by James Hutchins
09 March 2015, 2:40pm

South London based Loyle Carner is one of the chillest guys we've ever met. The 20-year-old's lyrics are heartfelt, honest and hard-hitting with brutally personal content running throughout his breakthrough EP of 2014, A Little Late. His latest video for BFG, taken from the EP, sees Carner bearing the weight of the world on his shoulders in the form of this younger brother as he raps emotionally about the loss of his dad and stepping up to take his place. As one of our new favourites, we get to know the i-D Class of 2015 member.

The name Loyle Carner came from…
My surname; Coyle Larner, I used to be called Master Mowgli but I had to change it because there was another rapper called Master Mowgli. My mom actually came up with it in the end.

Loyle Carner's musical motto is…
Old school but honest. Honest is the motto.

A brief history of my musical career includes…
Supporting MF Doom, featuring on my friend Rejjie Snow's track 1992 for his debut EP Rejovich. Since then I've supported Oddisee, Atmosphere and been out on a UK tour with Joey Bada$$.

I got into music because…
My mom and my dad are really musical, so since I was born I've been around music. They've both been in bands, my dad was more like David Bowie and my mum was more like Norah Jones.

Grime was a big influence for me because…
It made me think and I wanted to give it a go, to try to put my spin on it. I saw other people doing it and it was the first thing I could do musically without feeling like I was trying to be anyone else.

Something people might not know about me is...
I started off writing poetry, and I write plays and short stories and stuff. I started at school when we all had to write a short play, about 20 or 30 minutes long. Since then I've been trying to extend it into a full-length play. It's about four men at an old people's home. It's inspired by my grandpa. It's called Pension and based around four months at the home… I won't give too much away though.

The first record I bought was…
Common, Be. It was one of the first ones I bought myself anyway. My biological dad used to have a lot of hip-hop, I never used to buy any; I just used to go over to his and listen to them.

The last gig I went to was…
To see Skepta, Stormzy and Novelist at Boiler Room at the ICA. I've been trying to see Skepta since 2005.

If I could only listen the past, present and future catalogue of one artist it would probably be who and why…
Common, he's my idol. I don't like his new poppy stuff though, so maybe Mos Def - most DEFinitely.

The three biggest influences on me an artist are…
1) My family 2). I want to say heartbreak but that's a bit wet, but relationships definitely are. 3) My secondary school trumpet teacher who was 65-years-old and sadly passed away. He was a legend.

As an artist I stand for…
Honesty, love, gratefulness, maturity and family.

At the moment I'm working with…
Tom Misch, Kiko Bun, Maverick Sabre, plus a few others that will be revealed in time.

The track of mine that sums me up best is…
Cantona. Just because it was a bit more light-hearted, it's a bit more family orientated, more grieving. I've got more responsibilities now and Cantona reflects more of what I've got to do.

My style consists of...
Sneakers and shirts, checked shirts. I like to keep it low key.

The worst job I had was…
Being a waiter. It's not a bad job but people are always cracking the whip on you; it's just not for me.

The best thing three things to happen to me in 2014 were…
1) Touring with Joey Bada$$. 2) Working with Kate Tempest. 3) Providing for my family.

If I could achieve one thing in 2015 it would be…
To master the trumpet, get my own line of shoes, and get my own cooking show: Chilli Con Carner!

Another act I'm tipping for 2015 is…
Kiko Bun and my guy Benny Mails.



Text James Hutchins
Photography Matteo Montanari 
Styling Max Clark
Hair Kei Terada at Julian Watson Agency.
Make-up Jenny Coombs at Streeters using NARS.
Photography assistance Nicholas Riley Bentham, Nicola De Cecchi.
Styling assistance Bojana Kozarevic, Kristofj Von Strass.
Hair assistance Takuya Uchiyama.
Make-up assistance Mona Leanne.
Production Joe Streeter at Streeters London. 

Loyle Carner
music interviews
matteo montanari
james hutchins
max clark
a little late
class of 2015