2, 4, 6, 8... we appreciate loyle carner

i-D meets up with the fast-rising South London MC Loyle Carner to chat love, food, King Krule and Channel U...

by Dan Wilkinson and Adam Fletcher
05 November 2014, 5:20pm

Laura Coulson

Loyle Carner is the South London MC whose heartfelt rhymes contrast his laid back personality, whether it's stating that he falls in love too easily - on Rejjie Snow's 1992 - or how he needs success to support his fam. He's been working on his own material for a while now, wryly titling his EP A Little Late. From the opening song, featuring the lyrics "everybody says I'm fucking sad, of course I'm fucking sad, I miss my fucking dad", about dealing with the grief of his dad passing, the release bleeds emotion. He seems to have found catharsis in art, finding a creative outlet to deal with the worst that life throws at him. We decided that the world needs to know more about one of the most earnest and underrated UK rappers, so we've become his cheerleaders, 2,4,6,8, who do we appreciate... Loyle Carner!

2 Biggest Ambitions
Loyle's biggest ambition is "not to lose myself in what I'm doing". He wants to "write, rap and get a coherent body of work" out into the world. 

If it wasn't for music and Loyle getting on so well, Loyle may have followed one of his other passions in life, "when I auditioned for drama school I didn't expect to get in, so I was thinking of becoming a chef".

4 Qualities to sum Loyle Carner up
Honestly polite but spontaneously forgiving.

6 People Loyle would get trapped in a lift with
Donatello (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Kano (P's & Q's days)
Jimi Hendrix
Mos Def
Chet Baker 

What would be the topic of conversation at this once in a lifetime gathering? "I wouldn't talk too much, I'd probably just listen". He would however ask Chet "who was she?" and try and set his mum up with Jimi Hendrix.

Photography Laura Coulson

8 facts about Loyle Carner...
1. Before getting into music, Loyle studied at drama school because he was "a bit of clown". He turned into quite the actor, starring in 10,000 BC but has deferred drama school for a year to focus on music. With a play written during his schooldays, he wants to develop further.

2. Growing up, grime music enraptured Loyle. "It opened me up to rapping, because it was something I could do and grime was British. It was the thing I could do without sounding like anyone else". The records that got to him most were Ghetts' Ghetto Gospel, Roots Manuva's Dreamy Days and Kano's Brown Eyes and Night Night.

3. Like every twenty-something who grew up on grime, Loyle was influenced by music videos on the infamous Channel U. "I used to watch it after school, because my mum was teaching and there was this three hour window where I'd come home and watch it religiously". A particular highlight - which he can still quote to this day! - has to be Stutta's Konk with its chorus of "one konk, two konk, three konk four, Stutta and I be konking jaws".

4. If Loyle could be transported to any club night, it wouldn't be a normal Friday at Liquid or Envy but "the club that Slum Village were playing at with J Dilla, when he was alive", with the intention of "shaking Dilla's hand". How would he celebrate this momentous occasion? Well, simply by "heading off home and into bed".

5. Loyle's school friend Archy Marshall (AKA baritone polymath King Krule) was one of the first people to give him an avenue into recording music. The first ever song he did was on his Soundcloud. However, he wasn't originally known as Loyle Carner, instead preferring the monicker MC Mogwli; "Master Mo with the master flow". He got the name from his mum because he "was thin with bad hair, running around the house half-naked all the time".

6. Archy was also responsible for Loyle meeting Dublin's most bloggable rapper, Rejjie Snow, less than a year after his initial verses. "I first met him at Archy's house, one day after school in the holidays, I was only sixteen". It wasn't long until Rejjie came a-calling. "He messaged me saying 'I'm in the studio, wanna hear the album?', I went down to Rocket Studios in Imperial Wharf." It was there that Loyle's breakthrough collaboration came in the form of 1992, "he played me the song and said he didn't know what to do with it, and if I could write a verse. I was over the moon, I wrote it there and then". Not bad for a sixteen-year rhyming novice. 

7. Loyle's first line in 1992 is about falling in love too easily. Was he in love at the time? "I wasn't when I wrote the song. I'd been in love, but looking back now, I don't really think it was". Is he in love now? "I'm not in love now, part of me wishes I was".

8. His former ambition was to be a chef, but what's on the menu Loyle? "Tereaki salmon is my signature dish, though I did make jerk chicken for a hundred people recently". If you're hankering for an even bigger palate, Loyle's cool with that. "Whatever you want, mate, I'll cook it!"


Text Dan Wilkinson
Photography Laura Coulson

Rejjie Snow
Mos Def
Loyle Carner
Dan Wilkinson
channel u
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