Jul 13, 2017 10:00PM

Get To Know Tender Rap God Loyle Carner

Sweet heart.
South London rapper, Loyle Carner is one of the most refreshing artists in British hip hop right now. His laid-back lyrical style, that's raw and honest, offers listeners a certain sensibility you often don't get in rap. Earlier this year, he released his debut album, Yesterday's Gone — a deeply personal record that speaks openly about losing his father, the relationship with his family and the responsibilities that come with becoming an adult.
 
After his first Australian tour this year, we called up the 22 year old to chat about his game. But what we also got was a conversation about dealing with ADHD and dyslexia, and teaching kids how to cook. 
Thanks for having me at your show in Sydney.
No worries, it was an absolute pleasure!
 
How odd was that random fan who found his way backstage to the green room. Have you had other weird encounters?
Yeah yeah that guy Peter. Nah, that's not the the first time. I just felt kind of bad, he was very harmless, should've just been let back in the show.
 
Lets talk about your music. How does it feel to be so vulnerable in your music talking about your personal issues and your family?
Yeah, I wasn't really expecting to have gone as far as I did. When I started realising how personal the shit I had out there was, I just had to get used to it very quickly because there's nothing I can do it about it now. I can't take it back you know? But it's cool, I'm with it, it doesn't feel weird to me.
 
Why is it important to you to explore those feelings so publicly?
I've always been an advocate for it. I think the biggest thing is that it can save lives, so it's very important.
 
Growing up with ADHD and dyslexia, what misconceptions do people have?
Yeah, I just always think there is a lot of focus on the negatives. There are negatives in everything, but there are great positives that aren't given the space to flourish.
 
Continuing to speak about it positively, what's the most positive impact it's had on you?
I think it's just through the music. I guess just being able to write on impulse and not worrying about anything. If I was to think things through, 9 times out of 10 I wouldn't do the things I do. The fact that I don't think it through, is the reason I get stuff done and possibly things that other people haven't done yet.
 
You're helping kids with same condition by teaching them how to cook. Where did the idea from?
I guess through myself. With ADHD, I've always struggled to focus, but when I used to cook, it was one of the things that would chill me out. My mum was also a teacher for kids with special educational needs, so I wanted to do something like that. When I put two and two together, it made sense that it's what I should be doing with my time and money.
 
What do you find so therapeutic about cooking specifically?
I don't know, I think it just takes over all my being at once. I have to focus on everything and my whole body is occupied, which is my favourite thing.
 
What's a signature Loyle Carner dish?
Italian. Something really, really simple. Something you can put on, chat and drink some wine. Italian food is my favourite, so it's my go to.
 
What are you looking forward in 2017?
I have a few things I've got coming out, not music but other things that I've been doing that will be nice to see light of day. We're doing another cooking school. I'm looking forward to the cooking school again.
 
I saw you want to make it into a major charity...
Yeah, getting it to be a proper charity. It's such a difficult and big thing to do, but it'll happen at some point.
 
What usually happens within these cooking schools, how does it usually work?
It's open for kids with ADHD. We don't have the resources to open the doors to everyone, which is a shame. We're going to get it to a point when we can do that, but we're not quite there yet.
 
Do you have skills that you can let us know about?
I can juggle, and I'm good at making women smile (laughs)...I'm joking.
 
I've also read that you went to acting school?
Yea, I went to drama school. I'm still interested in it but back then it was something I enjoyed doing when I had more freedom and less responsibility.
 
Would you get back in to that?
If I could, I'd be down for sure.
 
What's your favourite movie?
One most recently I watched was Hell on High Water.
 
I've also read that you're inspired by poetry. Who's work inspires you?
Langston Hughes, Benjamin Zephaniah and I also like Bob Dylan.
 
You featured in '1992' by Rejjie Snow back in 2013 and released your debut album Yesterday's Gone earlier this year. Has this been something you've been working on for a while?
I was just doing it for fun whenever I had time, not something I was working on super hard or super weak, but just whenever i had the time I made music for fun.
 
How did that collaboration come about with Rejjie Snow?
Just through people from school.
 
If theres's one thing you want people to take from your music what would it be?
Just some comfort, to sound like home and distract them from the day to day, but whatever they want to take from it. I don't have a preconception of what they need to hear or listen out for, but for them to take whatever they like.
 
Who are some artists you are listening to that we should be keeping an eye out for?
Tom Misch, Alfa Mist and Jordan Rakei.
 
Lastly, describe yourself Loyle Carner in 3 words.
There's Not Enough.
 
Interview & Photography: Darren Luk

Hayley Morgan