“I’ve always been a rapper because I’ve always been a writer”Nicolas Völcker

Speaking at the Union on Sunday, he was met by a buzzing crowd that gave him the warmest reception I’ve ever seen for a speaker. He discussed inspirations, his upbringing and struggles with grief and dyslexia. It all felt so incredibly genuine, reflecting the unfiltered honesty that has been so central to the success of his debut album, Yesterday’s Gone. This confessional creativity has always been a huge part of his life, Loyle explained how “I’ve always been a rapper because I’ve always been a writer”.

Discussing his childhood, Carner reflected on the huge impact his mother and stepfather had upon his music upbringing. He grew up listening to a range of music that “told stories”, and cited Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones. In his own music, Carner calls upon a range of influences for his own creative storytelling.

Speaking briefly to Varsity, Carner discussed his reaction to fame, his creative processes and his culinary tips.

A few weeks ago, Carner attended the Brits where he was nominated for Best British Breakthrough Artist. When asked about whether being dubbed a ‘breakthrough’ puts a lot of pressure on him, he explains that it doesn’t stress him at all. “It’s cool, but at the same time I don’t think about it too much.” It seems to all be part of Carner’s smooth and steady rise to fame. “I’ve always seemed to slip under the radar”, so even at the Brits, Carner joked that he felt like the “peeping Tom”. He then went on to stress he didn’t mean anything dodgy by that.

Carner’s music incorporates a wide range of samples, from old records to spoken word. During his talk at the Union, Loyle discussed how he incorporated his late father’s own music alongside his mother’s poetry on the track, ‘Son of Jean’. When sampling other tracks, he takes to record shops. “we buy records whenever we can”. Teaming up with friend and fellow artist, Rebel Kleff, Loyle browses vinyl collections regularly. “If it’s good, we’ll try and make music out of them.”

Outside of music, cooking is Carner’s great passion. Being diagnosed with ADHD at a young age, Carner explained how cooking was something that he was able to fully immerse himself in. Recently collaborating with the GOMA collective, he has been running cooking classes for young people with ADHD. He is passionate about getting kids to eat “better versions” of what they already like.


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When asked about an essential recipe for students, Loyle took the question very seriously. His answer? “Italian Roast.” The recipe involves making a puttanesca pasta sauce and cooking it with cuts of meat. The result is a two-course simple, hearty meal.

We then moved on to the most essential question – his favourite dip. Having taken him for a hummus man, it was shocking when Loyle disclose the “sad thing” about his answer. He’s actually allergic to nuts and seeds which means tahini is a no go. This was met with shock and dismay. The answer that he settles on was guacamole, which is definitely an acceptable answer

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