Loyle Carner - interview (OFF Festival 2019)

dodano: 2019-09-14 18:00 przez: Maciej Wojszkun (komentarze: 0)

MW: Let's talk about your new album - "Not Waving, But Drowning". Both this album and your previous one - "Yesterday's Gone" - are a wave of fresh air, with these soulful beats and introspective, soul-searching hip-hop... What was the biggest challnege when creating your second album? 

LC: To not think about my first album. I kept thinking about the fact that I've already done an album and it was well-received, and I wanted my second one to be respected separately. What was difficult was to separate my headspace and write something not better - but different than on the first album.

MW: One of the most striking moments on the album - for me, personally - is the title track, with its quote from Stevie Smith's poem - can you elaborate, what is the meaning of this poem for you and how it relates to the album?

LC: My granddad used to recite Stevie Smith's poems to me when I was younger. This one is really special to me - it's about a man who's "crying wolf" - one day he's at the sea, he's waving to his friends. They think that he's just messing around, because he's always showing off - but in reality, he's drowning. They don't believe he's really in trouble. I see that in a lot of people I know - people think they're OK, but they are not. When they're in a relly bad place, nobodyy knows that. That's why it was important to me at this time.

MW: Do you think music can be a solution for people like that? 

LC: Sure - I think music is such a special thing. It brings a lot of people together. It may sound cheesy, but it's true. For me, growing up, there was a lot of music that saved me from a lot of things, that helped educate me on things I wasn't educated on, even at school. Music can be a release, a safe place for people.

MW: During the creation of this album, you had a chance to work with some of your personal heroes - like Yotam Ottolenghi or Benjamin Zephaniah. How do you remember those meetings? 

LC: It was mindblowing, man... Meeting Benjamin Zephaniah was a big dream of mine, because he's probably one of the main reasons I rap, I create poetry. Being one of his friends now is crazy for me. It's special, I didn't even dream it would happen. 

MW: Are there more personal heroes of yours you'd like to work with?

LC: I would love to work with Madlib... And also Common.

MW: Speaking of personal heroes and influences - several times on the album you mention Roots Manuva as a big influence... 

LC: That's kind of "second level" to the meaning of the album. It's a big love letter to Rodney himself. I'm a big fan, and I heard he's not really making music anymore, so I wanted to show him that the younger generation of artists is still inspired by him. I was greatly inspired by his music when I was groing up.

MW: For me, one of the best aspects of you music are the beats. In a couple of interviews, you mentioned that at the beginning you were influnced by grime - but the music on both your albums is very soulful, smooth and jazzy.... Very reminiscent of ATCQ, Pete Rock or J Dilla. How did it go that way? 

LC: It felt right to me. It was the music my friends were making - Rebel Kleff, my DJ, for example. He started introducing me more to that sound and I started to fall in love with it. As much as I loved listening to grime, I didn't feel it represented the way I felt at some times. It definitely represented the moments when I felt angry, but not when I felt sad or lost. Or when I felt lonely, or in love. I had to find the music that was true to the way I felt. 

MW: You even recorded a freestyle dedicated to J Dilla once. How big of an influence was Jay Dee to you? 

LC: I was actually talking to him and Madlib with my bassist yesterday... For me, he is everything, he changed the way everyone listens to hip-hop or whatever everyone thought hip-hop can be. I can't explain enough, how much he meant to me as a musician.

MW: During this whole musical adventure thus far - what would you say was the most memorable moment? 

LC: Making my first album. It's something I always wanted to do - and something I thought I would be never able to do. Watching the whole body of work coming together and knowing that I'm the "manager" of this situation -  I'm the person in charge of that, it's my name, my dream... This feeling is something I don't think I'm ever going to beat. And the album did OK as well.

MW: What are your plans for the future? 

LC: I have a lot of plans.... But sometimes I don't want to make music anymore, the next day I want to make music every day. I'd really love to go to America, maybe spend some time with my heroes - and really go to the roots of the music I create. 

MW: Do you have any advice for young, aspiring rappers or producers? 

LC: Don't be on Instagram or any social media... As much as it is important, when you keep listening to people who say it's going good for them - that could make you feel miserable, make you think: "I'm not doing as great as them". Even when I go to Instagram and see people doing so good, I'm asking myself: "Why am I not doing so good"? It's all about not worrying what other people are doing. You can go to Instagram to promote yourself, but don't look there at what other people do. It doesn't matter.

MW: Do you have any last words for your fans in Poland? 

LC: Thanks for having me! This is my first time in Poland, I hope to come back soon!

MW: Thanks for the interview!


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