Loyle Carner on the current success of urban music: “There’s more creative space”

The number of "outlets" has expanded

Loyle Carner has discussed the success of urban music in an interview with NME on the Mercury Prize red carpet.

This year’s nominees have had a particular focus on urban music, with artists like Stormzy and J Hus shortlisted for the award.

Asked why he thought urban music had been so well represented this year, Carner responded that the explosion of “outlets” was partly responsible. “There’s more creative space,” he commented.


He explained that the explosion of DIY recording has grown the number of ways for urban artists to get exposure for their talents. “You don’t have to have a massive swanky studio – you can record something in your bedroom on your laptop and put it out, and it can get the critical acclaim that it deserves.

“I’m not saying that’s what happened to J Hus’s album,” he added, “but I know friends of mine, and with my music, that was all recorded in the bedroom. So for us having it out and putting it out on this scale was a big deal for us. It’s not supposed to be like this; or it wasn’t and didn’t used to be, but now it is.”

Carner also suggested that young artists with musical talent should “Just keep making music and putting it out,” rather than worry about not getting signed.

“Do the videos in your room, do whatever you want. Just do what you want to do and put it out. It doesn’t really matter about making loads of money from it. I’m still paying off a mortgage I can’t afford, but we’re getting there slowly.”

Carner also shed some light on his plans for a follow-up to January’s ‘Yesterday’s Gone’. “It’s exciting, man. I’m excited to be able to work with some more live musicians, and just cause some more trouble in the studio. See what we can get out. Work with some people I’m big fans of. See what happens.”


When asked who his dream collaborator would be for the new album, Carner replied: “Madlib. ‘Cause he’s the best.”

Check out Apple’s playlist of this year’s Mercury Prize nominees below:

Read our review of ‘Yesterday’s Gone’ here


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