Loyle Carner, whose birth name is Benjamin Gerard Coyle-Larner, was born in South East London in 1994. Carner attended the Brit School to study for an acting degree before leaving to pursue a career in music.
From Soundcloud to primetime TV, Loyle Carner has captured the imagination of British music with endless sincerity and unabashed openness. Since his origins collaborating with the likes of Tom Misch and Rebel Kleff and his first musical statement on 2014 EP A Little Late, the South London MC has displayed immense emotional intelligence and lyrical wizardry as one of the most distinctive rappers in modern UK hip-hop, tackling his personal politics, his family, masculinity, pain and more.
Yesterday’s Gone, his long-awaited 2017 debut album, would turn Carner into a national tour de force, cracking the top 20 of the Official Albums Chart and earning a nomination for the prestigious Mercury Prize. Singles ‘Ain’t Nothing Changed’ and ‘Damselfly’ would also reach Silver status. In 2018, he picked up the NME Award for Best British Solo Artist and received BRIT Award nominations for British Breakthrough Act and British Male Solo Artist. Yesterday’s Gone has since obtained a Gold certification in the UK.
Returning in 2019 with his second album Not Waving, but Drowning, Carner would conceptually look outward to the world in front of him, delivering a rich, textured sophomore effort. It would land at number three on the Albums Chart, marking his first foray into the chart’s top five, while lead single ‘Ottolenghi’ and the Jorja Smith-assisted ‘Loose Ends’ have reached Silver single status. 2019 would also mark a busy year for Carner on the live stage as he performed at Glastonbury, Lovebox, Latitude, Primavera, Outlook, Parklife and Pukklepop. He also fronted his own headline show at London’s historic Alexandra Palace – selling out tickets in less than 10 minutes. Not Waving, but Drowning is now a Gold certified album – the second of Carner’s career.
In 2020, Carner blessed fans with the Madlib-produced cut ‘Yesterday,’ an international link-up that lit up the internet and hip-hop forums. This would prove the calm before the storm of newly released third studio album hugo, a deeply personal offering in which Carner confronts his identity in new and imaginative fashion.
hugo has become the fastest selling album of Carner’s career, with over 16,000 sales in its first week, including over 12,000 physical sales and 3500 streams, almost double that of Not Waving, but Drowning. hugo debuted at number three on the Album Charts and has been met with universal critical acclaim, with The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Wire and NME calling the album Carner’s best work to date. Meanwhile, he has successfully promoted the album via performances on Later With Jools Holland, The Graham Norton Show and at Glastonbury 2022, in addition to appearances on Saturday Kitchen and The One Show. Carner took hugo on the road in 2023, selling out UK and Ireland almost instantly.
Loyle Carner continues to stake his claim as one of the most accomplished British rappers in history.