Loyle Carner is bringing his latest work back to his home city in March this year. Fresh off the back of rave reviews and a nomination for Best Hip Hop/Grime/Rap Act at The Brit Awards, Carner has announced he’s playing the Eventim Apollo Hammersmith and the OVO Wembley Arena on the 15th and 16th of March, respectively.
As is an ever-present in Carner’s music, ‘hugo’ continues a personal thought-provoking look at the inside of the rapper’s brain. There’s a central question that Loyle Carner keeps coming back to: “I’m young, Black, successful and have a platform - but where do I go next?” The answer is explored in this glorious roar of a third album. With a raw, energetic delivery and a wonderfully conceived production, Carner confronts both the deeply personal and political as he continues his meteoric rise to the top of his field.
With Mercury and Brits nominations, NME Awards and appearances in global brand campaigns (Nike, YSL, Timberland), Carner has undoubtedly had an excellent few years, culminating with his second album Not Waving, But Drowning charting at number 3 in the UK albums chart in 2019. However, ‘hugo’ sees Carner taking a sharp detour from his previous work, putting it down to lockdown and the “hedonistic side of career being stripped away. There were no shows, no backstage, no festivals, no photoshoots”. By continuing to write in these tumultuous times with a renewed clarity and sense of artistic freedom, Carner reached deeper beneath the surface than he ever had before.
He lays bare events in his personal life that have never been revealed before. For instance, he addresses becoming a father on the backdrop of his own father not being there. There is a desire to “break the chains in the cycle” of dysfunctional Black fatherhood. Carner declares his relentless commitment to his son and sees forgiving his father as a key part of this.
There’s a striking duality with ‘hugo’. There’s bold, multilayered tracks yet often starkly intimate and tender lyricism, and that dichotomy is deliberate - it is a message for young black men, but really, anyone, who is listening. Cognizant of the immense pain and fear and confusion that we are faced with everyday, Carner has thrown down the gauntlet, defying us not to rise above the fray, wake up each day and be ambitious. Ambitious in building strong personal relationships. Ambitious in our pursuit of our goals. Ambitious in never refusing to back down against injustice. Rejecting the title of leader, Loyle Carner sees himself “as holding up a mirror”, and that clearly translates into the album's universal messages.
Loyle Carner’s UK Tour dates:
23 Feb Newcastle City Hall
24 Feb Liverpool The Mountford Hall
25 Feb Manchester O2 Victoria Warehouse
27 Feb Glasgow O2 Academy
28 Feb Sheffield O2 Academy
2 Mar Norwich UEA
3 Mar Leicester O2 Academy
5 Mar Brighton Dome
6 Mar Nottingham Rock City
8 Mar Birmingham O2 Academy
9 Mar Bournemouth O2 Academy
11 Mar Cardiff Uni Great Hall
12 Mar Bristol O2 Academy
15 Mar London Eventim Apollo Hammersmith
16 Mar London OVO Wembley Arena
25 Mar Leeds Belgrave Music Hall
26 Mar Leeds Belgrave Music Hall