From Earl Sweatshirt to Erykah Badu: The icons who inspired Loathe’s Kadeem France

Which artists helped shape the artists you love? For Loathe vocalist Kadeem France, it’s a modern poet, a hip-hop king, and an “original hippy”…

From Earl Sweatshirt to Erykah Badu: The icons who inspired Loathe’s Kadeem France
Emily Carter
Feisal El Khazragi

They may be one of British metal’s best young bands, but Loathe are also so much more than that. From grime to pop, frontman Kadeem France is open to inspiration from everywhere…

1Earl Sweatshirt

“He’s one of my favourite artists of all time. He’s really cool, and very poetic. He’s one of those artists where I can’t describe a feeling but then I hear a song that he’s written and he’s described that feeling so perfectly. It’s always been a really big influence on the way that I write, and when I’m going through writer’s block I’ll listen to him to get myself out of it.”

2Tyler, The Creator

“He’s a very big inspiration, just in terms of me accepting myself. Growing up as a Black youth being into skateboarding, that wasn’t a very common thing, but he really impacted that. It made me go, ‘Oh, it’s actually not weird that I’m into all of this stuff.’ It was nice to see myself in it. He’s also very experimental; it’s so inspiring when you’ve been a fan of an artist for a long time and they continue to evolve.”

3Michael Jackson

“He’s the king of pop! He was so talented – from his music to his voice to his style. You look back at those album covers and the visuals, and he’s got that cool, rock star, early-’80s or ’70s vibe that’s just so sick. When I was younger my grandad would play him all the time, and he was what got me into performing. I was doing all his moves – the spin was my main move when I was at a school disco!”


“I think I was first introduced to grime when I was 11 or 12, and I was so drawn to the dark beats and the aggression of it. It was so cool to me! And Skepta in the Myspace days is really what got me wanting to MC – because that’s what I used to do when I was younger. Grime went a bit quiet after that, but it had a big [resurgence] in 2015/2016 with Stormzy and people like that, and it became mainstream again. And it was so inspiring to see Skepta at the forefront of that, knowing that I’d been a fan of him from such a young age. Similar to everyone else I’ve mentioned, he knows no limits with his creativity, and it makes you really believe that you can do that for yourself, too.”

5Erykah Badu

“She’s like the original hippy. I heard a lot of her music growing up because my mum used to play it. But then I went back to it when I was in my early 20s and almost rediscovered her. I realised how much more the lyrics resonated. I used to listen to the song Other Side Of The Game when I was younger but I didn’t think about the lyrics and had no idea what it was about – I was just singing along like, ‘This is a tune.’ But then I remember hearing it when I was older, and it’s about a drug dealer’s partner, and I was like, ‘Oh, that’s actually deep!’”

Check out more:

Now read these

The best of Kerrang! delivered straight to your inbox three times a week. What are you waiting for?