Softly spoken, yet largely confident singer/songwriter Lloyd joined me on a sunny Tuesday afternoon in a swanky West London hotel. Here to promote his new single Girl’s Around The World featuring Ludacris and his latest album release Lessons Of Love, the 22 year-old New Orleans native possesses a very boy-next-door charm which is captivating to say the least. Casually dressed in a navy T-shirt and a pair of jeans topped off with a red bucket hat, Lloyd was just as I imagined he would be. We sit down and have a lengthy conversation in which we touch on everything, from his childhood dreams of wanting to become an astronaut to why the UK ladies are more stylish than those in the US.
You’re song’s called Girl’s Around The World so what do you think of the UK ladies?
I have to big up the UK ladies for their style and their originality. The confidence they have in their style is incredible and is something you cannot buy in the store. Plus I really love the way they speak.
When you were younger, what was your dream job?
I wanted to be an astronaut. I wanted to do everything. I wanted to know how to be a doctor, lawyer, a superstar, but I think the biggest thing I wanted to do was to be a father because I didn’t have one when I was growing up so I aspired to be the father that I didn’t have.
If you weren’t a singer, what would you be doing?
I don’t even want to think about it, that’s what is so scary. In my neighbourhood, the possibility of falling victim to crime, violence or to circumstance is far greater than the possibility of succeeding, of changing zip codes, changing the way you live and think. I have come too far in music that I would not think about turning back because it has been the greatest blessing that God has given to me.
You have previously worked with Natasha Beddingfield, what was that like?
She was amazing to work with. She has got so much soul, which always blows me away because they always say white people have no rhythm and then you meet someone like Natasha who is really guided by her music. I think it is great because she is opening up a lot of doors, not just for people from this country to make it big in the States, but also for all the ladies who want to make music.
Are there any other UK artists that you would currently like to collaborate with?
I have already collaborated with Sway on a tune called How We Do It in the UK. I would love to work with Lilly Allen because she is off the wall and her music is dope. Dizzee Rascal is also someone I would love to work with. He is raw and represents what he is about and where he is from and that is what hip hop music is about. And Estelle too, I just love her.
Have you heard much of UK Grime music? What are your thought on it?
(Excitedly) I am taking UK Grime back to the States and I am going to mix it with what I do. The next time you hear Lloyd, it is going to be on top of Grime. I promise you. Watch this space.
Finally, what are your three top tips for any aspiring artist?
Don’t be shy. You have to let your light shine. Let people know about you. Always do it for the right reasons! ‘Can’t’ and ‘impossible’ are not words!! Anything is possible if you put your heart into it and I think I am a testament of that.
Words by Lynnike Redway, Photography by Jordan Roach
Lessons of Love is available now on Universal