CHIT CHAT: R&B SINGER LLOYD TALKS HIGHLY ANTICIPATED EP, LONG HIATUS & COLLABORATION WITH 2 CHAINZ (EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW)

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Lloyd first caught our eye in 2004 with his debut, chart-topping single Southside, featuring Ashanti. His sensual vocals and originality quickly earned him a seat amongst R&B royalty. And over a decade later, despite a hiatus, the singer-songwriter continues to reign over the R&B game as he counts down to December 9th, the release of his brand new EP, “Tru.”

In the midst of working on new music and preparing to host this years Soul Train Awards, Lloyd caught up with Girl That’s My Song and dishes on upcoming project, passion and growth. The R&B veteran is as humble as he is talented, and surprisingly funny. The conversation was so effortless, I had to remind myself that we had never met prior to that moment.

Enjoy the full interview below.

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Girl That’s My Song: Hey! First of all how are you, how was your day?

Lloyd: Aw man, first of all my day is blessed. I woke up to see it and experience it, so I’m definitely thankful for another one. Each day, man, I’m just working on myself, trying to become a more improved Lloyd if you will.

GTMS: I feel you. Well I definitely appreciate you taking the time to chat with us. I’ve been following your career literally since your first solo album, Southside. Like, that was my joint. I always thought you brought something really innovative to R&B. You just paved your own lane; I always admired that.

Lloyd: Well aren’t you in a complimentary mood today (laughs)

GTMS: But it’s the truth. I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it, I swear!

Lloyd: I’ll take it!

GTMS: So would you like to hop right into things?

Lloyd: Oh yea, so no more small talk? That’s it; we’re done with the foreplay?

GTMS: No, of course not! I’m just saying, I’m pretty sure you’ve had a busy day.

Lloyd: (playfully mocks me) Would you like to hop right into things? (laughs) Absolutely!

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GTMS: You are funny! Ok, so I know you currently have a single out called “Tru,” and more recently the remix dropped, featuring 2 Chainz. First just let me say the chemistry between you and JUSTICE league on that record is amazing. It’s undeniable!

Lloyd: Thank you, which is crazy because that’s the first time we worked together

GTMS: Really? See, that’s instant chemistry right there. That’s how you know it’s authentic.

Lloyd: Yea, I’ve known them for a minute, but we’ve never actually recorded anything. I’ve always loved their sound; they always provide a little soul in their music. You know they did a lot with Ross, and you know what’s funny is when I did the track they were just surprised when I brought it to them like, ‘Oh y’all gotta hear this!’ and they were like, ‘Ok!’ They do so much music that I don’t really think they knew what track it was, and then when I brought it to them and played it for them they started going crazy like, ‘Oh my God, we almost forgot about this one!’

GTMS: That’s crazy!

Lloyd: They actually made the blueprint for the track many years ago.

GTMS: Oh wow, impressive.

Lloyd: Yea, it’s pretty cool.

GTMS: Yea it is. So can you tell me a little bit about the song and the video. What was the inspiration for both?

Lloyd: Just as raw as I can possibly be, man, without turning inside-out you know what I mean?

GTMS: I feel you.

Lloyd: I kinda almost wanted the viewers to have x-ray glasses on, you know to see through a ni**a…

GTMS: Wow.

Lloyd: For real…to be able to not really have too many tricks or too
many gimmicks. I won’t call them gimmicks, but you know, just too much theatre. I wanted it to be as close to reality as possible. And we shot it on real film. I filmed my niece on an 8mm camera, a good friend of mine directed the video, and we just filmed it at little locations around where I live. They all have elements of my personal life involved, which the song does too of course, and I just didn’t want too much going on. I didn’t want a big production. I just wanted it to be me and the song. I wanted the song to take over. I couldn’t really see what we were doing. We didn’t have a playback, we didn’t have a lighting guy, we didn’t have a soundman. We didn’t have no f**king catering trailer out there, you know what I’m saying?

GTMS: Exactly.

Lloyd: It was just us doing our thing, and it’s pretty cool how it came out cause I never did anything like that, you know, just so Gorilla style I’ll call it. The song is almost like a film. It’s just raw and honest. It’s not so digitized. It’s a lot of instrumentation. It’s built around a guitar, a bass and a lyric, which is exactly what I think I was yearning for. It was just me wanting to embrace who I was in the music. And like Lauryn Hill once said, ‘people want fantasy, but they need reality sometimes’ so…

GTMS: That’s deep. And I know this is your first single in almost 5 years, right?

Lloyd: Aw girl, I lose track of time…(laughs)

GTMS: Well do you feel like the hiatus that you took was necessary in order for you to come back as strong as you did? Cause you came hard on this record!

Lloyd: Well I think everything is necessary. I think everything happens, well mostly happens for a reason, I’ll say that. And whatever happens is necessary, you know? It always has a purpose. And I’m just really, really grateful that I had the opportunity to take my time and figure it out for myself. You know, to have a patient group of people who was willing to not write me off, if you will, or allow their ADD to take over and move on. The fact that it took me a few years to become the better version of myself that I am today is a testament that time is valuable, and also that when something is important and it’s coming from the deepest part of your soul, there is no blueprint for it. I think everyday was worth it.

GTMS: Well there you have it. What was the songwriting process like for this record? It’s some pretty heavy lyrics. I can tell they were from a true experience.

Lloyd: Well, I mean it was just like writing in a diary. You know, just trying to document the story of why? And how? And Where? When? And what it ultimately meant to go through it. It was just almost like trying to write my own autobiography in four minutes from the past for years and beyond. Once that first lyric came out it just started bleeding out from there. I didn’t want to make it pretty; I wanted it to be this beautiful chaos. I wanted it to be the most perfect imperfection that I could ever, ever capture, and in order to do that I had to really put my pride aside and face myself.

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GTMS: Nothing wrong with that. How did the remix with 2 Chainz come about? I am so curious because I really love that, actually.

Lloyd: Man, you know sometimes I don’t know who’s up there. I don’t know who or what’s up there. Some type of spirit is up there watching over me, man because I really don’t know how to explain that. It’s nothing I could have asked for. I didn’t have my manager reach out to his manager. He didn’t make me jump through a hula-hoop. I didn’t even ask him for it, he just did it on his own. My friend Greg Street hit me and was like, ‘Yo, 2 Chainz wants to get on the record.’ I just thought it would be real dope, one: because of the true moniker that he also has branded, but also because he really had to grind for his position in this game, and he showed that in his verse. I think it was one of his deepest verses that he’s ever created, and I’m really, really thankful that he did something that money can’t buy. Money can buy a lot of sh*t, but money can’t buy you love, and for him to do that, that was all love.

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GTMS: So what would you say you enjoy most about releasing new music? How does is make you feel? Is it like the first time every time?

Lloyd: I think it’s the fact that I’m enjoying the journey. I’ve enjoyed the journey just as much as the destination. Sometimes getting there is a lot more fun than being there, you know what I mean?

GTMS: I agree. I know you’ve had a long career in music. How do you feel you’ve developed as a vocalist and writer between your debut project and what you’re doing now?

Lloyd: I actually wish I sounded like this when I first came out because I feel stronger when I record, I feel more in control. I’ve trimmed down a lot of my vices, if you will, so I think it only made my vocals stronger. I am a work in progress everyday, so just like everything: the more you do it the better you get at it, and thankfully I’ve had a few years to try to get it right. I’m much more able to verbalize a lot of things that I feel in a way that is more mature and experienced. I’m more conscious about how my music might affect other people now.

GTMS: You’ll be releasing an EP through Empire, I know, very soon, and later an album. First of all, congrats on all of that, everything that you’re doing is major! What can we expect from the EP?

Lloyd: The unexpected.

GTMS: So it’s a surprise….

Lloyd: Yea, I know I’m so mysterious (laughs). No, ummm I can’t really tell you what’s in the secret sauce.

GTMS: Ok, I feel you. I will be looking forward to just hearing it then, how about that?

Lloyd: Please do. The EP is titled “True,” it’ll be out December 9th. And I’m also opening up the Soul Train Awards Ceremonies on November 27th. I’m doing like a red carpet special.

GTMS: Congrats!

Lloyd: Thank you very much. I’m excited. It’s just going to be five songs, so it’s a bit of a passion project for me. I say it’s almost like when you stick your toe in the pool before you jump in.

GTMS: Right! To test the waters. I like how you call it a passion project cause I feel like it’s going to be some bomb music just off of that alone.

Lloyd: Yea, and with that being said, there was no pressure. There was really no deadline. I had nothing but time, space and creative control. I was able to really, really get five really strong records that I really love, so yea. And I didn’t record eight-hundred songs before I picked the five. It really just kind of came out back-to-back-to-back.

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GTMS: Nice! Through the upcoming EP, and projects for years to come, what kind of message would you like to spread with your music?

Lloyd: Oh man, that’s a good question. The thing that I would like to spread, ultimately, is that no matter who or what you are. No matter where you’re from. No matter how you love, who you love. How you worship, who you praise… you are special and everything that you go through is for a reason.

GTMS: Beautifully said. Well it was so good talking to you. You’re so easy going. Thank you, and like I said, congrats on everything. You deserve every good thing coming your way.

Lloyd: Thank you very much. Thank you for allowing me to be apart of your thing. I think it’s beautiful, and I know you’ve worked hard to attain it. Thank you for allowing me to be apart of it, it’s really cool of you.

Interview by Charli Seals