For R&B singer Lloyd, the road to stardom has taken twists and turns, with high-speed chases and precise maneuvering. Today, the 21-year old singer / songwriter and businessman is in the driver’s seat. He commands the open road and is headed straight for stardom.
Lloyd is only two years my senior and maybe that helped because we hit it off straight away and I was surprised at how humble and funny he was. I sat down with Lloyd aka Young Lloyd ‘Decatur where it’s greater’ for a friendly and candid conversation.
I’ve had your album since it came out in the US. Your manager [Ryan] and I were discussing what the next single should be. I think it should be Player’s Prayer.
Lloyd: Wow, a lot of people love that song. I think maybe I should make it the next single. We were playing between the idea of Street Love or Player’s Prayer. I really liked Player’s Prayer when I first did it but the beat for Street Love is so innovative. I don’t want to play it safe anymore! I like the meaning behind it. It’s like I’m from the streets and she’s from the suburbs but maybe I have a shot with her. Her parents don’t like me because we’re from two different worlds, I might be a little rough…
You’re not rough are you?
Lloyd: Well not me because I’m smooth, but what I’m saying is that we love each other and that’s all that matters. That is Street Love.
But Player’s Prayer is like the Ten Commandments of relationships.
Lloyd: I like that! [Crazy laugher] That’s totally original.
If every guy followed it, life would be much easier.
Lloyd: The world would be a much better place but guys are supposed to mess up sometimes. That’s what makes us guys!
Anyway, back to some real questions. It’s been a while since you released your Southside album. What have you been doing since?
Lloyd: I’ve been collaborating a lot. People are like ‘How you been, where you been’ but I haven’t been anywhere. I’ve worked with T.I., Young Jeezy, Rick Ross, 8Ball & MJG and Lil’ Scrappy to keep me out there. I call it the ‘milk carton effect.’ You go to the grocer to buy milk and if the milk spoils they replace it with some new milk. You have to keep the milk fresh in order for it to stay on the shelves. I’ve basically been trying to keep my milk fresh.
Do you feel like you’re getting the attention you deserve with this album?
Lloyd: I think the first album opened up a lot of ears for me and now it’s time for me to open their eyes for them to see what I have to offer. It’s all about building confidence and growing and getting better with time. I think this album is definitely a step up from the last one. Plus I’m in the UK finally! This is my trip.
Welcome to the UK! Tell me about Get It Shorty, I mean Shawwwwty, your next single.
Lloyd: You’re the first person out here that I’ve heard say it right! Get It Shawty is the summer time smash. This is the song to make everyone dance and have a good time. The message is to forget about the troubles of the day and what happened earlier, and just get on the dancefloor and get it shawty!
You haven’t collaborated with any female artists lately. Why’s that?
Lloyd: When I first came out I worked with Ashanti and was on her album. I started off collaborating with a female so this time I wanted to show people what I was more capable of.
Is there a female artist you’d like to work with?
Lloyd: Yeah, I like Amy [Winehouse]. I’m checking for Amy one day. I wanna work with her. I like Amy, Ciara, Rihanna and Cherish. Rihanna’s nice! Cherish are working on a new project at the moment. I look forward to working with one of the UK’s very own.
Amy Winehouse is the way to go then. Not sure about Lily Allen though.
Lloyd: Maybe Lady Sovereign?
Nah, don’t go that way. Amy Winehouse definitely check her out. If you did a collaboration with her I would wait outside the shops to get my copy. I heard you might work on Christina Milian’s new project as well.
Lloyd: A lot of people have been saying that but I don’t even know if that’s true. I haven’t really met Christina like that.
When a rumour is placed on Wikipedia, everyone around the world believes it.
Lloyd: I believe she’s doing her new album but maybe this is the spark to get it going!
What’s your favourite song on the album?
Lloyd: Get It Shawty. Definitely. It’s more up tempo than anything I’ve ever released. It’s all about having fun.
A lot of your songs are quite lovey dovey. Have you ever thought of moving away from that theme?
Lloyd: I think that’s what I do best and I still wanna get some more lovey dovey out of my system. Eventually I think I will wander.
I read one of your biographies a few days ago and it mentions some tracks not on the album including Like About You, Project Window Fan and Other Side. Where are they?
Lloyd: Yeah, I did record those songs but when I first did that biography I was in the beginning stages of recording this album. Those songs didn’t make the cut. They are great songs and I’m holding onto them because I’m planning on doing a second release later on this year. Whenever I record we do about 3 songs a day for 2 months. At that rate I can’t keep everything so I lock them up in a vault and pull them out for a sunny day.
You’re still quite young. What have the disadvantages of your age been?
Lloyd: People not really taking you as seriously as you’d like or respecting your opinion when you have great ideas. I guess those are the main things. Before, there were limits of what I could sing about but now I’m 21 and I can talk about so much and do whatever I feel.
Do you ever have members of your family travel with you?
Lloyd: I keep my cousin [Ryan] with me who is also my manager. We always go places together.
You have such a soft voice. Do you ever shout?
Lloyd: No, never. Okay, yeah! Last time I yelled was probably when I was watching a basketball game, the NBA playoffs. I was yelling at LeBron ‘Dunk it man!’
What is it like in your hometown when you’re doing normal things like shopping?
Lloyd: It all depends on where I am. If I’m on my side they’re cool and laidback like ‘Hey Lloyd, how you doing’ or if I go to the other side it’s like ‘Oh my god, Lloyd!’ It’s cool though.
I heard about Ashanti and The INC working on new projects. Would you want to be involved with that?
Lloyd: This time around I wanted to focus on my Southern roots because before we worked on each other’s albums. I wanted to switch it up a little bit and that’s why I decided to keep the features to a minimum on this album.
Got a question about your hair. Do you like it in braids or out?
Lloyd: If I’m laying around the crib I let it hang loose but when I wanna go out and get stylish I do the fresh braids with the mohawk. I sweat a lot during concerts and having braids help.
Can I have a look at the back?
Lloyd: See, that feels good when you do that. A good friend of mine, Mahogany, does my braids. She’s great.
When are we going to get to see you live?
Lloyd: I’m doing a live in-store appearance at the Apple store in Central London at the end of June so hopefully you can check me there.