|Next Project:||Lessons in Love (July 15)|
|Twitter:||Lloyd on Twitter|
Over the last few years, male R&B artists such as Chris Brown, Ne-Yo and John Legend have all made headlines with well-reviewed and profitable albums and tours. Gearing up to add his name to that near-exclusive list is the well-liked and multi-talented, Lloyd.
After hitting the mainstream with two chart-topping singles (“You” and “Get It Shawty”) from last year’s “Street Love,” the Atlantic raised singer will release his third studio album this July, entitled “Lessons In Love.” Following the release of the LP’s teaser single, “How We Do It,” Lloyd has officially gone to radio with “Girls Around The World,” his second collaborative effort to date with rapper Lil’ Wayne.
In an exclusive interview with DJBooth‘s DJ “Z,” Lloyd steps inside the booth to talk about his reasoning for not titling the new album, “Sex Education,” why working with acclaimed video director Hype Williams was a unique experience, and what has been his hardest learned lesson in love.
Listen to the Interview
Lloyd Interview Transcription
DJ Booth: What’s goin’ on everybody? It’s your boy “Z,” doin’ it real big, and joining me inside the DJ Booth is a talented singer who will be giving everybody a Lesson in Love later this summer. Please welcome, for the second time, Lloyd – how you doin’?
Lloyd: Hey, man, it’s been too long!
DJ Booth: I know! Way too long – about a year too long!
Lloyd: Yeah, about a year, give or take a few months.
DJ Booth: How you been?
Lloyd: Just playin’ Grand Theft Auto, listening to my song Get It Shawty while I steal cars and act crazy.
DJ Booth: Only in the game, right?
Lloyd: Only in the game, of course.
DJ Booth: Lloyd, our last interview you said at twenty-one you felt more confident in your sound and in your ability to deliver great records. You’re now a year older and a year wiser – what has changed?
Lloyd: I’ve changed a great deal. I’ve found this drive inside of me to wanna do more than people expect. Last time, I did a bit of songwriting; this time, I even did a bit of production. Just becoming more of an ultimate entertainer and performer, and an artist. I’ve also had a drive to want to encourage young people just like myself to stand up and let their voices be heard, so I created my own company, DOPE Music - that’s, “Demonstrations of Personal Excellence.” Other than that, man, I’m still the same old Lloyd. I’ve only changed for the better, I’d like to think.
DJ Booth: After the chart-topping success that you saw with the first two singles off your last album, You and Get It Shawty, was there any disappointment that that third single, Player’s Prayer, was not pushed harder?
Lloyd: There was a great deal of disappointment, but there was also a great deal of motivation for the next time around, to show people that although [my] last album was a great album, we could have, or should have had the third single. I’m back with an even better sound, stronger, gonna be bigger this time around.
DJ Booth: The album is set to drop on July 15th. It’s entitled Lessons in Love, but I read on your MySpace, before you decided on that, you were considering the title Sex Education.
Lloyd: Yeah, Sex Ed was a class that we’ve all taken in school. I thought that was interesting, because sex education pretty much taught me about how my body works, why certain things happen when I’m around girls, and what sex was, and I think that there’s a [lack of] clarity between sex and love – a lot of people think it’s the same thing when it’s not. I just wanted to bring some clarity to the term.
DJ Booth: If you had to put on the professor cap and teach a sex education course to a class of anxious high school kids, what is the first piece of advice that Professor Lloyd would lend them?
Lloyd: I’d have to say, “Wrap it up!” [laughter]
DJ Booth: [laughter]
Lloyd: I would also say, “Take your time and make sure the person who you do intend to have sex with is someone you deeply love and care about, and make sure you get to know them as much as you can, and make sure by having sex you don’t compromise your character.”
DJ Booth: It seems like there was a lot of thought that went into the possible Sex Education title; what was the ultimate factor in your decision to definitely go with Lessons in Love?
Lloyd: I think it has a more universal appeal, and it’s much more, not only Wal-Mart-friendly, but also more consumer-friendly, in the sense of, I’m twenty-two years old – most of the people who I perform for at my concerts, most of the people who support my music, are my age – college kids, high school kids, who are anxious to hear about things that young adults go through every day. Even though these guys support my music a great deal, I also have a heavy influence on a younger crowd. There are kids at my shows that range from ages eight to thirty. So I wanted to make something that wouldn’t scare off those younger kids just yet.
DJ Booth: Okay, so a little less risqué, a little bit more of a solid choice – I like it.
Lloyd: Yeah, man, because if your twelve-year-old daughter came to you and said, “Dad, dad, I wanna buy Lloyd’s Sex Education album,” you’re gonna say, “Hell no!” [laughter]
DJ Booth: Actually, I would tell my daughter she could pick it up, but she couldn’t listen to it until she was sixteen.
DJ Booth: And by then you might be on your fourth or fifth album, so that would be counter productive.
Lloyd: Yeah, definitely.
DJ Booth: Let’s talk about Lessons in Love. What has been Lloyd’s hardest lesson learned in love?
Lloyd: Patience is probably the hardest thing I’ve had to learn in tryin’ to love a girl. And of course my lifestyle is very fast-paced; I’m always goin’, goin’, goin’ somewhere, and I’m always on stage, and when I perform I perform at a high intensity. Sometimes I carry that energy off of the stage, into my private life. Sometimes I encounter girls who want me to take my time. When you’re such a fast-paced, in the fast lane kinda guy, sometimes you don’t really take the time that’s necessary; you’re like, “I want it now! If you can’t give it to me now, well then…” And from that, then you end up losin’ a lot of great people. Last year, I made a song that was about a girl that I really care for, but I didn’t realize what I had until it was too late, and that song was called Player’s Prayer, and that’s actually that third single that you were referring to earlier. It kinda plays off of that, off of last year’s Street Love.
DJ Booth: Lloyd, considering your career really won’t let you slow down at any point in the near future, how do you see yourself working around this problematic issue in terms of relationships, so that before you’re thirty, you won’t have to worry about not finding that love?
Lloyd: Well, I think it comes with the age, with wisdom, with maturity. I think that’s something that I’ll find as I get older.
DJ Booth: Well, the best of luck in your pursuit of that lady.
Lloyd: [laughter] Thanks, man!
DJ Booth: My pleasure. The official single off the album, Girls Around the World, features your You collaborator, Lil’ Wayne. I need to know, out of all of your worldly and domestic travels, what is your number-one hot spot for beautiful women?
Lloyd: Me and Lil’ Wayne were in Miami just last week, shootin’ a video for Girls Around the World, it’s directed by Hype Williams, and I’m telling you, man: Hype had some girls there that I have never seen before – they were all very beautiful. I was blown away yet again. I guess every time I go to Miami, it’s pretty first-time for me, so I have to go with Miami as my hot spot.
DJ Booth: You said Hype Williams is the director of this video. Hype, of course, has been a predominant force in video direction for over two decades. What was it like to work with him on the video?
Lloyd: Well, Hype, of course, is legendary. He is a very innovative type of genius who has a very unorthodox way of working and directing videos. I’ve never been on a set like Hype’s. His crew was scaled down to a handful – it wasn’t like a big conglomerate of people – and that was really cool because it focused more in on the goal at hand. There were no distractions. There wasn’t a bunch of people on set, hangin’ out; it was just very professional. I will tell you, man: this will be by far my best video, to date. I’m goin’ back to that hot spot thing – I guess everybody feels like Miami’s the hot spot, but I take that back; I have to go with the ATL, man, Atlanta, my hometown.
DJ Booth: You didn’t want anybody from Atlanta to hear the interview and then get upset with you – is that what it was?
Lloyd: [laughter] Exactly!
DJ Booth: Important question – speaking of the A, when I first heard your appetizer single, How We Do It (Around My Way), it was really How We Do It In The A, so what happened behind the scenes that made “The A” become “Around My Way?”
Lloyd: Well, again, it’s more universally appealing. “In The A,” is very sectional;, and it’s very very territorial; it’s all about representin’ where you from, and this is where I’m from. I wanted to represent that in a way that’s very vocal. The best way to say that is to incorporate the city in the title, to let people know that this is about the ATL, but also, you guys do it in a way that no one else can do it – why not make a version for different cities on top of the A? I have a version called In The A, I also have a version for LA, a version for the Bay, or a version for MIA and VA. And most recently I did a remix that’s very cool for the UK, which incorporates a young rapper by the name of Sway, who’s also signed to Universal Music, he’s incredible, and that’s gonna be something that’s only for the United Kingdom.
DJ Booth: I gotta say, I’m a little disappointed; I’m from Chicago, and it seems like we’re not gonna get the remix, ‘cause we don’t have an ‘a’ in the short part of our city name.
Lloyd: [laughter] You know, I faced that same problem with New York, man. They’re like, “What about us?” I’m like, “Well, how can we flip it?” You gotta help me out, man!
DJ Booth: I’ll think about it, and I’ll have to get back to you on it.
Lloyd: Get back to me, please.
DJ Booth: Definitely. Well, we already know that Ludacris and Lil’ Wayne are going to be joining you on the album. Any other notable guest appearances and/or production collaborations that you recently wrapped up in the studio, that you’re real excited about?
Lloyd: Yeah. Me and Nelly got down. I also worked with a collaboration of producers. First time I ever worked with Polow da Don, and I must say, we were up very very late in the morning, but time was of no value to us, ‘cause we were just havin’ a good time. Polow, he’s incredible. I also hooked back up with Jasper and Big Reece, who, together we formed a crew, we called “Street Love.” And my friend J. Lack, who produced Get It Shawty. Also, this young guy, Eric Hudson, who produced on the last record, and most recently produced Kanye West’s Flashing Lights; he created one of the more soulful songs on the album, called Treat You Good. This album is much more soulful than last year. Last year, I wanted to party, I wanted to have fun – that’s what Get It Shawty was all about. This time around, I’m still having fun when I want to, but for the majority of the time, I want to show people that I have the skills to pay the bills; you know, I can really sing, and write great songs.
DJ Booth: Let’s dive a little bit more into that. With the success of Street Love, what are reasonable expectations for the new album?
Lloyd: Well, success alone brings expectations. I think that people expect a certain thing from Lloyd – that’s music that makes them feel good about their day, even when they’re havin’ a bad one.
DJ Booth: Last year, I was very inquisitive, and I asked you to estimate how many tattoos you had at that time. It’s been a year, I have to assume you’ve gone back to get some more ink – what’s the new number?
Lloyd: Last year it was at, I believe, twenty-one. I’m at about twenty-five, give or take a couple. [laughter]
DJ Booth: Lloyd, give everyone a website or a MySpace page so they can find out more about the upcoming project dropping this summer.
Lloyd: Well, I guess everybody’s on MySpace now, so if you happen to be on there, just come by my page; it’s myspace.com/lloyd – check me out.
DJ Booth: I thank you so much for takin’ the time to join me inside the DJ Booth, and I wish you again, for the second year in a row, nothin’ but the best of luck on the upcoming project.
Lloyd: Thanks, man; it’s always a pleasure to be back on the show.