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Music Interview

Lloyd interview: 'Success has been a long time coming'

By
Lloyd aka Lloyd Polite Jr.

© PA Images / John Amis/AP

Here at Digital Spy, we love a success story. As you can imagine then, we were delighted for US R&B singer Lloyd who, after eight years, three albums and ten singles, finally cracked the UK with his scathing soul number 'Dedication To My Ex' earlier this year.

The questions is, where does he go from here? We met up with him to talk about his new sound and find out how he's handling his surprise success.

Congratulations on the success of 'Dedication'; you must be pleased?
"It feels like a very long time coming, but it was more like a pleasant surprise. I love the UK and especially London - I'm here so often for pleasure that I should just move here!"

You've been releasing music for almost a decade; why do you think your break in the UK happened now?
"It seemed like a combination of right place, right time, right sound, the right girl! Any of these things can inspire a certain emotion in people. When I first heard the song I thought it was a smash. It took a while to get out there, but sometimes you gotta wait for the good stuff."

It sounds like it samples Duffy's 'Mercy'...
"There's no Duffy in there, that's the first time I've heard about that! She has a great voice, but she's not in there - it's just a similar sound and style."

Are you a fan of hers?
"Definitely - Duffy, Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse, Jessie J... the whole UK scene is so hot."

It's a different sound from your previous work - are you going to continue down the soul route now?
"The sound that I'm always going to favour is soul - anything that has a soulful meaning. If it makes me pull a funny face while singing, I'm usually going to love it. Maybe God gave me this voice to actually use it, rather than confine it to simplicity. I think this song is complex, very musical, more live than anything else I've done and way more soulful."

So we'll get to see more funny face-pulling?
"Absolutely - there you go! Louder, funny and f**ked up faces."

Lloyd aka Lloyd Polite Jr.

© PA Images / John Amis/AP



When you started out in 2004, R&B music was in a very different place. What's happened to that sound today?
"The early '90s with R Kelly and co. was a great era, but so was the Sam Cook and James Brown era, as was the Michael Jackson and Bobby Brown one. Everything is an opinion - there's no right way to make music, it's all expression of one's self. I think the social spectrum has changed over the course of 10, 15 and 20 years. It's more integrated than ever - there are a lot of hybrid styles going on. Sometimes the new isn't the best, but we should embrace it."

A lot of R&B acts have turned to dance music recently...
"Everything is very dancey, very LMFAO - it's like the whole world wants to lose weight! Personally, I don't want to dance all day because that's not my way - my life doesn't revolve around the club. That said, I've worked with the likes of Pitbull in the past, and I loved it."

What's Pitbull like?
"He's a happy guy - very happy. He represents a whole generation of people and I think that alone makes him happy. I personally know his story a little more than most artists, and I know he struggled to get a break when he was younger. I enjoy seeing people prove anyone wrong."

'Dedication' is your third single from your latest album King of Hearts; are you hoping to release more from the record?
"I'm getting ready to film some more videos, which is my favourite thing to do. I've recorded a track with a young rapper called Wale for a track called 'Sabotage', and I've just released a song strictly for Europe called 'Do It Again' which features Chipmunk. I'm having trouble figuring out the next move off the album. Maybe 'Angel', maybe 'Neck It' or the Chris Brown one 'Love Me Girl'."

You've worked with a lot of artists including Lil Wayne, Ashanti and Ludacris; are there any more UK artists you'd like to work with?
"I'd like to work with Lily Allen. I love her style and voice - she's so unique."

Do you think you can haul her out of retirement?
"Well she did '5 O'Clock' with T-Pain. I think anything she touches turns to gold. She has a very unique voice - she needs to come back!"

Lloyd releases 'Do it Again' with Chipmunk later this year. His album, King of Hearts, is out now.

Watch the 'Dedication To My Ex' music video below:

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