The Evolution of Lloyd

For every entertainer, scratch that…for every human being, there comes a time where you have to evaluate what you are contributing to the world. Some will decide their mark thus far is satisfactory, while others may feel it is time to change gears.

Either way, growth or stagnation is bound to occur.

For singer-songwriter Lloyd Polite, Jr. (famously known to the world as just Lloyd), observing and developing a sense of compassion for other people led him down the path of self-discovery. And after a five-year hiatus from music, the New Orleans-bred entertainer recently released his first single.

In this exclusive interview with JET, Lloyd details the reason for his break, and what fans can expect from his upcoming EP.

No ordinary childhood

“To grow up in the music industry was unorthodox. I met people who were able to balance being incredibly talented with also being incredible people outside of music. Growing up in music, I’ve always had a kind of a family structure. You know my first manager was like a mom to me. Irv Gotti was like the big brother I never had. Dallas Austin immediately took me under his wing almost like a big brother that I didn’t have, and I think that I’ve been really fortunate to have an early head start, because it allowed me to just focus on music for so long without having any real stress in my life.”

On singing a different tune

“I think life is responsible for the evolution; I think love is responsible for the evolution, I think the yearning to be a better person is responsible for the evolution. I think having compassion towards individuals outside of myself was a reason for the evolution. My niece, was one reason for the evolution. And everyone who came before me that helped me get to this point because it forced me to go backwards in order to move forward. I also think the lack of pride is the reason for the evolution because I really enjoy being vulnerable sometimes. I enjoy being able to humanize aspects of my life. I gotta be cool, I gotta be so real. I gotta be so hard all the time. I gotta have this wall up to protect me from what people might think of me or say or feel and I just thought that at least once, I’d just kinda like tell it how it is.”

For the love of the music

“The best part of making music for me is that I’ve never gotten tired of singing records. I’ve never kind of fell out of love with having to perform a song over and over and over again, because every time you perform it, you’re performing for someone new and that is an experience for them that is just beginning. So if you can kind of live through them, then it makes it feel brand new and I live vicariously through people all the time.”

On staying “Tru” to himself 

What’s funny is that when I first recorded “Tru,” it was really hard for me to be around people if they heard it or if they were talking about it because it was so personal to me that I really could not take them not understanding it or not feeling like it was good. The first few times I heard it on the radio I just turned it off because it just kinda made me relive a lot of those things I expressed in the song that were therapeutic at the time, but was also a little haunting. When I performed it for the first time, my family came out to watch me and I started crying in the middle of the song. Thankfully, I was able to keep going, but that was the first time that I was ever just overwhelmed by the music that I was singing!”

Life off of the stage

“I’m just real chill. I’m real comfortable in my own skin, so I’m never really looking for something that’s outside of myself. I like to spend a lot of time with my family. Right now I’m heading to New Orleans, which is where I was born, so I’m going back to see my family while I have this weekend to myself. I enjoy speaking and hanging out and connecting with real people. My neighbors, the people in my neighborhood…really kinda like just being a human being sometimes, not the performer. When I’m not performing, I’d say half the time I’m thinking of performing (laughs). The other time I’m thinking about how can I help the [people] that I care about the most.”

Surviving Hollywood

“First of all, you don’t look at yourself as perfect. For me, I don’t wanna look at myself as perfect. I think that if I can keep it real with myself, see my own reflection and focus on how I can be better first, then I can work my way outward. Nobody’s perfect, but the closest thing to being perfect is admitting and accepting that you will never be perfect. In this game, if your heart is in the right place and if you really, really care about yourself and the people who you’re working with, then there’s always a place regardless of what you’ve been through. I have witnessed a lot of tragedy, but my philosophy is there is no loss. I like to just look at the person who puts their heart into something. If you can work hard and put yourself on the line for it, then there is no loss because there’s only a chance to build some character and content. As long as there’s optimism then there is no tragedy.”

Lloyd’s five-track EP is slated for release soon. Keep up with the R&B singer on Instagram @curlyheadedblackboy.