Interview: Myles Lloyd

Words by Gerry Otim

This moment has been a long time coming for 22-year-old singer and songwriter Myles Lloyd. Myles, who hails from Montreal, has watched his musical idols and peers from neighbouring Canadian cities fashioning careers in the world of music. Namely, Toronto, the city to which Canada’s recent sonic existence has been associated to through the success achieved by the likes of Drake and The Weekend. Having been named by Complex as one of the 30 artists from Canada to watch out for in 2022, Myles is ready to deliver on the weighted expectations placed upon his talented shoulders.

Despite having a keen interest in sports such as soccer, hockey and baseball, music was always at the crux of what stimulated Myles from a very young age. A constant theme during the early years Myles’ life has been a friendly battle between his main interests. “I was always into sports when I was a kid. That’s what delayed my process in doing music. For them, it’s like ‘you started this, you gotta finish it. You gotta go crazy’.

Innocuously, Myles’ parents had a major influence on his love for music, despite wanting him to hone his focus on sports. Like most of us, Myles grew in a vibrant, music filled household, rocking to classic songs and musicians from the 80s and 90s that you couldn’t escape from even if you tried.

“The way I got into music was because my parents were blasting Prince or Michael Jackson around the house. I would always just be watching tapes, tapes of Michael Jackson dancing. Changing my clothes to dress how he was dressing in the video. Pausing the video, run upstairs. Change my clothes, go back. Resume. There was a lot of dancing.”

The impact of Michael Jackson is evident, through his sophomore LP ‘Forever Yours’. The LP title is Myles paying homage to his idol Michael Jackson’s 1975 album, ‘Forever, Michael’. Vulnerability and honesty are two key themes of the project. Myles openly details the difficulties that arise in a relationship with someone that you are aware isn’t good for you, yet you can’t keep away.
“You listen to my music, and you might have gone through situations. I’m letting people know, ‘you’re not alone. This is real life. Shit happens’. Just very honest. Put it all out there. Live life, feel stuff and put it out. Let to go.”

The presence of both Myles’ parents has proven to be vitally important. The values of hard work, determination and focus were hammered home from an early age and have stayed with Myles throughout his life. With his mother hailing from Jamaica and his dad being Haitian, Myles is highly appreciative of the guidance and support that his parents have afforded him. He reflects: “You learn a lot about respect. Especially the Haitian community. They’re very focused on school, school, school. My dad was very much like, ‘you gotta focus. Focus up in everything you do. Be the best at everything’. I think that’s what his dad was like.”

The mere thought of disappointing your parents is the fear of almost every child, and Myles was aware of the risk he was taking when he informed his parents of his decision to give up baseball, in the pursuit of a music career. “I was good at baseball, so me saying I don’t wanna do it… that to them was like ‘woah’. To them, this is crazy. You don’t wanna play baseball? They said if you wanna quit, you better be the best. Don’t play around.”

‘Monster’ is one of four 2021 releases from Myles and features on the ‘Forever Yours’ LP. It’s a song which epitomises the cold, winter seasons in Canada. Myles misty vocals are backed up by a cold and dreamy sonic. The single explores the way we as people can bring out both the best and the worst in someone we love. It is a great illustration of which ingredients are required for an R&B record, no matter the era. A song which focuses on honesty and being true to yourself.

“You listen to my music, and you might have gone through situations. I’m letting people know, ‘you’re not alone. This is real life. Shit happens’. Just very honest. Put it all out there. Live life, feel stuff and put it out. Let to go.”

Canada is a place in the world which is renowned for its cold winter seasons. So, it comes as no surprise that the weather Canadians experience has a huge impact on the type of music some of the musicians make. Whilst many people tend not to favour the harsher winter period’s, Myles is someone that views the time as an opportunity to reflect and lock into his craft.

“Everyone’s inside during the winter. But that’s kinda a good thing if you’re a creative. Go out in the summer and live your life, and then everything you’ve done in the summer you bring back in the winter and lock in. Lock in and get to work. That’s why when I went to LA a lot of the time, I wanted to just stay in. I would make music in this closet. No windows. I couldn’t see the sun. I didn’t want to get influenced by looking at the sun, the cars, the birds, the trees. I wanted to be locked in and picture Montreal again. I was making cold type music whilst in LA.”

The pandemic which first struck the world during the early months of 2020 had a devastating impact on the music industry as recording studios were closed for months on end. Artists, producers, and engineers had no choice but to find innovative ways to do what they do best. Create. For Myles, the enforced lockdown measures in place in Canada enabled him to ‘lock in’. He saw this as a window of opportunity to add further bows to his string.

“It gets to the point where it seems like the studios aren’t opening” he reflects. “I was just on YouTube, learning. Get uncomfortable and go. Record yourself and learn. I would look at the system and be like, ‘I’m never doing this shit’. Before I was looking at engineers like they’re crazy, and now it’s easy to me. I just had to get out of a comfort zone.”

‘Forever Yours’ is a testimony to the creativity and single-minded attitude he approached this body of work with. With COVID-19 measures continuing to ease and live performances returning, Myles is excited at the prospect of sharing his music with the world in a live environment. “When I get to do my shows, people will be like ‘yeah, he’s an artist’. You’re not really an artist until you perform” he states. If the LP is anything to go by, Myles is most certainly an artist. An artist that is still navigating his way in the world of music despite a rich list of accomplishments and accolades that he has managed to attain thus far. His admirable mindset, accompanied by a God given talent, means there are certainly many more accomplishments and accolades to follow.

You can check out Myles EP ‘Forever Yours’ here

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