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Interview with Dennis Lloyd

This week, I had the pleasure of speaking with singer, songwriter, and producer Dennis Lloyd. The Tel-Aviv raised artist made waves with his breakthrough hit ‘Nevermind’, a song which has quite the backstory to it. In this interview, he opens up about the meaning behind the song, why he locks himself away during his creative process, the impact of streaming on his career, his recent London show, his new EP, and much more.

What was the key thing that pushed you in the direction of music?

“I grew up listening to a lot of music, Eric Clapton, Bob Marley, Nirvana, so many genres. I started playing the trumpet when I was eight, so I’d say I’ve always wanted to be a musician since then. About five years later I got my first guitar, which I stole from my sister (laughs), then I got a rubbish USB microphone then started writing and producing. However, what I would say the key thing was is after my service in the Navy in which I spent three years, I felt like if I’m going to pursue music, That’s all I’m going to do.”

How would you describe your sound?

“I would say its generalist, as I like so many sounds. People like to put me in a box but I don’t like boxes.”

Has Israel inspired your music in any way, whether that be through the music or the heritage?

“It’s mostly about the environment. In Tel-Aviv you can find anything, bands, singers and songwriters from every genre. So, I was more influenced by the environment than the heritage.”

How did the story behind ‘Nevermind’ come about?

“In 2015 I moved to Bangkok and during my time there I went to Laos, where I met this gorgeous Colombian girl and I fell in love (whose name he respectfully keeps confidential). She went travelling, so I got scared that she may meet someone else and with all those thoughts in my head I just ended up writing Nevermind to express my feelings. This was about 2 months into the relationship, but we spent a year and a half together, then 2 or 3 days after we broke up I wrote Never Go Back. Once I wrote that, I knew it was the next song I had to release as it was such a great continuation of the story.”

Why did you put yourself in solitary confinement when creating your music, how did you think that would benefit you?

“Personally, when I listen to music, watch movies or read books I get effected by it. You get inspired by these things, so when I listen to too much music I feel like I’ll start to produce similar vibes, so I made sure not to listen to music at all. I just wanted to create what I feel, if that makes sense.”

What’s your view on streaming and its development, considering places such as Israel had no access to streaming platforms when you released Nevermind?

“Nevermind took off on Spotify, but at the time it wasn’t available in Israel so I had absolutely no idea. It’s only been about a year since Spotify was available in Israel. Then one day I was on YouTube and it was on around eighty to ninety-thousand views so I thought, okay this is great for me, then one day I just opened my email and I had about 40 messages from record labels. I jumped on the phone with them and asked how they found the song and they said that I should open Spotify, so I had to connect to a network that allowed me to open Spotify and I saw that Nevermind was on top of the Global Charts and Viral Charts. I used an online distribution service to get my song out there but I had no idea I was on DSP’s (Digital Streaming Platforms), it already had around half a million streams at that point. That’s why streaming is so beneficial to us artists, because it doesn’t matter who you are, if the song is good, it can chart and people can hear it. The initial support from a Spotify editor in Germany, who put it on a playlist helped it grow and it took off from there.”

What expectations do you have for your show in London?

“I’ve been to London once last year on tour and I’m just very very excited to come with a whole new set-up and perform new songs. When I performed in London last time it was before Nevermind was peaking in the UK, so I played in the waiting room which had around 140 capacity, very small, no backstage area, so I even had to pee in a bottle! It was something you’d see in a movie, if you’ve seen Bohemian Rhapsody, that’s how we felt. We shared beds, my friends were snoring and waking me up all night, but regardless it was amazing.”

Do you have any pre-performance rituals or superstitions that have to be adhered to before you perform live?

“For me, the number one rule is that I always have to be sober before shows. I don’t drink or smoke. Instead I’ll be meditating, or sometimes me and the guy’s warm-up with some trashy Pop songs just to get us jumping around, we may even do some push-ups to get ready for the show. But minutes before I go out on stage, I’m completely quiet and I meditate, I save all the energy for the stage.”

If you could do any other profession part from music, what would it be?

“Oh that’s easy man, I would be a Dive-master. It’s like scuba diving and it’s my second favourite thing to do after music. I’ve been doing it all my life since I was seven.”

Are you working on releasing a project soon?

“My EP is out April 5th, contains four songs and each one of them I wrote after the break-up. I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s something that you need to listen to and you’ll understand, because it’s a story which gives you the complete picture about the relationship and how I felt.”

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