Dennis Lloyd Interview: Writing Process, Playing Coachella Ahead Of His Australian Tour
Dennis Lloyd is the man behind the breakthrough hit “Nevermind”, his powerful lyrics and honed vocals are distinctly recognisable and having just release his Exident EP a few weeks ago he’s showing he’ll be sticking around. His production and worldly inspired sound has a mass appeal for its originality and captivates listeners with a raw emotion that has seen him collect more than half a billion streams.
He recently played both weekends of Coachella, which we were lucky enough to catch one of. It was his first ever festival performance in the US as part of his North American “Never Go Back” Tour which included 21 dates.
He’s had an incredibly interesting path to get where he has today from being in the Navy to disconnecting in Thailand for an entire year to write. So ahead of his debut tour in Australia kicking off with shows in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth we found a moment to catch up with him and learn a bit more.
For those who haven't heard your music, how would you describe it? What inspires you?
I would describe it as “genreless”, I’m inspired by rock, hip hop, jazz, reggae and electronic music. I don’t think there’s one box where I can fit perfectly.
You moved to Thailand for a while. It seems like things really started to connect for you there. Did something about it inspire your writing?
Of course. The key was that I had no distractions. I didn’t have WiFi in my apartment and I wasn’t really listening to music. It allowed me to find my sound and be loyal to myself.
Was there a certain point in your life when you knew music was going to be the path you followed?
I joined the navy when I was 18 and at that time I almost didn’t write and record music at all. I decided that if after my service I still wanted to make music that’s what I was going to do for the rest of my life. No plan B’s.
If you hadn’t chosen music, what would you be doing now?
My two options were becoming a musician or a scuba-diving instructor.
You recently played Coachella, how was that experience?
I didn’t know what to expect. Coachella was the first festival I’ve ever played in the US. It was absolutely wild. The people, the energy - I still can’t decide which weekend was my favorite.
Your EP, Exident, just released earlier this month on Arista Records. You’ve got some powerful messages in there. Would you say you have one overall message you are trying to convey?
I think Dr. Gary Lewandowski (sampled in GFY) described the overall message of Exident in the best way.
“When you think back on your life
And you're 95, a hundred years old
And you look back over the course of your lifetime
You're not gonna think
I wish I owned a better phone
I wish I spent more time on the internet
I wish I spent more time at work or sleeping
It's not gonna be any of those kinds of things
It's gonna be I wish I spent more time with the people I love”
You grew up in Tel Aviv. What is the music culture like at home?
The music scene in Israel is very interesting. You can find every genre of music there. Recently I’m listening to a lot of oriental music - I love the middle eastern sound.
How do you deal with the pressure when choosing what to release next?
There’s a lot of pressure in the music industry but if I am always worried about the future then I won’t be able to enjoy the present - and that’s not how I want to live. Music makes me happy, whether I'm playing in front of 12,000 people at Coachella or in front of my two dogs.
If you could’ve written one song by any artist, which would you choose?
Bill Withers - "Ain't No Sunshine"
You’re heading to Australia for the first time, what are you most excited to see about the country?
I’m really excited to meet my fans in Australia. I wish I had more time to travel and explore the country, but I’m sure it’s going to happen at some point.
What’s the funniest or strangest thing you’ve heard about Australia so far?
I’ve been told that every animal in Australia is going to try to kill me - even the adorable ones.
Can you tease any upcoming projects you’re working on?
We just shot a second music video to one of the songs from Exident that I'm very excited about. My fans are going to experience an emotional roller coaster.
What are your goals for the second half of 2019?
Every year I used to write a list of goals, but this year I haven’t. I want to enjoy the ride, live my life to its fullest. The journey IS the goal.