UFO Network have had the immense pleasure of chatting with Welsh, emerging artist and entrepreneur, Lloyd Haines about his latest release ‘Steps‘ and much more! Be sure to check Lloyd out on social media platforms and get connected to stay up-to-date with the latest in new music, happenings and events. Read how our conversation went down below.
Lloyd! You’re pretty far away from us in South Africa. Can you tell us more about your home-town of Cardiff?
Hey guys! Thanks for having me on. Being based in the Welsh capital is pretty cool. It’s become quite the hub for creatives, which has been so important to me in my early years of business as I built up my startup Haines Co. Some amazing artists have come from this country, including Tom Jones to Jamie Jones (yup, ‘Jones’ is a pretty common surname down these ends!). Since moving away to Ibiza for a brief spell last year, I truly realised that there really is no place like home. There’s a word in the Welsh language for it… ‘hiraeth,’ meaning an earnest longing and desire for wales – a feeling of belonging. Of course, I gig across the UK and overseas, but there will always be something about Wales for me.
How have you been coping with the current global situation has it meant a lot more studio time for you?
Let’s be real – it’s been so tough on everyone, and my mentality has definitely suffered on occasion, particularly in the first few weeks of lockdown as my body had to adjust quite dramatically from a crazy and busy lifestyle to no shows, no office, no work. I totally came off vlogging for a little while and even took a week off work totally for the first time in years to just rejuvenate and reset. This was the best thing for my music. I managed to churn out so many new tracks, which all came from a totally different headspace to my usual; it was like I was flowing with beats, lyrics and hooks in newfound ways.
Your latest release ‘Steps’ with vocalist KAMA is a summer smothered vocal house smash. Is this vocal house vibe a sound that you will be continuing with?
Big love for this feedback guys; I really appreciate it. It’s great to hear so many people vibing with this release, especially seeing as KAMA and I were sat on it for so long! We made that track straight after recording a podcast. The synergy between the two of us was seamless and so natural. I love house music, and I love hearing those gripping vocals spark interest now and then. Of course, this is a sound that I will emulate more in the future. I don’t like pigeon-holing myself and leave the music flow how it needs to. The beauty of music is that there really is no blueprint. No bible. No teachings. No shortcuts or set rules. Like all the artforms, expression comes from within and I follow the premise that I’ll simply make what I make. My release schedule for the next six months includes everything from minimal to deep house to urban electronic, rap, trap and more. F*** genres! More love; more music – always! Lockdown has taught me to be prolific with my love for sounds and not be too concerned of what ‘pool’ I want to be in.
Listen to Lloyd Haines – ‘Steps’ on Spotify
You have a string releases in the pipeline ahead of your debut album. Can you let us into secret information on what we can expect from the release?
Now, this is the juicy stuff!! I’ve been going through a very natural transition to my hip-hop routes most recently, where I’m really inspired by the likes of Kanye, Kid Cudi, J Cole, Travis Scott and so on. Frank Ocean and new-age Kanye have been reference points on my music from my listeners, who are on this journey with me. I’ve found that since incorporating more and more vocals in my music, I’ve been producing more melody-driven beats, both in house and the more commercially viable urban genres. I guess what I’m saying is that despite releasing house music first and foremost, my horizons are broadening week on week, as I find myself, delving into new territories. I want my album to encapsulate that and hint of a new-age sound soon to come. I want my Chicago house and hip hop influences to shine through in my tracks, even where it’s a four to the floor, 124bpm beat. Expect gripping vocals, heavy signature drums and floor rumbler basslines!
Not only do you DJ and of course, are gaining huge momentum with your production but you also run your own agency which has a music arm and you also run your own events. How have you managed to have your “fingers in so many pies” so to speak at such a young age?
That’s correct. Haines Co is based in Cardiff but has clients as far as Australia and the USA. In less than two years, we have managed to attain an extensive client-base, which includes so many industries, such as e-commerce, construction, food and drink, property, private healthcare and much more. The best thing is that I started recorded client videos on my cracked iPhone, which brought in an extra £60k in revenue for my very first client, off an advert that cost just £543.00 to run. The events arm of the business hosts club nights in around 20 UK cities, as well as hosting overseas in Ibiza, Budapest and Amsterdam. It’s been an amazing opportunity for me to showcase my music to club-goers and promoters alike, who wouldn’t have otherwise heard my stuff. I’m humbled to know that many of these people have become followers for some time. The music arm of the business hosts, what will soon be, four record labels, as well as a DJ/Producer membership platform called doyoudj (www.doyoudj.com), which is the very first dance music artist support network of its kind. I guess that I just love building things. Since a child selling Nike trainers, sports stickers, and being ‘that kid’ with chocolates, sweets and cans of coke to sell in school, I love hustling and keeping busy. I love having a purpose in life and making my support circle proud – both family and friends. I want to build an empire with my business, just as much as my music, which both intertwine with one another so naturally.
What would you say is the highlight of your career so far?
Musically, playing The Zoo Project Ibiza was the greatest show of my life. Not just because of playing to a packed out room called ‘The Rabbit Hole’ of hundreds, if not thousands of ravers, but mainly because the euphoria in there during the middle of the set somehow convinced me to jump on the vocals live. The adrenaline was so gripping that I quickly pulled out the headphones from the headphone jack and put them right into the mic jack. I did a live version of my vocal tool of Len Faki’s ‘Wide Open,’ and the crowd were all for it. It was so amazing to watch the videos back. The social post generated great traction and turned the heads of some of the main players in the industry, which led to some amazing collaborations soon to be revealed.
What other projects do you have in the pipeline?
I wear jackets even when it’s 30 degrees because I always have something up my sleeve…nah I’m kidding, but seriously, you can bet that I have some mad stuff planned. I’ll be launching my hip-hop label next month, which I’m so psyched about! Check out Outlaw World on insta, it’s my clothing line that we are about to drop the next merch for! Plenty of amazing independent artists are joining the wave with us and it transforms to a label, in line with the urban culture we encapsulated from the very first drop. I have plenty of collabs to reveal too, so watch out on my socials for those…
What plans do you have for your label ‘Haines House’? Will you be signing any up and coming artists to the brand at any point soon?
Of course! I’m not one of those guys to just have a label for their own music and no one else. Delgado, out of my respect and loyalty to him – as well as the very fact that he is quite easily the best producer I know – had to be the very first artist I brought on. His recent release ‘You Must Breathe’ was added to Traxsource essential jackin’ chart, which was amazing for us as a small imprint. I have my eye on a lot of up-and-coming talent…
What will be the first party that you’ll head to once we can get back on the dance floor again?
I’ve been running Babylon Rooftop parties at the moment in Cardiff, which have been socially distanced seated events. It’s been so heart-warming to see how the scene is doing its best to return to ‘normal’ and survive after the biggest economic crisis since the 1930s. The first set of mine will be at that very rooftop on the 15th August!
When can fans expect the next release from you?
I’m releasing a track a month at the moment on the run-up to my album. I’ve been so amazed by the support I’ve had, particularly on Spotify! ‘U + Me’ just dropped and it’s already doing the rounds. I’m all about being prolific with my work now, and not holding myself back in that perfectionist ideology that so many of us young artists adapt early on. Let’s get the music out there to the world! More love; more music