From Englewood to Idol Status? - NBC Chicago

From Englewood to Idol Status?

South Side musician making waves in music industry

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    From Englewood to Idol Status?
    Elise Hutchinson
    Unlike many of the kids he grew up with, Dylan Lloyd strives to be more Ben Folds than Busta Rhymes.

    Dylan Lloyd was born to be a musician. Since he was a young boy, the 23-year-old multi-instrumentalist says he heard music in his head. And not just nursery rhymes or tunes he'd absorbed while watching TV. We're talking about fully orchestrated, original, music.

    But he wasn't able to do anything with it until he was 12. That's when he took piano lessons –- a whole three months worth -- until he stopped because it wasn't going in the direction he wanted.

    "It was as if I basically said 'hey, how do you fundamentally play the piano?' The teacher showed me the fundamentals, and then I ran with it," Lloyd says.

    So much so that he also picked up singing, guitar, bass and drums.

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    Three years later he was the lead singer and piano player of a South Side band called Pangea, and although he was a young teen, the limelight didn't frighten him.

    "I thrived off of being the leader and the face of the band. I lived off of feeling that nervousness right before you got on stage in front of a packed venue," Lloyd said.

    Lloyd -- the product of a white father from Wales and a black mother from Chicago -- grew up with his grandparents in the rough-and-tumble streets of Englewood, but he says his exposure to different types of music helped him develop artistically.

    "It was a rough neighborhood for me, but I had loving grandparents who pretty much kept me safe," Lloyd says. "Other kids were outside riding their bikes and stuff. I was mainly, if I wasn't playing piano, I was at another friend's house. It wasn't really safe to go out and playing all day long because you could get in a lot of trouble."

    Lloyd is now solo, and recently released an EP called "The Trinity" on iTunes.

    He's received airplay on 93.1FM WXRT and other local radio stations. Look for a new iTunes release later this year with a new band he's formed called The Dylan Lloyd Project.

    "You must push the envelope ... otherwise you'll stay in the same place," Lloyd says.

    Click here for information on where you can hear Lloyd perform in the Chicago area.