Ever since he was the runner-up on the 2010 season of Idols South Africa, Lloyd Cele’s career has been flourishing. He has dabbled in the pop, gospel and jazz space throughout his impressive career and continues to surprise audiences with every release. This week, we get up close and personal with the star as he opens up about his new single ‘Higher’, being part of Supreme 3 and what the future has in store for him

You’ve been in the industry for so long and you keep being at the top of your game. What is your secret to longevity?

I don’t think there is one specific thing that helps you to stay on top of your game. It’s a combination of a few important focus areas. 1) Keep pushing yourself and learn to keep up with the times. Don’t get complacent and comfortable with yourself. Music changes with the times so find new producers and get new ideas. 2) Have great work ethics. Be on time. I’m hard on myself and on my band and my management because I never want to lower my standard of excellence. 3) Stay grounded and always appreciate your fans and those who stand beside you. These are the areas I think help with longevity in this game.

You’ve just released your new single ‘Higher’. Tell us a bit about the song.

I wanted a sound that was global but had great African influence. Higher is a record that incapsulates that idea, embraces diversity and remains proudly African. I’ve always considered my sound to be diverse and relatable by all races and I wanted to continue that journey. Even the music video captures the beautiful colours of Africa.

You’re also big into your gospel music. It must be incredible to combine your faith with music. Tell us more about that.

Music is heavenly. I remember walking at King Shaka Airport to catch a flight and I saw a diverse group of kids coming together and just jamming on the piano. They had no relation but the grand piano brought them together. They were so happy and it touched my heart. This moment reminded me of how powerful music is. It’s a universal language that we all can understand. It doesn’t need to be perfect – all it needs is sincerity and honesty. It’s one of the most powerful tools we can use to bridge the gap and separation that racism has brought into our world. This is why I’m passionate about music and what I do. It’s deep for and very close to my heart. It can truly change our lives for the better. That’s why combining my faith with music has always been so important to me.

You’re part of Supreme 3 with Danny K and Loyiso Bala as well. Where did the idea to form this supergroup start?

We came together because of our love for Motown music. I once played the role of Marvin Gaye at the Joburg Theatre in a show called ‘The Life and Music of Marvin Gaye’. I was so inspired after that to re-kindle the love for a dying genre. So, we got together and we wanted to bring back that love for Motown music. Today, you hardly hear legends like Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Jackson 5 and Lionel Richie. Supreme 3 is about bringing back the love for these legends that most of us have been inspired by.

The group released their first original single titled ‘Throwback To Love’. Tell us a bit more about that track.

Throwback To Love’ is a play on the idea of reminiscing on the love of Motown music. The song has such a feel-good notion to it and showcases our three different voices as well as what they can do together. I am really proud of the song.

How has music and performing professionally changed your life personally?

Music has given me an opportunity to make a difference to my life, my family and my country. I’m grateful for what I get to do and the people I get to do it with. I hope that I could inspire as many people as I possibly can through my music and bring hope to those who have given up on their dreams. I came from nothing and now I wake up every day blessed to do what I love. If this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone out there.

What does the rest of 2019 have in store for you?

2019 sees more music you love, more growth, more gigs and more people to inspire. Keep an eye out on my social media pages for more.

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