photo by Luis Perales/KUTX
Fresh: With everything from a global pandemic to civil unrest how have you managed to stay focused on music?
Jake: Well, music is my life. Aside from my kids and my girl, well my family in general, music is the most important thing to me. I literally love it, so I’m always finding things to get inspired by. I take pieces with me of everything I hear on a daily basis. From a show-tune, to the random track playing on a paper towel commercial, I hear it all. Not only hear it but feel it.
Fresh: How did the Lloyd Pack EP come about?
Jake: The Lloyd Pack EP started with the first song, “Crossroading”. The track was originally made to be on 2019’s MoonLit Mornings, but I had second thoughts about its functionality with the rest of the album, so we pulled it. Unsure what to do with it, and also knowing it had to be put out delicately, we set “Crossroading” on the back-burner. “The Pass” was probably the first song we recorded after MM came out, and that’s when I think I turned to Danny and said: “I know what we gone do”. I saw the stories I was telling on both “Crossroading” & “The Pass”. and decided to connect them. That’s where “Smoke & Mirrors” comes in – the bridge that connects both songs to each other.
Fresh: Your music contains quite a bit of storytelling seemingly inspired by Bonnie & Clyde, or a desperado lifestyle. Is that done on purpose or does it just come out like that?
Jake: It’s partly purposeful but it’s also accidental. Being a big movie enthusiast, I’m drawn to the stories of the outlaw, the bad guy, the loner, and usually, they can’t keep companionships. When they do, it’s toxic. The toxic relationships speak to me for some reason. I’m fascinated by telling the sad story. I’m not cynical (all the time) but my stories kind of take that shape at times, maybe from some underlying subconscious notion.
Fresh: With the climate now being bucking the system, as a Black artist in Austin, what has your particular experience in the scene been like, and what do you feel needs to change?
Jake: My experience has been: I’ve had the term “urban” thrown at me more times than I can count. I’ve told people I make music and it was already assumed I rapped. I have been overlooked for radio spins, for only one reason that makes sense to me – nervous Austin. I have found myself looking up to non-black artists around here that I don’t necessarily think are better than me, but further than me, so at times I have felt like a “boy” on the Austin music scene. Trying to show gate-keepers I got it and you don’t need to be scared of my hip-hop background. Going out of my way to show my genre-crossing ability, I mean literally bending over backwards to show my range. ‘Cause why? Austin. What needs to change is first, the level of respect for all artistic expression in this town needs raising. The town was built on blues and rock and that’s awesome, I’m a fan, but don’t throw out the diamonds because you’re looking for a ruby.
Fresh: Lastly, You work very closely with Danny Saldivar aka DSII, but do you see yourself working with other producers?
Jake: Danny is my brother. 9 out of 10 times if you see a song come out by Jake Lloyd it’s gone have parentheses and say “prod. By DSII” next to it. Dude gets me, and I get him, my brother for real. Wouldn’t be here without him. We both work with other artists and producers, but home is home. I have worked with Nate Coop who’s from San Antonio, now in LA. I love Cham, 04 Hippie, who’s helped me a lot with harmonies and phrasing. The Grammy Award winning Jon Deas who has been a friend and mentor for a while, we have a couple songs together. I mean I’m just a student of the game. Danny and I have created a sound together and that was on purpose, but I have a lot of producer friends around town and around the state. So hey, let’s work!