Lloyd Nicks is a member of the Kingly Common family. He is a St. Louis based worship leader and songwriter bridging the gaps between Gospel, Contemporary Worship, and Pop music. Lloyd brings an energy and soul to the CCM world, with infectious melodies and a desire to push the boundaries of the genre. Lloyd produced and released his first single “Never Fail” in May of 2020. It started to catch some traction and the ear of some program directors across the country early on and has gained continued momentum ever since. “Never Fail” broke into the Billboard Top 50 Christian Airplay charts and continues to have radio success. At the end of 2020, Lloyd was added to Amazon’s Best of 2020 lists and he was also named Male Artist of the Year by Black Christian Influencers. In this TCB Exclusive, Nicks reflects on the the story behind “Never Fail” and he also offers a preview of a deeply personal new track that is coming soon.
I want to start with a congratulations on “Never Fail” which has been charting on Billboard’s Top 50 Christian Airplay for 9 weeks and counting. Can you take me back to release day and share how you felt then versus now?
I’ve been doing this for ten years, and “Never Fail” was actually my first time co-writing with somebody. In this last year, I’ve just been having the feeling to collaborate, and take my time. So we spent a year perfecting the lyrics, rewriting, and reproducing it. When we put it out, I did not expect to go as far as it has been going.
Thinking back on the process of creating “Never Fail,” is there a moment that stood out to you most, perhaps that solidified your resolve to release this music?
So I’ve worked on other things in the past with John, my producer, but this time he said “I want to fight for this song to be the best that it can be.” And so I started writing and sent him this demo of a song similar to “Never Fail”. We rewrote the lyrics and we took it to Nashville and rewrote it again with Rhyan Shirley and Austin Cannon. And then from there, something just felt right about it. It wasn’t until about two weeks before we released it that we sent it to friends in the industry, and they didn’t really feel the song. So we then reproduced the song before it was supposed to hit the market.
You’ve shared that the inspirations behind this single and your other music are very personal to you. Can you share how this impacts the reactions from listeners when they can witness your connection?
It gives them an insight into the lines between the lines. There is a story behind every song and every lyric. And I think so often we can see it at surface view, but when you get to the heart of why the song was made and the reason behind it, it hits a little deeper. It helps the listener think deeper on how the song can be their own song and meet them where they are. They have an opportunity to search deeper and see the meaning behind the words. And then hopefully connect to me as more than just an artist vocally, but also see my heart.
You also received some end of year accolades (named Male Artist of the year for 2020 with Black Christian Influencers and featured on Amazon’s Best Of 2020 playlist). Do you set out with these goals in mind? If not, how do they affect your drive to continue making music?
I didn’t seek for any of those. I’ve been a part of the BCI family for 3 years and I think I’m one of the people they asked to join early on, but I definitely don’t think I’m the most influential. Here I am in St. Louis doing what I feel called to do, which is being a David of our time, and creating songs that I think will stand the test of time. Hopefully our children’s children will sing them. And for Amazon, we weren’t even looking at Amazon. And when I got access to my artist page, I already had almost 1,000,000 streams and had no idea.
2020 was a hard year and yet also a productive year for you, can you share how you were able to keep yourself in a good mind space and focused?
For me, I focused on my relationship with God. He was the only constant. Things were changing so much, and the only thing I could focus on, the one thing that would never change, God’s goodness and His mercy and love and kindness. Everything that He is. Making sure that I did not waste the time last year, but also investing the extra time in seeking Him and growing deeper with Him. Ultimately, I can make music until my end of days, but when my relation with Him is faltering, it means nothing.
Do you have new music in the works or any messages that you think the world needs to hear now?
We just finished final vocals on a song called “Big God, Big Love”. It should be our next song that we push to radio – expect to see it in April. So we are finishing production and final edits for that. This is me really letting people in to the depths of my story. I lost my mom to cancer on my birthday five years ago. And it was very sudden and I had to deal with a lot of grief. At one point, I was even contemplating suicide because I had never experienced that level of grief or loss in my life. It was around my first Mother’s Day that I wrote the first version of this song, and I was just sharing where I was. I didn’t know how to express my feelings, so I wrote it out in a song. A few months back, the team met and reimagined the song, and took some of the original verbiage and message of the song and made it for a larger audience and opened it up so others can put their story in it. So many people have experienced the unthinkable, and what do you do when you experience that? It literally takes someone who has experienced that level [of heartache], which is Jesus Christ. So this is a reminder that no matter what you are going through, the Big God of Big Love is there with you.
Can you share some of your current musical or lyrical influences?
I love Danny Gokey – the freshness of his voice and his beat is infectious. You’re grooving to a song, but he’s really instilling some deep Word inside of you. I also love old-school Gospel like Fred Hammond. He’s just one of the best story-tellers in Christian music. I love Jonathan Traylor and Tasha Cobbs Leonard. I love being a student of diversity and listening to different things outside of mainstream Christian. We as Christians have the ability to be the most creative people in the world because we are connected to the Creator. So for me, I’m always trying to listen to music so that I can be inspired to create a new sound.
What are you most expectant for in 2021?
I’m most expectant for there to be more bridges gapped. I think there are more conversations that need to be had as a nation and a people to move us forward. I think we have just been stuck in this place of pettiness and hate and hurting. So I’m looking forward to more conversations, so we can move forward as a people as one. There is so much division and hopefully I can be a part of those conversations. Hopefully I can facilitate and create some of those conversations where we can come to the table and move forward for the next generation, so they don’t have to deal with some of these same issues that we are faced with.