WAITING FOR SMITH – SINGER AND A SONGWRITER
Waiting For Smith is British singer/songwriter Harry Lloyd. Formerly a ski instructor in the French Alps, Harry broke his back in two places during avalanche training. Wondering whether he’d survive in the helicopter on the way to the hospital, he had an epiphany that if he was OK, he should dedicate his life to music. After spending a year in bed recuperating and learning to play guitar, he formed Waiting For Smith, named after endlessly waiting for their original drummer, Smith, who always failed to show. Spreading joy and making people believe in themselves is what drives Harry. “My dream is to help people forget about their troubles in life, even if it’s just for half an hour. I love making people feel good.”
Waiting for Smith is amassing international support and has landed radio play on over 190 stations around the world, including by Huw Stephens on Radio 1, Dermot O’Leary and Jo Whiley on Radio 2, Tom Robinson on 6 Music, Maz Tappuni on Radio X, Flux Fm in Germany, Radio Doble Neuve in Lima, Peru and KROQ and KISS FM in the USA and Radio One in India. Based between Amsterdam & London, Harry is inspired to write about the everyday ups & downs of life, love, and the never-ending investigation of who we are and what we’re all doing here.
Here is Waiting for Smith in a conversation with GOGO Magazine.
1) When did your journey as a musician begin?
Early around 4 or 5 while pretending to be Michael Jackson in the mirror, holding a toothbrush for a mic. I joined my first band at the age of 10 (Jester) as the drummer and singer. My dad was so excited, he took me and my friend, Danny- the lead guitarist, to see the Rolling Stones at Wembley. A woman got naked, chucked her bra at Mick, the security guard lifted me up in the excitement, and I saw my first pair of breasts and them high-fived Ronnie Wood. The crowd went wild, 80,000 people cheered and I was hooked.
2) Tell us more about your experience as a ski instructor.
It was incredible. Like being in a massive Alpine family. While my friends were studying; age 19 I learned to speak French, Russian, understand good wine, trained harder than I ever had in my life, was flown around in helicopters, went out, had huge parties, played music at night in the bars and wrote a lot of songs. I had my piano by my bed and used to roll out of it every morning and write a new song before hitting the mountain.
3) Which has been your first track?
”Monkeys in My Head”, and it took me a year to finish! The sound engineer and producer – Will, who I was working with at the time, and I went slightly mad. I am glad to say I can write, arrange, produce, mix, and master a record in a few days now when in good form. Crazy how that’s changed.
4) Who has been your inspiration?
I’m inspired by everything really. I love people and hearing their stories. A lot of my early songs were about other people’s lives. the copy of the ‘Tao Te Ching’ I was given during my year in bed recovering was very influential on my thinking and lyric writing. When I heard Nick Mulvey’s music for the first time, something in me clicked, he really took my guitar playing in another direction. When I first started doing music as my full focus nearly 5 years ago, I went to see a lot of punk groups play. I loved the wildness in their performances and that 100% had an impact on how I use stage. I still don’t know where the melodies I hear come from.
5) Where do you see yourself in next 5 years?
Living in Haarlem by the beach just outside Amsterdam in a house I’ve built with my girlfriend, playing shows all over the world to millions of people, writing for other artists from my home studio, making people feel good through music, scoring for films, and working with Orchestra’s live. Oh! and maybe acting.
6) Which has been your most memorable project or song?
So hard to answer that…Every project has been memorable for different reasons. I change with everyone. But nothing compares to playing in a band that first time at age 10 and getting to make a track in a proper recording studio was new to me then. I also played the drums for that record. It was so exciting that first time, like walking into a sweet shop and them saying, ”you can not only work here and taste everything but you can also take the candy home at the end of the day. I remember playing to all my friends – they were like ‘Woah man this is cool.’ I’ll never forget those lyrics and melody ‘Mind the gap, mind the gap it’s not hard you don’t need a map’, and the joy we all felt while creating that sound. The tune was great, luckily my lyrics have improved.
7) Tell us about your latest track.
”Hopelessness of Love.”
I was in the studio with Jan (producer and co-writer), I felt that I wanted to express that whatever you do in love, however hard you try, you can’t escape the fact that sometimes there’s going to be difficult moments in your relationship. The first lyric I heard went ‘I am your sugar man to ride…let’s go, let’s go, let’s collide.’ This was the start in my mind of a fight between a couple. I’m super proud of this record, so go take a listen on any of the music streaming platforms.
8) Share some of your achievements with the magazine.
- Being played on MTV, a childhood dream come true.
- Featuring in Rolling Stone Magazine.
- Song for Grace being used in a big Netflix series ‘Vis a Vis’ (Locked Up).
- Meeting two of my musical soul brothers, Dane Etteridge and Jan Schoder, and making my first two EPs. The first one out on July 9th by the way.
- Being offered to perform on the Atrium Stage at Wilderness Festival to over 3000 people.
- Being played on 190 radio stations around the world, featured in GQ, and a 12 page spread in JFK (GQ of Holland). Walking into that shop in Amsterdam and seeing myself in a magazine was crazy!
- Hitting 1 million streams on Spotify.
- Receiving the most heartfelt messages from India to Indonesia, Europe to the USA saying they woke up to Waiting for Smith, danced to it, played it in their schools, homes, to family, friends, and soul mates. And that’s the reason I love making music to spread some joy.
9) How was life in quarantine?
One of the best years of my life. The most productive I’ve ever been, also had a meltdown but in terms of music and personal growth, I wouldn’t change a thing.
INSTAGRAM : @waitingforsmith
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YOUTUBE : WAITING FOR SMITH
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