Spencer Lloyd-from Arkansas college student to ‘American Idol’ star
Lloyd is a native of Bryant and a student at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He has lived in Arkansas his entire life. “My dad was born in Thailand and he lived there until he was 5 years old,” he said. “ We don’t have much of the culture present in our family, but it’s something that people can always tell I look different and are like ‘Oh, what are you?’ I’m Thai, so I just kind of incorporated that into all my usernames.” Lloyd now has over 20,000 Instagram followers, over 6,000 likes on Facebook, and almost 20,000 followers on Twitter. As Jennifer Lopez stated in the first auditions, “Oh my God, are your eyes blue? Green? Girls are going for this.” Lloyd began his music career at 13 after receiving an electric guitar as a Christmas gift from his parents. He says at that point, it was more of his parents wanting him to play than an actual interest. Things really took off, however, the next Christmas when he received an acoustic guitar. The next year, Lloyd said he was ready “to start doing some damage.” At the age of 14, Lloyd also became a worship leader at his church. “You lose your sense of self, you make it not about you, it’s about the people and it”s about reaching out. It is a great experience being able to use the gift that God gave me (music) to bring other people closer to God.” In 2013, Lloyd was a contestant on the fifth season of ABC’s singing competition, “The Voice.” Being on “The Voice” was a learning experience for Lloyd, “I think it was just preparation for being on ‘American Idol.’ I don’t think I was really meant to be on there, I think ‘American Idol’ is my home. It’s something that I definitely feel more accepted into. I feel more ready as an artist. Through ‘American Idol’, I figured out the type of artist I want to be and what I want to do with my music. Because of ‘American Idol’, I am the artist I am now.” Lloyd stated that, up until this year, he never even imagined he would get a chance to compete on the show. His advice for others wanting to pursue their dreams is: “Don’t short yourself of what you deserve and don’t give up. I really did not think I was gonna be able to make it past the first auditions. I was so nervous going into it, I was questioning myself. There were so many other good people there, all standing around doing everything and I’m just there kind of chilling and playing guitar.” For Hollywood week, Lloyd sang “Say Something” by A Great Big World and then for his final song he took a risk and sang an original song. Although the judges felt Lloyd’s original song wasn’t something that showcased him in the best way, he still made it to the top 30
(Top 30 what?). When asked what “Hollywood Week” was like, Lloyd said, “It was definitely the toughest and most stressful period of my life. There was a lot of stuff that went on that I didnt really expect…but it was worth the while and I’m glad I was able to make it through that week.” “The contestants, we’ve all pretty much become a big family. There’s a lot of amazing, talented musicians that I know someday are gonna do amazing things in the music industry. It’s great to be able to have the relationships with those people, because you can see that they are gonna do great things and you can see them rise from a local artist to a nationwide known artist. It’s gonna be an awesome ride to watch those people grow to be nationally known artists.” Lloyd says he is really enjoying the experience of being on “American Idol” and being able to befriend and learn from all of the other contestants on the show. Lloyd talked about what he has learned most from being on the show. “Everyone is special in their own way, everyone has individuality and I’ve figured that out through “American Idol,” because there are so many other people on the show and I just sit there and I just see their amazingness and their awesome voices and their amazing personalities,” he said. “But you know everyone is different and they have all these people on the show because they are different and everyone has to realize that you have individuality and that you are special in your own way. You don’t have to compare yourself to other people to think that you are special, just make sure you recognize that you are different and be who you are. Don’t change to try and be someone else.” When asked what he plans to do with his life after American Idol, he quoted fellow American Idol contestant Jessica Meuse who said, “I’m either gonna be a successful musician or a broke one.” Lloyd added, “It’s (music) something I want to do for a living. Whether or not I’m gonna be the next Justin Bieber or I’m just gonna be some local artist. I want to make music for the rest of my life, that’s really the end of it.” On Wednesday, Feb. 19, UALR students sat patiently in the Trojan Grill waiting to see if Lloyd would make it on to the next round. As the commercial break ended, a hush fell over the crowd and all eyes and ears were the television as the last member of the boys top 10 was announced. When Lloyd’s name was called, everyone cheered. Although not all the judges had praises to sing for Spencer, the student’s at UALR could not be more proud of their fellow Trojan. Spencer Lloyd was eliminated when the top 13 singers were announced, so while his “American Idol” journey may be over, his singing career is hopefully only just beginning.