Reach for the Stars

L'loyd Cele

By Melindi Coetzee L'loyd Cele literally became an overnight sensation after he came second at Idols SA in 2010. Today this talented singer performs with heavyweights such as Proverb and Loyiso Bala. From working with SAMA (South African Music Awards) winning producer Crighton Goodwill on his first album One, to winning a SAMA for the best pop album in 2012, this muso is definitely headed in the right direction. Talented, passionate, respectful, humble and versatile: L'loyd Cele has all the makings of an international superstar.

From rags to riches

Fame and fortune hasn't come easy for this performer. Before L'loyd entered Idols he tried everything to break into the music industry: singing at restaurants, weddings and other events, writing songs for his church, creating and marketing his home-made music demo's, but all with no prevail. He tells the story of how as a young boy in the township of KwaMashu, he would perform outside the then OK Bazaars to earn money for food. "I sang unashamed and with no fear. I wanted to be like Michael Jackson and admired him greatly," L'loyd says. Then opportunity came knocking in the form of Idols. "I entered Idols with the hope of finally making it big and fulfilling my dreams of being a professional musician. I hated Idols and throughout the show I was useless. Needless to say, I was desperate," he laughs. He hasn't looked back since. "So many amazing opportunities have come my way since Idols and I have grabbed them all with both hands," he says.

A bright future

Most people think that once you've had your breakthrough and people know your music and your name that it's all downhill from there. Few people realise that being a professional musician is a business and if it's not managed correctly the doors will not stay open for very long. L'loyd advises upcoming stars that you shouldn't expect things to be done for you all the time: "At times you have to make things happen for yourself, for example calling the media when you 6 SACF Vol. 7 No. 2 have an interesting story as opposed to waiting for them to contact you." How does one make it this big, this fast? "The key is consistency. Staying humble, being a people's person and being approachable," he shares. On-going support is also imperative and luckily for L'loyd his wife stands next to him, motivating every step of the way. His future goals are well in-tact: To be a multi-platinum producer, a multi-platinum selling artist and to become an international artist. Then to help raise artists from disadvantaged communities and be a positive role model to his family and to Africa. Lastly, and most importantly, he wants to open the salon his wife has always wanted!

Go for gold

"Never give up. You have absolutely nothing to lose, but everything to gain; whether it's Idols or something else, if it's your dream, go for it! Too often we are scared to go after our dreams. We allow fear to dominate us. Someone once told me that when you stop dreaming you stop living. If you don't go after what you want, you will never be complete. Never give up on yourself or your dreams. Get out there and make it happen!" n

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