‘The other side’ of City of Whittlesea CEO Craig Lloyd

‘The other side’ of City of Whittlesea CEO Craig Lloyd

Craig Lloyd opens the Whittlesea Country Music Festival this weekend. ,

By Grace Frost

If there is one person who can say that they truly embody the character of a versatile man, it is Craig Lloyd.

Mr Lloyd has followed various careers ranging from a police officer with the British Police Force to Chief Executive Officer of the City of Whittlesea.

But it’s his most recent passion, and perhaps his most daring endeavor, that surprises many – pursuing his love of country music, singing and songwriting.

After taking up singing lessons as a hobby in 2019, Mr Lloyd said it was after moving to Alexandra and attending the Taste of Tamworth festival that he discovered ‘his other side’.

“I was talking to Lyn Bowtell at the end of the show, who’s a very famous multiple gold guitar winner, told her I’d started singing, just a throwaway comment, and she said ‘send me a video’,” he said.

“I made a little bit of a video of me singing and that led to me leaving in 2020 to be part of the Country Music Academy in Tamworth.”

In just three years, Mr. Lloyd’s music career has grown rapidly, already ticking off the bucket list items of many fellow aspiring musicians.

Most notably, he was awarded the John and Judy Martin Memorial Award at this year’s Tamworth Country Music Festival for his latest single ‘Take The Wheel’.

The award, which is also presented to co-writers Merelyn and David Carter of Carter and Carter, is presented by the Tamworth Songwriters Association, TSA, to the best country ballad of the year.

Mr Lloyd said he considered the experience and recognition of his track “humbling”, and was grateful to the TSA for the title.

“To receive the award in the presence of some of the best songwriters in Australia was unforgettable and wonderful recognition for our song,” he said.

Mr Lloyd describes his music, including the award-winning single Take The Wheel, as ‘all about the story’, taking inspiration from country music heroes such as Garth Brooks, Kenny Rogers and George Strait.

“[Take The Wheel] is a bit of a culmination of stories from many friends, colleagues, other people I’ve met along the way, who made some bad decisions and then regretted it and then basically sought help from a higher being to help them send them back. the right way,” he said.

Mr Lloyd will take to the stage on Saturday as the opening act of the Whittlesea Country Music Festival, ready to share a new side of himself with the City of Whittlesea community.

“I attended the festival last year but as a CEO of the council, so this year I am wearing a different hat,” he said.

“The Whittlesea Country Music Festival is a great festival and the opportunity to open it is a real honour.

“It’s fantastic to have a country festival of this quality actually in the Whittlesea township, so I would encourage local residents to attend.”

Despite regularly being a paid act, Mr Lloyd performs for free and will sell his new album before it becomes available online to showgoers, with plans to donate all profits to charity.

“I do it because I love country music and to be honest, Whittlesea [Country Music Festival] is an amazing festival, Whittlesea township is a great place so if we can get more people there spending money for the weekend that would be great.

“The organisers, who are all volunteers, put in an enormous amount of time and effort and it produces a very good festival – one that is known across the country.”

Mr Lloyd’s set list is packed with familiar country hits for attendees to sing along to and originals from his new album, aptly titled ‘The Other Side Of Me’.

“People don’t realize that sometimes you have another side,” he said.

Mr Lloyd said he was most looking forward to performing ‘Take The Wheel’ and ‘Little Country Store’, his first duet, with Marilyn Carter of Carter and Carter.

Mr Lloyd expects to regularly release songs from his album online, with plans to release his first music video soon.

‘Take The Wheel’ and Mr Lloyd’s additional releases can be found on all major music streaming platforms.

Upcoming events and further information can be found at www.craiglloyd.com.au.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *