Lloyd credits smalls classes, caring professor for helping him achieve his dream.

Lloyd credits smalls classes, caring professor for helping him achieve his dream.

Moraine Valley graduate Dylan Lloyd, ’09, is realizing a dream he has chased since a child. He has never doubted music is his future.

One of the biggest career achievements to date for the vocalist is having his own Pandora station. “That’s a huge accomplishment for me. I mean to hear me sing my music, then Bruno Mars or Ed Sheeran and then go back to my song. That’s just—wow,” Lloyd said.

He’s also quite a pianist, something he began teaching himself when he was 5 years old. “I started to listen to pianists like Ben Folds, Elton John and Stevie Wonder and just copied them,” he said.

A love for music drove Lloyd and some friends to play together. “When you’re in a band in the Beverly area, the gig of a lifetime is Fisher Fest. You do that; you’ve made it. And we did Fisher Fest. I was doing a lot of different things just to get music into my life,” Lloyd said.

Upon graduating from Mt. Carmel High School, he enrolled at Moraine Valley. “I knew I wanted do music, but I didn’t know if college was the right route to do the kind of music I wanted to do. It’s such a gray area.”

Attending Moraine Valley turned out to be the right decision, and he gives credit to his former music teacher at the college. “The best for me? The smaller classes, which were crucial to my learning. They were just so engaging,” he said. “Tammi Carlson was a wonderful influence on me. I actually learned to semi-read music because of her,” he said. “Tammi opened the door for the theoretical aspect of music. She made me understand the logistics of what I was creating as opposed to ‘OK, this is this chord or that chord.’ She was teaching me how they were inter-related. She saw what I could become today.”

Among the highlights from Moraine Valley was the thrill of winning the Moraine Valley Idol competition, and writing music in the practice rooms in the Fine and Performing Arts Center. “I would spend hours in the practice rooms writing. I think a lot of the music I was writing helped set me up for a publishing deal,” said Lloyd, who has been signed as a professional songwriter since 2009.

After graduation from Moraine Valley, he met someone in the business who told him he should take his talent to California. “Of course that made my antenna go up and I thought, ‘I am out of here.’ I left everything behind,” Lloyd said. “It was the first time I had ever taken a road trip. Just the whole freedom of actually chasing a dream, and it was awesome.”

While most of Lloyd’s time is spent working on his music, when he does take time off, he heads home to Chicago. A must-stop is the Original Rainbow Ice Cream shop in the Beverly area. “Gotta have a rainbow cone. Oh, and of course, some of my favorite banana ice cream,” he said. At the top of the to-do list when he’s home is visiting with his parents, and his sister and her four children. “We hang out, play video games and watch scary movies. I’m a pretty wonderful uncle.”

Listen to Lloyd’s music on SoundCloud  or download it on iTunes