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How A Broken Back Caused Waiting For Smith To Write His Latest Single ‘Long Life’

The U.K.-based singer-songwriter’s newest offering was initially a poem he wrote for himself

David Britto May 21, 2020

U.K. singer-songwriter Waiting For Smith. Photo: Martin Sweers

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The first concert U.K. singer-songwriter Harry Lloyd aka Waiting For Smith attended was a Rolling Stones gig with his dad as a child. After hearing the group perform the visceral “Get Off Of My Cloud,” he knew immediately that music was what he wanted to do. However, although Lloyd performed at pubs and even tried out standup comedy, he shifted his attention to become a ski instructor in France. After picking up his badges he achieved his goal and began working on the French Alps. “I’d dreamed of wearing that red jacket,” he recalls.

For three-and-a-half years, Lloyd’s routine was skiing in the day and playing piano in the evenings. Unfortunately on one particular day, his routine was disrupted. “I was up on the high mountain, avalanche training in deep powder, when I misjudged a mogul, double-ejected from my skis, somersaulted and landed on my neck, breaking my spine in two places,” he says, adding, “I had a hellish time in hospital – the same one where [Formula 1 driver] Michael Schumacher still is – because they practice tough love there. Everyone’s an emergency, they don’t have time for anything else. And during my operation, I actually died for five minutes.”

After being airlifted back to the U.K., Lloyd began learning guitar during his recuperation. “My accident gave me the focus to realize that music was what I really wanted to do,” he says. The singer-songwriter tells us that when he was lying in the snow immobile, he saw the positive in it, given he’ll have more time to pursue music. His latest single under his moniker Waiting For Smith, the optimistic “Long Life” – released via Mumbai label 9122 Records – was born out of a poem the musician wrote to remind himself that there is still plenty of time to do what he wanted and not to worry.

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The folk track features a picking acoustic guitar pattern, a shuffle groove, as well as Lloyd’s infectious vocals. “’Long Life’ is my personal statement, my anthem, my mantra, my philosophy of life,” he says. When the musician sings “sample every spice” in the song, his message to us–according to him–is to always stay curious and keep doing different things and not get stuck in monotony. He says, “If you do the same thing over again, time rushes by and you’re bored. Take a risk, try something totally new and it’ll feel like the longest day of your life.” Lloyd recorded the song at London’s legendary Abbey Road Studios and it was produced by Julian Emery [previously worked with pop group McFly and alt-rockers Nothing But Thieves]. “Going into such a legendary place that I’d read about since I was a child was one of the strangest experiences of my life,” says the musician.

While in lockdown in the U.K. the singer-songwriter has been working on prepping the next Waiting For Smith track titled “Lines of Love,” which releases next month. The musician continues his positive train of thought amid the coronavirus pandemic and says, “People have had a chance to think and to involve themselves in creativity. There’ll be new books written, new albums made, new children born and everything will be kind of upgraded.”

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Watch the music video for “Long Life” below:

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