Change can be scary, but it’s a concept R&B singer Lloyd embraces. On the phone excitedly talking business, he hangs up to start this interview with a smile that’s so big it brightens every corner of the dimly lit room.  He recently cut off his trademark long hair–12 inches!–and donated it to Locks of Love, the charity for children who lost their hair due to cancer. Besides his generous heart, what made him cut the hair? “The pursuit of happiness,” he says. “Change is good when the time is right.”

But the singer’s look isn’t the only change his fans will notice. After three albums on The Inc., Lloyd decided to part ways with the label. It’s a year after that decision, and when asked if he still has a relationship with The Inc. founder Irv Gotti, Lloyd takes a long pause before responding, “Not really…no.”

Now signed to Interscope Records, the 24-year-old feels, career-wise, not even the sky’s the limit. “I think when you get Timbaland, and you get Pharrell, and you get Polow da Don, and you get Jimmy Iovine, and we all are in there with one goal in mind and that’s to be number one in R&B music, I think that’s kinda what you get at the end of the day.”

Lloyd has been busy collaborating with a number of artists including 50 Cent, Young Jeezy, fellow New Orleans native Mystikal and DC’s own Wale. The singer’s genuine, infectious smile lights up the room when he talks about his forthcoming album. He describes the project as a “must-hear.”

“I haven’t felt this kind of excitement since the first time I did this as a solo act. The approach and the energy that’s being put into it…it’s so focused.”

Focused may be an understatement. The singer says his vocal approach is more disciplined and has even disciplined his life. “I still indulge from time to time, but, no excess sugar, no salt, no fried foods, no soda. I stopped smoking. I haven’t had a drink in months. When I’m working, I don’t party. There’s a time and a place for everything. Even when I do stuff now, I do it in moderation.”

Lloyd is even surrounding himself by those with the same work ethic, like Polow da Don, who produced Lloyd’s single “Lay It Down.”

“The coolest thing about working with Polow is that no amount of time is enough. He’s a perfectionist. He’s a hard worker. It’s really like, whatever it takes. So, sometimes we can spend forever on one song just because we want it to come out the way we envision it to.”

With a new label and a new outlook, Lloyd expects his positivity, hard work and discipline to pay off. He has grown as an artist, no longer seeing limitations. “When I first started, the ceiling was the ceiling and what was in front of me was what was in front of me, but now I look past all of this because I see something so much better and bigger.”

There isn‘t much the artist has to say to entice fans to buy his upcoming album besides declaring with a smile, “It’s gonna be the best album of the year.”

Check out LloydMusic.com for more info on his upcoming album King of Hearts or follow him on Twitter @Lloyd_YG.

By Nyree Berry