How did “a Boston kid” become the new voice of a national cereal commercial?
Well, everything just seemed to fall into place. And quickly.
Latrell James Boyd — stage name Latrell James — has lent his voice and music production skills to a new advertisement for Cheerios that is set to air on televisions nationwide and hit movie screens ahead of sneak previews. Already, it’s making (milk) waves on social media.
The one-minute commercial spot, called “Good Goes Round,” and released this week, features a montage of multicultural families and children gobbling up spoonfuls of the oat-based cereal while essentially playing with their food.
For Latrell, a performing artist from Dorchester with his heels deep in the local music scene, it could lead to more exposure.
“I never even thought I’d be doing a commercial — and who would think I’d be part of such a major campaign on my first attempt?” said Boyd, 27. “I was thinking local and small first, but you never know until you try.”
Boyd, a 2008 graduate of Boston’s New Mission High School, said the opportunity to be part of the national commercial seemed to fall into his lap.
A friend in the industry presented the idea to Boyd around two months ago, and everything just clicked from there, right up to the final production of the catchy tune.
“Things move extremely fast in the advertisement world, I’ve learned,” Boyd said, laughing.
He said General Mills sent him the lyrics first, and suggestions about the type of sound they were looking for. The rest they left up to him.
“They told me exactly what they wanted out of it, and that they wanted it to connect with people on an emotional level,” he said.
Inspired by artists like Chance the Rapper and André 3000, of OutKast fame, Boyd went to work. He sat down with a friend, and the pair laid down a track before eventually adding Cheerios’ lyrics, but with a personal twist.
In the end, Boyd’s first attempt at creating the music for the advertisement was his last: the company ate up what he had to offer.
“I laid it down the first way that I figured would work with the lyrics, and my gut instinct was the right instinct, which was pretty cool. The best thing to do is follow your gut, I guess.”
Boyd, who is working on a solo album, said that when he saw the video montage that his song would be set to, he felt even more confident about being a part of the commercial.
“In times where I feel like the country feels like it’s being divided, to show people of all colors and races and backgrounds together ….In this one commercial, and put it in a way that’s positive, just feels right,” he said. “Who wouldn’t want to be part of something that is pushing positivity and unity?”
As for doing more commercials in the future? If it feels right in his gut, Boyd will bite.
“It’s a way to stay relevant and also get paid,” he said. “So, yeah. I’ll definitely keep doing some if it makes sense.”Steve Annear can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.