In the Spotlight with Sean Garrett
Courtesy of Columbia Records
Throughout the past nine years, Sean Garrett has rightfully earned his respect in the music industry. Nicknamed, “The Pen”, by Jay-Z, Garrett has written and produced 17 number one hits for artists including Usher, Chris Brown, Ciara, Fergie, Enrique Iglesias, Jesse McCartney, Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Ludacris, and Britney Spears, among others.
“It’s the respect that I have for them and the respect we have for each other,” he comments on his approach to working with such renowned figures. “You just have to be giving of yourself and not really think about you, because you’re thinking about the artists and what’s going to be the best record that will take him or her to the next level. That’s pretty much the way I think when it comes to working with somebody as great as the artists that I’ve been able to work with.”
Garrett’s eclectic body of work continues to build as he collaborates with additional artists. “I just finished working on Beyonce’s album, and of course I’m working on Justin Bieber’s new album,” he dishes. “I just did a brand new single for K Michelle, and that’s about to come out this week. I’m really excited about working on other people’s projects.”
Though he’s enjoyed collaborating with countless stars, Garrett admits that there are many others who have yet to work with him. Among the singers he looks forward to collaborating with, he states, “I haven’t worked with John Legend, but John and I are getting ready to go in the studio and work together. I haven’t worked with B.o.B. I got a call to work with him, so I’m very excited. I haven’t worked with Cee Lo either. Cee Lo is definitely someone who I love and respect. I want to work with Lykke Li too. That’s someone who I like a lot, and I dig what she’s about. I just love her voice and I can’t wait to get an opportunity to work with her.”
Between writing and producing for others, Garrett has also remained busy with preparations for his upcoming album, entitled “Courtesy Of”, after having signed with Columbia Records. The album’s first single, “Feel Love” featuring J.Cole, remains just a snippet of what’s to come, according to the singer.
“I’m really trying to do an album that exceeds expectations,” Garrett comments. “I’m in a really great place and this is going to be exceptional, [especially] some of the collaborations. I don’t want to give it away, but we’ve got one with Rick Ross that we’re getting ready to run with now. It’s going to be a really, really big club record, and I’m excited about it.”
According to Garrett, fans should expect the sound of the album not only to echo his prior work, but also to expand and reach the demographics. “Ultimately, I’m starting with my urban core,” he says. “This is not a race, it’s a marathon. I have a brand to protect and a brand to build, so I’m really working. I’m starting with my core audience and spreading out to my rhythmic audience, as well as my pop audience.”
A release date for the much-anticipated album has yet to be determined, says Garrett. “We haven’t set a release date, which is kind of good because it gives me more time to put out more music,” he discloses. “These days, it’s about having more than enough music out there, so I want to be able to spend enough time with my audience and build my fan base up. That’s what I’m excited about. Being on the road and seeing the fans, being at the colleges and clubs, and going to cities …it’s a joyous opportunity.”
Though joy and excitement settle in during the making of his album, the singer admits to encountering some challenges as he transitions from producer and songwriter to full-blown artist.
It’s definitely a challenge,” he says. “If you’ve been a successful doctor for a number of years and people have grown to accept you and respect you as a doctor, it’s hard for them to see you become a lawyer until you prove yourself. It’s a challenge, but that’s just the way life is. In this industry, people are so competitive and there’s so much that happens to ride on your success. There are so many more opportunities for you to fail versus to win, but I have a winning attitude. I’m not focused on any negativity or the challenges. I’m just focused on enjoying life, making fans happy with my music, and being positive.”
If anything, Garrett possesses an abundance of optimism and determination, which have played a large role in his successes, thus far. After years of writing, producing, and singing, the triple-threat also credits his triumphs to hard work and practice.
He adds, “You’ve got to keep working. It’s like anything else. You have to keep practicing. The best lesson is for you to be out here with the fans and for you to be performing.”
Credits: Sean Garrett, Joann Mignano, Caity Cudworth, Michael Navarra, Columbia Records
© Veronika Tacheva, 2011. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.