Sean Garrett: Music Industry Creative Genius
Sean Garrett: Music Industry Creative GeniusInterviewed by Tocarra Eldridge
When super producer and songwriter Sean “The Pen” Garrett picks up a pen, you can expect the song to be a hit. Garrett, the multifaceted artist has proven that he is not only accredited as a singer, rapper and performer, but also as a phenomenal human-being, as well as a musical trendsetter. In this generation as a successful businessman, CEO of his label Bet I Penned It, the young gifted artist has earned his stripes as a soon to be legend in his own rights.
As a child, listening to Top 40 hits of various genres of music, the talented songwriter began producing at the age of 10. Garrett began his start to stardom at the age of 17, performing in talent shows which led to major record contracts with Ariola/BMG and Warner Bros that unfortunately fell through due to circumstances. The journey wasn’t always easy for the teenage Garrett as he had to succumb to the not so great musical heart-breaks that came his way.
When Garrett graduated from the University of Maryland in Germany (where he mainly grew up and where his father shifted from base to base in the U.S. Military), he eventually took a mortgage broker job after earning his A.A. degree in business when he returned to the U.S. Mesmerized by many, Garrett speaks several languages, as he is filled with determination and drive; nonetheless, remaining humble and respectful to himself and others. Eventually, his southern hospitality would lead him to a prosperous future.
Garrett continued to follow his vision and his passion as he set out to hit the studio in South Carolina, where he also took care of his loving son. Due to the loss of his mother in 2002, Garrett returned back to his hometown Atlanta, Georgia, to the thriving music community. With the encouragement that his mother left with him, he knew deep down inside that he had to make his dream a reality. Shortly after, he signed a publishing deal with LA Reid’s Hitco, along with numerous record label contracts afterwards. Some of his #1 hit chart toppers include Usher’s “Yeah, ”Enrique Iglesias’s “Away,” Ciara’s “Goodies,” Chris Brown’s “Run It,” Beyonce’s “Ring the Alarm” and the list goes on and on.
Within a decade, Garrett has been the only producer with the most number one hits of all times to place 5th on the Billboard Magazine list and BMI honored him as Co-Songwriter Of The Year. As a solo artist, some of his albums include Turbo 919, Courtesy Of and The Inkwell (mixtape).
Consciousness Magazine had the opportunity to interview Sean Garrett, as he shares not only his success story and projects as a talented artist, but also illustrates ways of how to inspire, empower and encourage many regarding how he has overcome obstacles in the music industry to get to where he is today.
Tocarra Eldridge: As a father, is it challenging balancing your crafts as a record producer, songwriter, singer and rapper?
Sean Garrett: Yeah, it’s a big balancing act. I feel as though I have the best job in the world. It couldn’t be better…[I] have a son that’s growing up to make his dad proud. I’m having a wonderful life! Having the opportunity everyday to be a creative genius…[I] couldn’t ask for more!
TE: You have always had the talent to perform. Is it difficult making a transition from being in the background to appearing in the forefront as an artist?
SG: No, I think it’s gradual for a true artist at heart. I was an artist before I became quote unquote ‘Sean Garrett the Pen’. I grew up in Europe since I was 5 years old. I grew up abroad. What most people don’t know is that I’ve only been back in America for 9 years. Being able to balance it all is a true pleasure. I’m living that dream that we all have as a young child. I’m blessed to be able to do so.
TE: What are some of the goals that you have set to become a well-recognized record producer?
SG: My goals are really really high! I want to be the biggest Quincy Jones one day. Quincy Jones is the name that rings in my mind when I think of goals and accomplishments. I have very high aspirations and achievements that I set for myself. You know…17 #1’s and Billboard’s top 10’s, and with the Brandy album, we want to show the complete achievement and appreciation for the kid the industry raised. They all raised her, as well as sharing the blueprint with me. I’m so excited! I wake up everyday and enjoy being able to be a creative genius.
TE: Has there been any sacrifices that you have made to get to where you are today in your career?
SG: Yes, one has been my son. I’ve been there for him a lot. As far as sharing all the time with him and sharing all the moments, I can’t always do that. When you become a parent you want to share every moment and every second with your child. It’s been a sacrifice. And because of that, I feel like I owe my life to him, being my first and only child. I had to make some wild sacrifices, but at the end of the day it has to be done.
TE: As a teenager, due to circumstances, hurt and disillusions came about when your record deal fell through with Warner’s. How did you bounce back?
SG: As a kid, I’ve always been a go getta’. I always had a humungous, enormous belief in God and what God’s word is. If you believe in Him and trust Him, He will always, always make sure you get through. People are sometimes big on having some sort of stamp in the industry. I have the stamp of God. So, I’ve never even looked back. My mother always raised me to know that you’re going to have trials and tribulations and that anything worth having is worth dying for. It’s all a voyage and learning situation. My mom always instilled that in me.
TE: You have worked with many of the industry’s leading artist. Your 2010 Inkwell mixtape features Nicki Minaj on “Get It All”. What was it like working with her?
SG: (Laugh) It was incredible! She is a real exciting young lady. She’s done a lot for the industry. I was so happy to have had the opportunity to work with her. I learned that she and I are both very very bullheaded when it comes to what it is that we feel in our heart. We had a great time working together…you know being able to have the opportunity to share with someone different. Working with her was a wonderful opportunity.
TE: Are you looking for any talent for your record label?
SG: Yeah, absolutely. I’m always looking for the new and upcoming talent. I consider myself being a label head. Right now I’m young and looking for incredible talent to produce. I’m looking for the whole nine…artist, producers, and great executives.
TE: Would you like to share any insight for any up and coming producers, songwriters, singers, and rappers?
SG: I’m happy to be so young and still in the game. I love what a lot of people are doing for the game. I like what Drake is doing for the game, along with many other artist. My goal is not to be one of the greatest, but my goal is to be the greatest alive.
TE: Do you have anything that you would like to add before we close the interview?
SG: First of all, I want to thank you so much for your magazine and for the support. I’d like to say thank you to all of you that have been supporting me. Thank you for all the support and to all of my fans. I’d like everyone to follow me @IamSeanGarrett on my twitter. Look out for the new Brandy album. We have Beyonce and Mary J. Blige on the new album that we just did. I’m about to run it in a big way for the industry!
TE: Thank you so much for the interview Sean. It’s been a pleasure speaking with you.