Atlanta born music mogul Sean ‘the Pen’ Garrett is a legend in the industry for his 17 #1 records. A stst that puts him on par with such legendary artists as the Beatles and Elvis. His touch in the studio has earned him the nickname ‘the Pen’ from Jay Z, for his song writing prowess. If you work with Garrett, you will have a hit. That is virtually guaranteed.
What is like like moving to Miami?
SG: Its been great taking up Miami as a second home. Just an opportunity to come down and living on the beach and just enjoying working down here, its a different vibe. I feel like a beach bum now (laughs).
What goes into making a hit record?
SG: I think a lot that goes into making hits is at first identifying the people, the culture, what makes people dance, what catches people attention, how to phrase things, how to make people feel real about the songs. Whether its a dance record, a boy meets girl, love song ,whatever it is there has to be a certain amount of integrity in the music that’s there that people have to feel connected to. It doesn’t have to be serious, but it’s a certain type of connection. It’s how you make people feel.
Have you ever gone into a session with your vision of the song changing after you started recording?
SG: Yeah that happens. Usually what I do is I demo a record out, take for instance the record “Diva” that I did for Beyonce, initially I had rapping the entire record. I really was sort of speaking how I felt about my accomplishments in the game but I wanted “B” to spit those same lyrics because she has experienced that same thing. You know me and “B” work so well together, she is a great songwriter as well. So a lot of times when she and I work, I’ll be the person that sort of starts off the idea, I’ll take it to her and she will be like ‘yeah I feel that’ or ‘I like that buys change a little bit here.’ That comes into really knowing your craft and knowing what you are doing and be able to sort of switch gears.
Is Beyonce your favorite artist to work with:
SG: (Smiles) She is definitely one of my favorites.
Is there someone who you haven’t yet worked with but want to?
SG: I just had a chance to work with Brandy and I always wanted to work with her. Had the chance to work with her voice and be creative with it. We had the chance to work on her new album and just put out her current single “Put it Down” which is the first single off her new album called “211” and is featuring my little brother Chris Brown. The feedback has been enormous.
Any new, unknown artist on your horizon?
SG: I just signed my new artist Nick Gardner, if you haven’t had the opportunity to check him out. Go to Youtube and type in his name. He is an incredible new artist, he is 21 years old from Manchester, England. He’s just an incredible voice. I kind of look at him as the male version of Adele.
You have a great work ethic.
SG: I like the idea of building my brand and figuring it out. Because one thing about being a great music person is that anybody who comes into this business they realize that there’s no blueprint. You can try to follow some of the blueprints that have been set before you, but chances are that there are going to be some roadblocks that are going to definitely the direction of your path. It’s just about being resilient and working hard everyday. Not counting your chickens before they hatch and to realize that this is a marathon, not a sprint.