Sean ‘The Pen’ Garrett: Blessed With A Gift

By Tiffany Thompson  |  06/11/2008

Sean 'The Pen' GarrettIf you found yourself in '04 belting out the lyrics to Ursher's "Yeah" in the club, holding back those "Goodies" like Ciara, looking for a "Solider" like the ladies of Destiny's Child or showing off your "Grillz" like Nelly and Gipp, the man to blame is Sean "The Pen" Garrett.

Dubbed "The Pen" by Jay-Z, Garrett has written songs for artists such as Chris Brown, Beyonce, Ciara, Mario, Kelis, Fergie and Britney Spears to name a few. Prior to Garrett building up a resume of song credits longer than some artists' criminal records, he signed a recording deal that never flourished. After exploring other endeavors, not related to music, Garrett was encouraged by his late mother to go back to the career he was truly passionate about: music. Working behind the scenes allowed Garrett to develop his craft more and more as the years went on, providing him the experience to concoct his very own work of art, Turbo 919.

His latest single, "Grippin'" featuring Ludacris, is blowing up Europe and creating a massive buzz over here in North America.

Thanks to family and strong beginnings, this Atlanta native finds his muse for the music he writes through life and all things "beautiful." BallerStatus was able to squeeze in a quick convo for this jet setting song writing extraordinaire to talk about his musical career, this time as an artist. So tell me about the album?

Sean Garrett: The album is called Turbo 919 and the album is what you call in-cred-ible! I wouldn't even play around! (laughs) The record, I mean, I would say is definitely the best album since Confessions. It's a R&B pop album that really gives you the sensibility of off the wall, from the stand point of being a transition and hit driven. I love my fans and I love music and I'm just so appreciative of what you all have done for my life and my career and so I take it so seriously. The fortunate thing is that, and the great thing about it, is the fact that people didn't know that I was an artist. I was an artist before I was a song writer/producer.

It's kind of funny and really good to know that people don't know that, so it gives the fa├žade to sort of hold in my pocket and be like, "Wait 'til they see this." And it's kind of the same idea with my album. You know of course, I've had the opportunity to work with some of my really good friends and some really big names -- Usher, Beyonce, Fergie, Pussycat Dolls, and Chris Brown. But now, I would be able to take that same energy and sort of dedicate it to an album for me.

It was just great to be able to take that energy and [use] it for something so personal. From songs that make girls go crazy, sexually, to the songs that make people go absolutely bonkers in the club, to the songs that, I feel like, females have been missing for a very long time. The sensibility records of life, the love records the party records, the make you feel good records, the records that Bobby Brown used to do on the "Don't Be Cruel" album. It's just a beautiful thing, like the album is coming together incredibly and I just can't wait for the world to hear it. So where do you get your musical inspiration from?

Sean Garrett: You know, I just love people. I get a lot of energy just to see people smile. I get a lot of energy from hearing peoples want to feel good, feel fresh and have fun, you know what I mean? My approach to music it's like a breath of fresh air. Every breath you take, I would like for it to be new breath of fresh breath. The type of breath that makes you want to take another breath, if that's not too deep. (laughs) No, no not at all! That's always good you don't find people that are so deep. So it's a nice change.

Sean Garrett: You know I love life, I love people and I love when I put music on, or I put one of my songs on and it makes someone react like, "Shh, I like that" or "That's my song!" The most beautiful thing about me being a song writer/producer, first before being an artist, is I used to go in the club and hear people going crazy over my songs and they didn't even know I did it. It used to make me feel really good and it's just love. I really am blessed to have a lot of talent, not just to write and produce songs, but of course I sing and I sing pretty well. A lot of the songs you've heard from me, my voice is still on 'em. Like Yeah! I did a lot of the backgrounds -- all my songs I have background on. From "Bossy," Chris Browns "Run It." It's a beautiful thing I'm just really thankful for the opportunity. You've been nominated for a lot of Grammys, what has that been like for you?

Sean Garrett: I've been nominated for eight Grammys and you know what, it's just a beautiful thing. I mean, anytime any artist, anytime your appreciated, you know, really that's what you work for. I've been fortunate ... my record has been no. 1 in Japan for five weeks; nobody would've ever thought that. It's just beautiful. I realize that I do have a big responsibility ... I understand where my blessings come from. But the fact that the Grammy Association to acknowledge me, it's always a good thing to win a Grammy or two. How so you stay grounded with so much success and you have worked with all these people and have accomplished so many things, what keeps you down to earth?

Sean Garrett: I think my momma, who I lost about five years ago. My mom was so real, she was down to earth, and I don't care how much money I done made, or how many accomplishments I've made, she still clearly has always kept me real. She taught me to love people, respect people, care about people and always be honest as much as possible. I think it starts with my parents my up bringing, they always keep me real. [They taught me to] never forget where I came from, never forget the challenge of life and you can't take anything for granted, and that's what keeps me grounded. That's real good. So what can we expect from you in 2008?

Sean Garrett: Hits! Definitely expect from me a lot of hits. I'm working with Usher and my album is a smash, there's no question. This record is really responding very well. I'm going to be honest with you, I expected it to do good, but I didn't expect it to do what it's doing now. That was my worst record on the album. Really?! You think so?

Sean Garrett: Yup! When you hear the album, you'll know why I say that. 'Cause what I wanted to do was, I wanted to put out a record or, most people might think this, I wanted to put a record out for my people that was just regular people. You know what I'm saying? Like I wasn't trying to put out, like this major Top 40 smash. I didn't want my people to fell like, Sean Garrett done blew up and he's not relatable no more. I didn't want to do that ... like I wanted to remain relatable. For my first single, I wanted to put out something that was like, "He's down to earth." "Grippin' on the Bed" is a very fun record, you know, it ain't overly sexual. "Grippin' on the bed," you ain't gotta be having sex to say, "grippin' on the bed." It's pretty much about having fun. You can be grippin' on the bed 'cause you kissing on the person you love. And that's what it is, it's a fun record, it makes people smile, it makes people that are in love, appreciate love. And that's what Sean Garrett is about. I'm about making people smile. You know, you're very, very humble?

Sean Garrett: I mean, I love life and I realize that life is very -- it's a blessing to wake up every morning and have your fingers and arms work and be able to have a voice, you know? To be heard. How can you be cocky about that? You didn't have nothing to do with that, it was all God. You have to appreciate those moments and be happy about those moments. Be happy about your blessings. A lot of people aren't happy about their blessings. I'm happy about my blessings, you know what I mean? What do you want to accomplish in the music industry that you haven't already done?

Sean Garrett: I sort of consider myself as a young Lionel Richie -- young Lionel Richie, young Michael Jackson, young Smokey Robinson and a little bit of a young Quincy Jones. And when I say all those things that must mean I want to become a young legend. Because I feel like my responsibility for our generation is to lead where y'all call me to lead at, and perform where, or when ya'll call me to perform. So that's my focus, my focus is to never stop and take off from where those guys left off at and stand up for my community, stand up for [this] generation. And let the past generation know that we are a very talented generation as well; we're a very talented and real generation as well. So that's my focus and that's why I feel like I'm here.