Sean Garrett already sports one nickname for his hit-writing prowess: "the Pen." But he hopes his debut as an artist will leave music fans hailing him as "Turbo 919." That's the title of his first album, due May 27 from Bet I Penned It Music/Interscope.
"James Bond's alter ego may be 007, but mine is 'Turbo 919,' "says Porsche aficionado Garrett, who signed his first label deal as an artist when he was 15. (However, the album wasn't released.) "Bond represents danger, sexiness, fun, romance, living on the edge--a poised gentleman who's smart but no pushover. That fits a lot into my persona: a black James Bond who's from the streets but also carries an international vibe."
Currently striking a vibe with U.S. listeners is lead single "Grippin' " featuring Ludacris (which moves 88-67 on Billboard's Hot R&B/HipHop Songs chart this week). Soon to be complemented by a Hype Williams-directed video, the single is an easy-grooving ode to having fun in bed.
"It's not overt, not explicit," Garrett says. "It's just a fun record about something we've all experienced at some point. With this album, I just wanted to take it back to those days when albums were fun, had a concept, a title track, creative interludes."
Garrett's album is also highlighted by "One Day," an acoustic piano song about marriage. Additional collaborators and guests include Rodney Jerkins, Akon, the Neptunes and Lil' Wayne.
Acknowledging that the transition from songwriter/producer to artist can be bumpy, Interscope urban marketing head Chris Clancy is planning a series of Garrett-hosted, major-market studio listening sessions to build further awareness of the project.
"The reality is most people will be suspicious," he says. "But Sean is an incredible songwriter who knows good music and knows the public. He knows what he's doing."
Source Citation:Mitchell, Gail. "Writer-turned-artist Garrett gets a grip.(MUSIC: HAPPENING NOW)." Billboard 120.12 (March 22, 2008): 67(1). Academic OneFile. Gale. BROWARD COUNTY LIBRARY. 16 Sept. 2009
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