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Meet Alvin Garrett, The Inspirational Soul Artist Helping To Elevate Our Community

A celebrated son of the south, Alvin Garrett has amassed multiple awards with his melodic vocal lines combined with Smooth Jazz and Sultry R&B, including a Grammy nomination, a Soul Train Award, Dove and Stellar Awards.

Garrett’s impressive career has ushered him to the forefront of Soul and R&B as a professional bassist, producer, arranger, and songwriter for artists such as Joe, Kelly Rowland, Fantasia, Ruben Studdard, Jordan Knight, Deitrick Haddon and many more.

As a vocalist and live performer, many compare Garrett to soulful icons Sam Cooke and Al Green. This comparison became prevalent after his first radio single, By Myself, debuted on multiple radio platforms, including R&B, Blues, and Gospel.

As an Inspirational Soul artist, Garrett has captivated audiences everywhere, including a performance of his moving song It Starts In The Heart during the historic 56th annual Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee, one of the most significant Civil Rights events in the country.

The singer-songwriter has a personal and professional mantra: “As I elevate, I uplift.” Committed to living up to this statement in real time, Garrett teaches and mentors at-risk youth and young adults with his songwriting program “The Write Life.” Through a partnership with The Dannon Project, a reentry program, Garrett helps others develop life management and communication skills while also helping build emotional maturity through songwriting.

The Quintessential Gentleman caught up with the rising star to discuss his career, his love for music and more.

Talk to me about why it is important to highlight the Black community's contribution to music.

To me, Black music is the thread that weaves together American history, culture, and life. Our influence cannot and should not be overlooked. Not only does Black music help us reach back, but it also shows us the path forward.

You are a singer, professional bassist, producer, arranger, and songwriter, do you feel your career has excelled for being so well-rounded in music?

Being well-rounded has helped me stay in the game and continue growing. I’m not a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none, but having a diversified set of skills has kept me competitive over the course of my career.

Describe the moment when your name was called during that first Grammy nomination you received.

Actually, I found out by a phone call from my childhood friend and American Idol winner, Ruben Studdard. He called and asked if I knew that I was nominated for a Grammy, and I was sort of in shock when he told me. It took a few minutes for the reality to settle in.

When was the moment that you realized your mantra "As I elevate, I uplift,” could be used as a tool in your career?

In 2015, I released a song called, “By Myself.” I believe that I discovered my musical purpose when the stories and testimonies started rolling in. That purpose just so happened to align with my commitment to always uplift others as I strive for my own success.

Why was it important for you to teach and mentor through your songwriting program “The Write Life”?

Through this songwriting therapy program I developed in 2015, I found a unique way to connect with at-risk youth and young adults in my community. By utilizing my skills as a producer and songwriter, I’ve created a platform for musical expression, conflict resolution, and relationship building. I’ve seen rival gang members become friends to write a song, and that gives me great hope.

Your music is described as an inspirational soul artist, and you are a preacher's son, was it a hard journey when you wanted to enter the music world and not be a traditional gospel artist, how did your family take it?

Fortunately, I was not raised in a strict religious household. My parents taught me about God, love, faith, and hope…and those ideals are not restricted to Gospel Music. My parents have been my biggest supporters because they see that I have stayed true to my core as I’ve pursued my musical dreams.

In 2021 you released your "The Lightness of Love" EP - what was the process like? You were dedicated to spreading love during such dark times with Covid and politics, how did you keep your own mental health a priority?

In the fall of 2019, I was experiencing the weight of perceived failure in my career…and that was depressing for me. I entered 2020 imagining my future without music. Then the world shut down during COVID, and I actually found personal relief from having to chase the dream that had let me down. That’s when I rediscovered the purity of my craft and found the joy I was able to share on this project.

In May of this year you released "Till I'll Get Back to You" - What is next for you? How are you planning to keep R&B and soul alive?

Soul music comes from the soul, and that’s what I am sharing with this new single and my upcoming album, “SFTY (Safety).” I’ve been told by many of my supporters that my music saved their life. So, I plan to keep pushing this soul music, inspiring others, and carrying the torch of the Black Music Legacy.


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