Alvin Garrett is a Grammy-Nominated Songwriter, producer and solo recording artist who has worked with other musicians like Joe, Fantasia, Kelly Rowland, Ruben Studdard, and many more. We recently spoke with Alvin Garrett as he spoke about his latest single, Ms. Perfection Feat. Zapp, his upcoming album, and the future.
You have a Business Management Degree from Samford University. How has that degree helped you manage your music career?
I’ve always heard that the music business is 10% music and 90% business, and I totally agree. As much as I love all aspects of music, being able to understand and speak the language of business has enabled me to excel past my talent. Being aware and intelligent about business comes with its benefits, but it also makes you threatening to those who are accustomed to musicians and artists being uninformed. Ultimately, I just focus on building mutually beneficial relationships and having a business background helps me do that more effectively.
You have written songs for a lot of artists! Can you describe the transition from songwriter to a solo artist?
I have an analogy that describes my approach to songwriting, and it’s called “The Kool-Aid” approach. The song is the water, the artist is the Kool-Aid flavor, and the songwriter/producer is the sugar. When I work for another artist, my involvement should only sweeten an artist, not change their color or identity. With that approach, I’m able to focus on my role and not allow my artistic “flavor” to dominate someone else’s sound. So making the transition from Sugar to Kool-Aid was all about me finding MY color, and I’ve been loving it.
Where did the inspiration for “Ms. Perfection” come from?
I’m always telling my lady how beautiful she is to me, yet she always wants to convince me otherwise. So I’ve always told her to try seeing herself through my eyes and maybe she would be so hard on herself. That’s the basic underlying message in the song…love erases imperfections.
You recently hosted the Red Mountain Writing Project Camp. How was that experience?
I can honestly say that this was one of the most fulfilling experiences I’ve ever had. Not only was I able to teach young people the technical approach to songwriting, I was able to mentor them and teach them how to process their thoughts into songs. Our young people are burdened with so much these days: bullying, fear of the police, body-shaming, racism, and more. I was honored to help them harness their thoughts and feelings to create really cool songs. I definitely plan to continue working with the program, and hopefully expand my efforts even further.
What can we look forward to from your upcoming album?
My next album will definitely contain some serious soul. I like to speak to the heart and mind through my music and this next album will do that. If you love The Motown and Stax sound, you’ll really enjoy this next project. It’s sonically current, but it’s glittered with that old soul.
If you could go on tour with any artists, who would it be and why?
I would honestly like to tour with soulful artists, old and young: Al Green, Anthony Hamilton, Zapp, and Frankie Beverly and Maze to name a few. There’s nothing like singing to an audience that loves good passionate soul, R&B and funk, and these types of artists draw those crowds.
What is next for Alvin Garrett?
For now, I’m going to continue promoting “Ms. Perfection” feat. Zapp while completing my album, and performing with my band, Just A Few Cats. I hope to be on tour in the fall with the album as well.
Make sure to follow Alvin on social media @TheAlvinGarrett