Some artists work their whole careers to write a song for a superstar, hoping it will bring them some much-needed cash and open a lot of doors and create new opportunities. It’s tough to get your foot in the door, but if you can manage to do so and secure a placement on a successful record by one of the biggest names in the business, it can make a career almost overnight.
This is what seemingly happened to Kevin Garrett, who was slowly building his fan base for his own music when he was tapped to write a song for none other than the queen herself, Beyoncé. The musician was one of the songwriters and producers on Lemonade opener “Pray You Catch Me,” which many cited as a standout on the full-length.
That springboard has helped him grow as an artist, and now Garrett is gearing up to release his own record Hoax, which will further cement him as a name to watch closely.
Congrats on the upcoming album--how does it feel to finally have it coming out?
Kevin Garrett: Thank you very much! It’s been a long time coming. I was joking with some friends that I’m just happy it’s over with, but truthfully, I’m grateful that people listen to my music enough to want more. I certainly have a lot more left in the tank.
How long have you been working on this collection?
Garrett: This album has been with me forever. There’s a song that’s half my age on the record.
You're already successful in the industry, but you're just making a name for yourself. What are the challenges associated with both?
Garrett: Being an independent artist is a fun game to play. The rewards and other little moments are very validating, especially since I write everything and I’m so involved in production. I think making yourself known happens best when it’s organic and people jump on from the beginning and the fire spreads that way. It adds longevity, especially in an industry where things can fade pretty quickly.
How did you get your start as a songwriter and producer?
Garrett: I wrote and co-produced “Pray You Catch Me” on Beyoncé’s Lemonade. That opened a lot of doors behind the scenes. By that time I was already touring with some other artists for my own music.
How did Beyoncé come to hear your talents?
Garrett: It’s a really flukey story that boils down to “right place, right time.” I feel lucky to have worked on that record.
What was it like being included on her album so early on in your career?
Garrett: It’s definitely a surreal resume builder to say your first songwriting placement was the first song on that album.
Now that you've had success as a songwriter and producer behind the scenes and you're making a name for yourself as an artist, is there one you like better than the other? Do you intend to proceed with both parts of your career?
Garrett: I’m always open to writing for other artists. I prefer to be in the room with them because I think at least then they’ll hear the song. I definitely love writing and singing my own music for people though. It’s really fulfilling to hear people singing your words back to you.
How would you describe your music to someone who had never heard it?
Garrett: Probably sad.
What does the rest of 2019 bring for you?
Garrett: I’m going on tour for my album this spring. It’s called The Hoax Tour but it’s definitely happening. We’ll be hitting some cities in the U.S. and a couple spots in Canada.