Los Angeles, CA – No doubt about it, Sean Garrett is one of the most prolific songwriters in pop music history. The man has crafted dozens of Billboard hits for the likes of Beyoncé, Chris Brown, Ciara, Mario, Miley Cyrus and many more.
One infamous single that didn’t fare too well was Nicki Minaj’s 2010 track “Massive Attack.” Initially slated to be the debut single from her then-highly-anticipated major label debut, Pink Friday, the single was seen as a disappointment.
Speaking with HipHopDX, Garrett explained that the song had a better presence online than it did radio. A quick look at Spotify has the track earning over 3 million streams while the Hype Williams-directed video featuring appearances from Amber Rose and Minaj’s ex- Safaree Samuels is around 70 million YouTube views.
“The record was massive online. The numbers online were through the roof for the video. It was a matter of timing,” Garrett told DX. “I’m going to be honest with you, I think she came with that one too fast. That shouldn’t have been the first single in my opinion. I felt like it should have came after she dropped the street record.”
Garrett also mentioned some creative differences in the making of “Massive Attack.”
“I didn’t like the mix on it and I love Nicki to death,” he shared. “We just had creative differences as well. I love Nicki. I don’t even feel bad about that. ‘Massive Attack’ was huge. Everyone still ask me about ‘Massive Attack’ all the time. You gotta take the good with the bad, you can’t always get it fucking right all the time. This girl was the biggest conversation in music. Nicki Minaj was about to drop her first album and she was so excited and she loved that song. I actually had that song already done and she was like, I want that. I wanted to stay on the hook and she wanted to do the shit by herself. It was so many different things that were going on that it sort of like … My biggest thing is that it’s something you don’t blast off with Funk Flex. At the end of the day, I love Nicki and she’s a fucking boss. I had to give her room to do what she wanted to do. I’ll take responsibility for it not being a huge radio smash but, the fact that you can bring it up, and everyone brings it up.”
Garrett’s spent a portion of the last several years trying to come into his own as a solo artist as well. This came in the form of his 2008 debut Turbo 919 and well-received 2010 mixtape The Inkwell.
“It’s definitely been a minute but I’ve been doing so many things,” he said. “I’m really excited about returning to the stage and the game. I just left a label meeting where we just shut the label down with that music. Basically, with me, I’m just always about the music. I think so many artists are out here trying to be famous and have these media flip outs. Me, I just like to keep it to the streets, music and consumer and make the fans happy. I’m really happy to be back out here and just turning up and surprising people with some amazing music. Just sticking to the script.”
More recently, he’s dropped several singles including “Look on Your Face” featuring Lil Yachty. Dropping late last year, the single has already become a smash with almost a million streams on Spotify with a video slated to drop fairly soon. During the interview, he explained why Lil Yachty was perfect for the single.
“I chose to put Lil Yachty on my record because I think Lil Yachty’s dope,” he said. “I think he’s different and a star number one. When it comes to artists, some artists are lyrical and some are just stars. Some artists are just creative and their vibe sort of comes off in different ways. Me, when I look at Lil Yachty, I look at someone who is really, really, young and has the voice of a culture that some people don’t even know about. Me, I like to tap into the culture and what I feel like is next or misunderstood. Just the idea of surprising people or putting like Lil Yachty on a Sean Garrett record is something someone wouldn’t expect. When you hear the record, you can say I couldn’t imagine this happening, but you hear the record and you start saying that it sounds for real.”
The single is to be featured on his yet to be titled album. According to Garrett, he’s slated to work with Gucci Mane, Young Dolph and others on the project.
“I’ve grown to the point where I understand the business of it and understand every aspect and piece of what I’m doing,” he said. “Why it’s important to do certain things and build your brand. My face card is more important than my music now. Before, my music was more important than my face card.”
Watch the behind the scenes for “Look on Your Face” below.