With all the hubbub over her public divorce, revolving door rehab stints, and head-shaving wackiness, it seems like forever since anyone talked about Britney Spears as a pop singer. But producer Sean Garrett, who’s helping Le Brit put together her new album, thinks her upcoming new record will help her change all that.
”She will be coming back really strong, I promise,” Garrett told EW at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards. ”It is possible for her to be big again and popular again. Hits always solve everything. A hit makes people forget just about anything.”
If there’s one thing the Grammy Award-nominated songwriter/producer knows, it’s how to make a 21st-century hit record. Garrett’s résumé includes writing chart toppers for Chris Brown, Beyoncé, Destiny’s Child, and Ciara, and Jay-Z has dubbed him ”the pen” for his master songwriting prowess. He was a natural choice for Spears, whose last album of all-original material, 2003’s In the Zone, sold a disappointing (in Britney terms) 3 million copies.
The two began work on the new record before the meltdown, and Garrett promises that her brief hiatus won’t get in the way of their finishing what they started.
”We had a couple of bombs, instant party classics that we worked up then, and we are still feeling strong about them,” Garrett said. ”I was already involved with her when things started spinning out of control. I think that pumps you up more than brings you down. It is more of a challenge for me as a producer. We’re in the business, too. I know how difficult [it] can get, and sometimes things aren’t really how they look. There is a lot going on in her life and she is real people. Real people got problems and real people have meltdowns and cry. She has a heart and she is a passionate and emotional girl and sometimes s— gets too tough.”
As if resurrecting Spears’ career weren’t enough, Garrett is also currrently helping with Usher’s new record, as well as the solo album for Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger, and the new record from R&B sensation Chris Brown. ”The topics he sings about are a little more mature and his voice is getting a little deeper,” he reveals about Brown. ”He is catering a little more to the ladies this time, but there are also still some high-energy songs and club records. It will show a little maturity. We got this record, which I’m thinking will be the first single, called ‘Wall to Wall.’ That’s hot.”
You might think that Garrett would be too preoccupied with keeping Spears on track to take on so many high-profile projects, but the producer seems confident she has her demons under control.
”She is making the efforts to handle her business and I don’t worry about her,” he said. ”I will always love and support Britney. She is a great woman, and she has always done good with her kids when I was around. I’d trust her with mine. She is a good mom and she is a great performer. It would be a bummer if that was silenced. It’s game time and she will be back. Just wait.”
— Additional reporting by Carrie Bell