( ENSPIRE Feature ) Grammy-Nominated Songwriter Alvin Garrett Values Spreading Love At All Times
ENSPIRE Contributor: Rosemary Gonzalez
As the pandemic continues, many are trying to keep community spirits alive. Award-winning songwriter, Alvin Garrett is using his voice and soulful lyricism to spread kindness everywhere he goes. “The Lightness of Love” is one of Garrett’s projects that was released in 2021. Garrett wrote and produced “The Lightness of Love” in the middle of the pandemic as a gift to his fans and those who needed to be reminded that “Love is the most powerful thing.”
Birmingham, Alabama native Garrett understands the importance of helping others because he wouldn’t be the artist he is today without the community’s support. Garrett is not only a Grammy-winning songwriter and artist, he’s also a business owner, professional bassist, music, and event producer. Besides this, he has written and arranged songs for Joe, Kelly Rowland, Fantasia, Johnny Gill, Ruben Studdard, Noel Gourdin, Jordan Knight, and many others. Garrett has a way of grabbing his audience’s attention through his songwriting and his unique voice, whether it’s R&B, Gospel, Pop, or Jazz. Garrett expressed that “The Lightness of Love” project was penned from a place of gratitude as Garrett appreciates those who have been an essential part of his career and his life. His gratitude goes out to his community and fans.
ENSPIRE spoke to Alvin Garrett to find out more about “The Lightness of Love” and his other work:
Can you tell me more about your new project “The Lightness of Love” and what inspired you to write it?
In the summer of 2020, I responded to the heaviness of the pandemic and social unrest with an EP entitled “The Awakening.” That project was my expression of frustration and hopes during that time. I simply got tired of feeling like that all the time, so I made music to lighten things up a little bit. That’s when I discovered the sound and concept for “The Lightness of Love.” This album definitely takes you away and allows you to feel light and loved when you’re grooving to it.
What inspired you to include the track ‘Flowers’ in the “Lightness of Love project?”
Throughout the pandemic, I’ve made a personal commitment to letting people I care about know how much they mean to me. I’ve even reached out to people who may not have even been aware of the impact they’ve made on my life. These tributes, or “Flowers,” have been so meaningful, because gratitude creates human bonds and strengthens relationships. Also, people need to know that they are treasured…while they can hear it.
How does it make you feel to showcase your daughter’s talent by showcasing her artwork with the song?
How did those flowers make you feel during the hard times of the pandemic? One of the most important lessons I taught my children during the pandemic was gratitude. I saw a major turnaround in their attitude and demeanor once they embraced gratitude as a way to combat sadness during the pandemic. Having my daughter translate that into beautiful artwork for my single cover meant a lot to me, and she’s thrilled about all the positive feedback on her art.
How do you plan to honor the hometown heroes during this pandemic? What makes someone a hometown hero?
I believe a hero is anyone who rescues you in some sort of way. To me, the simple act of encouragement can rescue someone from drowning in self-doubt. I’m using my song “Flowers,” to not only connect with my heroes but to encourage others to identify and connect with their heroes as well.
How are you adjusting to the changes and new information regarding the pandemic?
I’m as hopeful as anyone that we can beat this pandemic, but I’m not waiting around for the “old normal” to return. Of course, I’m factoring in the ever-changing nature of this pandemic, but sitting on my hands has never been my thing. While staying safe and healthy, I’m being aggressive and innovative with my marketing, promotions, and performances.
What motivates you to give back to your fans?
In my journey, my relationship with my fans has been motivation-and-inspiration-driven. I’ve discovered that many people look to me and my music for encouragement and inspiration…and I consider that to be an honor. I always seek to spread good vibes with my songs and my life, and that’s how I’ve been able to connect with my fans. Also, they encourage me to keep pushing and climbing to the top, because they know it hasn’t been easy for me to make it to this point.
What is the mission of The Write Life and how has the power of words helped sculpt your future?
In 2015, I developed a songwriting/therapy curriculum called The Write Life, and I modeled it after my songwriting style and my life management strategies. I believe our words and thoughts critically shape our lives, and we should use our words intentionally and purposefully. I teach my students, through songwriting, how to take control of their ideas and their thoughts. Personally, I would not have made it this far had I allowed others to define my future with their words.
How can love lead to unity and how do you plan to spread love and unity?
I have this personal saying, “You can’t hold hands if you’re always pointing fingers.” In my opinion, it’s nearly impossible to connect with another human being without love and empathy being a part of the pursuit of unity. I just don’t believe that unity is possible without first creating a safe and productive environment to engage. Genuine love helps set the tone and direction for unity. That doesn’t mean that love makes the process easy or painless. I just believe that love makes it possible, at least that’s been my personal experience.
Garrett is an artist who continues to use his talent and generous spirit to uplift and inspire. One can listen to his music here. To keep up with updates from Garrett, please visit his social media on Facebook and Instagram. Visit AlvinGarrett.com to get connected with him.