This podcast of the week is the highlight of the latest episode of Corey Cambridge’s ‘Silent Giants’ podcast where he sits down with legendary music writer Siedah Garrett.
Garrett is an American singer and songwriter who has written songs and performed backing vocals for many recording artists in the music industry, such as Quincy Jones, Tevin Campbell, Donna Summer, Madonna, Jennifer Hudson, Michael Jackson, among others. Garrett shares personal stories regarding her journey in the music industry.
Garrett was born in Compton, California, and had the love of music from a young age. The 60-year-old spoke about her early desires to become a musician.
“It was what set me apart from every other student in school and from people in my family. It’s what garnered me the little bit of attention that I could get. So I wanted to feed that, I wanted to….grow I wanted to make that blossom. “
The joy and glee emulating Garrett’s voice when she talks about music are evident early on in the podcast. It is no surprise that she eventually signed on to work with Quincy Jones as a songwriter in the early 80s. While Garrett said she didn’t have a close relationship with the music icon, she understood how his presence had an effect on people in a room.
“I was noticing how others were reacting to his presence and it made me say this guy must be something special. It really was how everyone else was revering him that I think, this is a bad mamajama.”
Garrett weaves her words in such a way that it is almost as if she is crafting a melody during this podcast. As she speaks, listeners are transported to a time where speaking to someone meant actually talking to them on the phone. Garrett gives a detailed story about how she met Michael Jackson for the first time, and what it was like crafting the song “Man in the Mirror”.
“I was signed to Quincy Jones as a songwriter and at one point, during the recording of the ‘Bad’ album, Quincy said, ‘We’ve been in the studio for a long time and we’re just finishing this record and we need one more song to finish out the ‘Bad’ album. So we had a meeting with these writers. I’m flipping to my lyric book to see this song I wrote called “Man in the Mirror”. The phrase Man in the Mirror kept jumping off the page.”
Eventually, Garrett was able to speak to Jackson directly about the vision of the song, saying that she didn’t want to give the legendary singer another “Ohhh-baby-baby” song, even giving him six different stanzas to choose from to close out the song
This episode cultivates energy that people can only experience when they realize their passion. Garrett’s story isn’t really one of fame and fortune, but about following the love inside everyone to pursue the thing that makes them feel alive. Silent Giants is an excellent podcast that digs deep to investigate the people behind the scenes while learning more about your favorite superstar’s most famous works.
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