Music Production Course Director Veit Renn has had a busy year. In March he released his first full-length album, a pop R&B record titled Overdue. He also produced Entertainment Business Bachelor’s student Ian Von’s sophomore album Love Songs, Beats & Guitars and mixed records for independent artist Honey Larochelle and jazz pianist Derrick Harvin.
Veit has over two decades of industry experience writing for and producing acts like N*Sync, Jennifer Hudson, Fergie, and the Backstreet Boys. A talented vocalist himself, he says the title of his album reflects the creative urgency he felt upon reflecting on his career.
“Coming into a situation where I worked with singing groups was just a given. It was a perfect situation for them and for me. I ended up putting all I’ve learned over the years into [other artist’s] records. A couple of years ago I decided that it was time to fulfill my own dream and make this record.”
The dream began with a single flash of inspiration. Veit was driving home one afternoon when the beginning of a song came to him. “I heard the entire hook in my head,” he says. “The chords, melody, almost all the words. The whole thing was crystal clear.” He pulled over and recorded the idea on his phone. That fragment became “I Do,” an upbeat love song dedicated to his wife Janice, who also sings on the track. Writing “I Do” set the theme for the whole record, which is about relationships and the work that goes into maintaining them.
A relationship-centric approach, albeit a creative one also factored into the production of Overdue. Several of the songs were co-written with his longtime writing partner Jolyon Skinner. He wrote five of the songs with Larochelle, and two of the tracks feature Harvin on piano. He met Von through a student of his, and they recently performed together at Veit’s album release party.
Veit relied on the same industry expertise he uses to guide students when it came time to develop a marketing strategy for Overdue.
“It used to be you could only get into the market if you were with a major label, or an independent label that had major distribution,” he says. “You had this market filter where companies would only spend money on a more refined product.”
Now, says Veit, it’s easier than ever before to achieve high quality sound in a home studio. This is great for artists without a huge amount of monetary support, but it removes that built in industry filter, leading to an oversaturated market. Veit believes one good way to sift through the influx of music is to go out and watch bands perform live whenever possible. “One of my goals is to go out and play live as much as possible,” he says. “I believe in the old school way of building a fan base.”