September 26, 2013

"On the Come Up" - September Edition

Sean “Pen” McMillion, one half of the songwriting/production duo The Exclusives, shows “On the Come Up” why his style is elite.

Sean McMillion

Sean "Pen" McMillion

Where are you originally from?
Sean McMillion: I'm originally from the very bottom – Miami, FL.

What was your first introduction into the music industry?
SM: My first introduction was working with Lloyd and The Runners in Miami at We the Best Studios. I co-wrote the song entitled, “Pusha.” The opportunity came because DJ Khaled called my writing mentor [R&B legend, songwriter/recording artist] Betty Wright, and she recommended myself and another writer to fill in for Rico Love. We wrote “Pusha,” then the next thing I knew Juelz Santana was in it three days later. Then after a week, Lil Wayne was on it. The rest has yet to be written.

How did you get the opportunity to work with August Alsina on “I Luv This Sh*t?” How was your experience working with him?
SM: I met August when he was 18. We worked on his acoustic EP together and I immediately adopted him as my little brother. We had so many things in common, [aside from] the fact that I was nine years older. It was like having a second chance to write my story through him. We did several mixtape projects together before we connected with producer Knucklehead. The Exclusives, August Alsina and Knuckhead, powered by The Noontime MuCo/Mandestin Engine, was a match made in heaven. “I Luv This Sh*t” wasn't simply written, it was destined. It wasn't a planned single. It was just a glance into life as we knew it.

What are you currently working on?
SM: Currently, we are working on more August Alsina. Also, we just started our own label, Upper Class Music Group (UCMG) and we just signed some incredible new acts: 20 year-old Brady out of South Florida; 24 year-old Italian/Jamaican singer-songwriter Eleanor, by way of Jacksonville, FL; and North Carolina native Anthony Wright, a 25 year-old R&B vocalist. We just released a blues EP with Treeceelee – daughter of Betty Wright – entitled Me and Uncle Charles. We are also working on some exciting collaborations with B.o.B, Yo Gotti, Problem, Iamsu!, Trey Songz and got a few more surprises cooking.

What inspires you to create music?
SM: Life inspires me to create music. I love re-creating moments in my life and the lives of others. It's a rush to translate those experiences into songs the world can jam to.

What differentiates you from other songwriters and producers? 
SM: I'm the Rude Boy of songwriting. I honestly love to attack the subjects that other writers shy away from. I love to write the things people wish they could say, but only think to say. Don’t get me wrong, I pride myself on being apart of one of the most versatile writing teams – The Exclusives – but I believe our subject matter sets us apart from the "norm."

What advice do you have for up-and-coming songwriters and producers?
SM: My best advice is to live. Don't waste your life trying to come up with a hit record. Go out and live life to the fullest and the songs will write themselves.

For more information on Sean and The Exclusives, follow on Twitter at @TheExclusives.