It’s time to meet Veit Renn. Renn is a veteran of the Orlando music scene, most of his career has been spent behind the scenes as an award winning songwriter, producer and engineer, with several Multi-Platinum Awards from the RIAA.
While most people might not know his name, they have heard his music over the years. He co-produced the platinum single, “I’ll Never Break your Heart” by the Backstreet Boys. He wrote and produced 18 songs for *NSYNC. He has produced and helped develop many upcoming artists including Natural, Jennifer Hudson, Erly Thornton and Jamie Willams.
Now it’s time for music fans to hear him sing his own songs on his debut CD “Overdue,” released under the name F8TE. “I’ve been concentrating so many years on all these other artists and I said you know you’re not going to want to wait any longer,” said Renn. “There’s a point in time where I think you can’t do it anymore and I’m not quite there yet. I don’t want to be looking at it 20 years from now saying I wish I would have done this.”
He recently sat down with The Orlando Local Music Examiner and talked about all things music in Orlando. Through his years here he’s seen the changes in the music scene, good and bad and he has some definitive ideas about went wrong and more importantly, what it’ll take to bring it back to its glory days.
Renn arrived in Orlando just as things were starting to happen. Bands with ties to Orlando were getting signed and drawing attention to the local music scene. “All these things were starting and then Backstreet happened and then *NSYNC happened and then Christina happened and then Britney happened,” said Renn. “All this incredible music was blowing up. It was a really big scene here.”
And then it came crashing down. “How it really changed now is, I really think Lou Perlman ruined the music scene here by doing what he did,” said Renn. “A lot of people didn’t want to have anything to do with the Orlando music scene, the Orlando producers or the Orlando professionals in the industry. Because everything was kind of related to this bad aftertaste of what he did to us. To everybody.”
Renn continues to see the fall-out from that explosion today in the local music scene. “It’s really sad because I look at the late 90’s and how strong the Orlando music scene was and I look at what it is now,” he said. “It’s not 10% of what it was. Now you have places where they pay musicians $50 to play for five hours or four hours. That didn’t used to happen back then. It’s interesting how 15 years ago musicians would go out and make $100-150 for four hours, which isn’t a bad wage. Fifteen years later, they don’t make more, they make less. Music is valued less than it was back then.”
Like everyone else involved in the Orlando music scene, Renn is working hard at being a part of the restoration. “[As far as] the national market, we’re pretty dead,” he said. “There’s not much coming out of here right now and I want to change that. There’s so much good talent around here and I’ve been working with a lot of different people. You’ve just got to find the talent and develop it.
“Just like it happened back in the 90’s where you had one group happen and suddenly more people came here because it happened from here. It draws talent to a place first and then it also draws the professionals here that will deal with the talent and then suddenly you see the market grow. Not just locally, but it will spread. Suddenly national attention and a lot of things happen.”
Aside from his newly released CD, Renn is still working as a producer and engineer in Orlando. He also teaches Advanced Audio Production Techniques at Full Sail University and has his own record company, Celerity Records.
F8TE’s pop/R&B/soul CD “Overdue” was released last March and is available on his official web site, CD Baby, iTunes and Amazon. Music fans can check out Renn's music and projects on his official site, Facebook and ReverbNation.