Troy Carter (music industry)

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Troy Carter
Troy Carter in 2014 (cropped).png
Carter in 2014
Born (1972-11-14) November 14, 1972 (age 46)
Residence Los Angeles, California
Occupation Talent manager, investor, businessman
Years active1995–present
EmployerAtom Factory
Known forManager of John Legend, Lady Gaga, Meghan Trainor, Miguel, Lindsey Stirling, Eve, Benny Cassette, Bonnie McKee

Troy Carter (born November 14, 1972) is an American music manager who is the founder, chairman and CEO of Atom Factory, a talent management and full-service film and television production company. He was the global head of creator services at Spotify. [1]

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

Spotify Music streaming service

Spotify Technology S.A. is a Swedish media-services provider founded in 2006. The company's primary business is its audio streaming platform that provides DRM-protected music and podcasts from record labels and media companies. As a freemium service, basic features are free with advertisements or automatic music videos, while additional features, such as improved streaming quality, are offered via paid subscriptions.


Life and career

1972–1998: Early life and career beginnings

Carter grew up in West Philadelphia. Philly Vista.jpg
Carter grew up in West Philadelphia.

Troy Carter was born on November 14, 1972 [2] [3] and was raised in West Philadelphia, attending Huey Elementary and Sayre Middle School. At the age of two, Carter's parents divorced. At the age of seven, his father, who had remarried, shot and killed his new wife's brother after an argument and was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Despite this, his father and step-mother stayed together, and after prison his father rebuilt his life, with Carter calling him "one of my real heroes." [4]

West Philadelphia Neighborhood of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

West Philadelphia, nicknamed West Philly, is a section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Though there is no official definition of its boundaries, it is generally considered to reach from the western shore of the Schuylkill River, to City Avenue to the northwest, Cobbs Creek to the southwest, and the SEPTA Media/Elwyn Line to the south. An alternate definition includes all city land west of the Schuylkill; this would also include Southwest Philadelphia and its neighborhoods. The eastern side of West Philadelphia is also known as University City.

In 1990, at the age of 17, Carter dropped out of West Philadelphia High School in pursuit of a career in the music industry with his high school rap group 2 Too Many, eventually being signed by Will Smith and James Lassiter to their label WilJam Records. [4] After the group lost their contract after a year, they disbanded and Carter then went on to work both for DJ Jazzy Jeff in the studio and for Lassiter as a personal assistant. At age 22, Carter tried to start an artistic collaboration with the Will Smith's recording studio based in Philadelphia. [5] The year later, he was promoting rap concerts around Philadelphia for artists such as The Notorious B.I.G. It was through this that he met record producer Sean Combs, who hired Carter as an intern for Bad Boy Records in New York City for a year and a half. [4]

West Philadelphia High School United States national historic site

West Philadelphia High School is a secondary school located in the West Philadelphia section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the intersection of 49th Street and Chestnut Street.

Will Smith American actor and rapper

Willard Carroll Smith Jr. is an American actor, rapper and media personality. In April 2007, Newsweek called him "the most powerful actor in Hollywood". Smith has been nominated for five Golden Globe Awards and two Academy Awards, and has won four Grammy Awards.

James Lassiter is an American film producer. He is actor Will Smith's long-time business partner.

After Carter's internship at Bad Boy had ended, he moved to Los Angeles in order to work with James Lassiter again, only to be fired and sent back to Philadelphia. According to Lassiter, his decision was largely influenced by his beliefs that Carter had started to exhibit an entitled attitude, saying, "I would constantly talk to him about it, about work ethic and starting at the bottom and working his way up. When he rejected it, I told him to go back to West Philly. He had to go back and experience this for himself, and come out on the other side." [4] For the next several years, Carter struggled trying to find success in Philadelphia, citing it as one of his "darkest times." [4]

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California, the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City, and the third most populous city in North America. With an estimated population of nearly four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood, the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis. Los Angeles is the largest city on the West Coast of North America.

1999–present: career

In 1999, after several years of working in Philadelphia, Carter met then-emerging rap artist Eve in Germantown, and she asked him to be her manager. In addition, Carter began managing other rap acts such as Nelly and Floetry. [4] That same year, Carter teamed up with Jay Erving, son of retired basketball player Julius Erving, and co-founded the talent management company Erving Wonder. [4]

Germantown, Philadelphia Neighborhood of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, United States

Germantown is an area in Northwest Philadelphia. Founded by German Quaker and Mennonite families in 1683 as an independent borough, it was absorbed into Philadelphia in 1854. The area, which is about six miles northwest from the city center, now consists of two neighborhoods: 'Germantown' and 'East Germantown'.

Nelly American rapper, singer, songwriter, and actor from Missouri

Cornell Iral Haynes Jr., known professionally as Nelly, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, entrepreneur, investor, and occasional actor from St. Louis, Missouri. Nelly embarked on his music career with Midwest hip hop group St. Lunatics, in 1993 and signed to Universal Records in 1999. Under Universal, Nelly began his solo career in the year 2000, with his debut album Country Grammar, of which the featured title-track and the single "Ride wit Me" were top ten hits. The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 and went on to peak at number one. Country Grammar is Nelly's best-selling album to date, selling over 8.4 million copies in the United States. His following album Nellyville, produced the number-one hits "Hot in Herre" and "Dilemma". Other singles included "Work It", "Air Force Ones", "Pimp Juice" and "#1".


Floetry was an English R&B duo comprising Marsha Ambrosius and Natalie Stewart. The group recorded two studio albums, one live album, and sold over 1,500,000 records worldwide. Formed in 1997, Floetry started on the performance poetry stage. They are two of the many artist responsible for developing the genre that is now known as Neo-Soul, while also popularizing the use of poetry and spoken word throughout music. They have worked with many musicians and artist including: Jill Scott, Queen Latifah, Michael Jackson, Common, The Roots, Bilal, and more founders of Neo-Soul.

Eve 2011 cropped.jpg
Lady Gaga BTW Ball Antwerp 02.jpg
Carter has managed American recording artists Eve (left) and Lady Gaga (right)

In 2003, Carter moved back to Los Angeles and helped Eve get her own show on UPN. [4] The following year, Carter and Erving sold Erving Wonder to British-based firm Sanctuary, with Carter serving as the company's executive vice president. Over the next two years, Erving Wonder's deal with Sanctuary fell apart, Eve fired him, and by 2006, Carter not only lost all the money from the Sanctuary deal, but he was severely in debt. His home mortgage was foreclosed and his car was repossessed. [4] As Carter was facing eviction from his home, record producer Vincent Herbert, who had just left Universal Records, introduced Carter to a new client, then-unknown Lady Gaga, who had just been dropped from Def Jam Records. [4] For the next year, Carter, Herbert, and Gaga went around California, performing at multiple clubs each night with both little money and little support. [6] It was also in 2007 that Carter founded Coalition Media Group, and its management division Atom Factory in 2010. [6]

UPN Former American broadcast television network

The United Paramount Network (UPN) was an American broadcast television network that launched on January 16, 1995. The network was originally owned by Chris-Craft Industries and United Television; Viacom turned the network into a joint venture in 1996 after acquiring a 50% stake in the network, and subsequently purchased Chris-Craft's remaining stake in 2000. In December 2005, UPN was spun off to CBS Corporation when Viacom split into two separate companies.

Vincent Herbert is an American songwriter, record producer, record executive, and founder of Streamline Records, an imprint of Interscope Records. He also attended Cambridge Christian School for grades 8–12.

Lady Gaga American singer, songwriter, and actress

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, known professionally as Lady Gaga, is an American singer, songwriter and actress. She is known for her unconventionality, provocative work and visual experimentation. Gaga began performing as a teenager, singing at open mic nights and acting in school plays. She studied at Collaborative Arts Project 21, through New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, before dropping out to pursue a music career. When Def Jam Recordings canceled her contract, she worked as a songwriter for Sony/ATV Music Publishing, where Akon helped her sign a joint deal with Interscope Records and his own label KonLive Distribution in 2007. She rose to prominence the following year with her debut album, the electropop record The Fame, and its chart-topping singles "Just Dance" and "Poker Face". A follow-up EP, The Fame Monster (2009), featuring the singles "Bad Romance", "Telephone" and "Alejandro", was also successful.

In 2011, he co-founded The Backplane, a Silicon Valley-based startup that attempts to "redefine social media" by allowing celebrities and brands to "connect with fans, foster community, and cultivate brand loyalty". [7] It was also in 2011 that Carter received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special for his work on the HBO special Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour: At Madison Square Garden, sharing the nomination with Lady Gaga, Vincent Herbert, Jimmy Iovine, and Mo Morrison. [8] The following year, he created A \ IDEA, a product development and branding agency, as well as AF Square, an angel fund and technology consultancy with investments in over 40 startups including Spotify, Warby Parker, Songza, Dropbox,, and Uber. [9]

Since signing Lady Gaga in 2007, Carter has gone on to manage numerous other artists such as John Legend, Greyson Chance, Mindless Behavior, Priyanka Chopra, Lindsey Stirling, Meghan Trainor, and The Ceremonies. [10]

He is a member of the 2012 class of Henry Crown Fellows at The Aspen Institute. [11] He is on the board of advisors of 'opinion-network' start-up [12] Carter appeared as a guest Shark during the seventh season of reality TV show Shark Tank , which aired on October 9, 2015. [13] Carter was named to Oprah Winfrey's SuperSoul 100 list of visionaries and influential leaders in 2016. [14]

In July 2018, it was announced that Carter would exit Spotify in early September and assumed an advisory role. [15]

Personal life

Carter is married to wife, Rebecca, with whom he has five children. In 2012, the two reportedly raised millions of dollars for Barack Obama's presidential campaign. [4]

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  2. Gagapedia (November 14, 2012). "Twitter / gagapedia". Twitter . Retrieved July 23, 2013.
  3. Lipshutz, Jason (August 2, 2012). "40 Under 40: Troy Carter". Retrieved July 23, 2013.
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  5. Leena Rao (October 3, 2016). "How Lady Gaga's Manager Became a Silicon Valley Force". . Archived from the original on October 4, 2016.
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  8. "OUTSTANDING VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY SPECIAL 2011". Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  9. "Crunchbase: AF Square". TechCrunch.
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  11. Motley, Eric (March 9, 2012). "Aspen Institute Names Emerging Leaders as 2012 Henry Crown Fellows". Aspen Institute . Retrieved July 23, 2013.
  12. "".
  13. Alex Konrad, "Ashton Kutcher, Troy Carter And Chris Sacca Test Investing Chops On New Season Of 'Shark Tank'"
  14. "Meet the SuperSoul100: The World's Biggest Trailblazers in One Room". O Magazine. 1 Aug 2016. Retrieved 24 Jul 2018.
  15. Aswad, Jem. "Troy Carter Exits Spotify". Variety. Retrieved 30 July 2018.