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Troy Carter

Music manager Troy Carter was born on November 14, 1972 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was raised in West Philadelphia, where he attended Huey Elementary and Sayre Middle School. In 1990, at the age of seventeen, Carter dropped out of West Philadelphia High School in pursuit of a career in the music industry.

Carter first worked for Will Smith and James Lassiter’s Overbrook Entertainment. He then joined Bad Boy Entertainment in 1995, where he worked with musical artists such as Notorious B.I.G. In 1999, Carter met and began to manage rapper Eve Jeffers. He subsequently co-founded his own management company called Erving Wonder, where he managed rap acts like Floetry and Nelly. In 2004, Erving Wonder was acquired by the Sanctuary Group.

In 2007, Carter was asked to manage Lady Gaga. That same year, he founded Coalition Media Group. In 2010, he established Coalition Media Group’s management division Atom Factory, where he serves as chairman and chief executive officer. Since then, Carter has managed the careers of numerous recording artists such as John Legend, Greyson Chance, Mindless Behavior, Priyanka Chopra, Lindsey Stirling, the Ceremonies, and John Mayer.

In 2011, he co-founded The Backplane, a Silicon Valley-based startup branding company. In 2012, 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 sixty startup companies including Spotify, Warby Parker, Songza, Dropbox, Fab, and Uber. In addition, Carter has established a beverage company called POPwater.

Carter has served as an Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow and sits on the boards of The Grammy Foundation, the T.J. Martell Foundation, the United Nations Foundation Global Entrepreneurs Council and The Buckley School.

Troy Carter was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 9, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.244

Sex

Male

Interview Date

08/09/2014

Last Name

Carter

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Lemar

Occupation
Schools

Samuel B. Huey School

William L. Sayre High School

West Philadelphia High School

First Name

Troy

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

CAR31

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

You Can’t Fall Off The Floor.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

11/14/1972

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chinese

Short Description

Music manager Troy Carter (1972 - ) was the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Atom Factory, Inc. He managed the careers of numerous recording artists including Lady Gaga, John Legend and John Mayer.

Employment

Overbrook Entertainment

Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group

Erving Wonder

Coalition Media Group

Eve Jeffries (recording artist)

Atom Factory

Lady Gaga (recording artist)

The Backplane

AF Square

A \ IDEA

POPwater

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Troy Carter's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Troy Carter lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Troy Carter describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Troy Carter remembers his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Troy Carter describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Troy Carter talks about his father's research into his family lineage

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Troy Carter remembers his parents' divorce

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Troy Carter describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Troy Carter describes his early home life

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Troy Carter talks about his early interests

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Troy Carter describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Troy Carter describes his early education

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Troy Carter talks about his father's incarceration, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Troy Carter talks about his father's incarceration, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Troy Carter talks about his father's accomplishments

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Troy Carter recalls his challenges during his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Troy Carter talks about the crack cocaine epidemic in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Troy Carter remembers Lawrence Goodman

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Troy Carter recalls his early interest in music

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Troy Carter remembers getting into trouble as a teenager

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Troy Carter recalls his mother's efforts to reform him and his brothers

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Troy Carter talks about his hip hop group, 2 Too Many

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Troy Carter talks about working with Will Smith and James Lassiter

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Troy Carter recalls the breakup of 2 Too Many

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Troy Carter remembers working with James Lassiter at Overbrook Entertainment in Beverly Hills, California

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Troy Carter reflects upon his time with James Lassiter

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Troy Carter remembers living in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Troy Carter talks about the mentorship of James Lassiter, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Troy Carter talks about the mentorship of James Lassiter, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Troy Carter recalls meeting P. Diddy

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Troy Carter talks about his experiences as a concert organizer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Troy Carter remembers Kenny Gamble

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Troy Carter remembers the death of The Notorious B.I.G.

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Troy Carter recalls managing Eve

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Troy Carter talks about his experiences as Eve's manager

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Troy Carter recalls selling Erving Wonder Entertainment to Sanctuary Records Group Ltd.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Troy Carter describes his experiences working for Sanctuary Records Group Ltd.

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Troy Carter recalls reacquiring his company from Sanctuary Records Group Ltd.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Troy Carter talks about his professional setbacks in the mid-2000s

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Troy Carter remembers meeting Lady Gaga

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Troy Carter talks about his initial experiences as Lady Gaga's manager

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Troy Carter recalls using social media to market Lady Gaga

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Troy Carter talks about Lady Gaga's early tours

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Troy Carter describes Lady Gaga's sudden popularity

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Troy Carter talks about his working relationship with Lady Gaga

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Troy Carter reflects upon his success with Lady Gaga

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Troy Carter remembers his favorite Lady Gaga performance

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Troy Carter describes the logistics of Lady Gaga's international tours

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Troy Carter talks about celebrities' use of social media

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Troy Carter talks about the corporate structure of Atom Factory, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Troy Carter describes his clientele

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Troy Carter talks about his clients' philanthropic work

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Troy Carter describes his experiences as a technology investor

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Troy Carter describes the diversification of the Atom Factory, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Troy Carter talks about his technology company investments

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Troy Carter talks about the social media platform Backplane

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Troy Carter talks about ending his professional relationship with Lady Gaga

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Troy Carter talks about the importance of mentorship

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Troy Carter talks about his mentors

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Troy Carter reflects upon his connection to Reginald F. Lewis

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Troy Carter reflects upon the legacy of his generation

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Troy Carter describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Troy Carter talks about his family

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

5$6

DATitle
Troy Carter recalls meeting P. Diddy
Troy Carter reflects upon his connection to Reginald F. Lewis
Transcript
How do you get to Bad Boy [Bad Boy Records] at that time?$$I was doing--I was promoting these shows in Philly [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] and you know I, I--the hip hop shows in Philly, nobody--none, none of the big promoters would touch the hip hop shows in Philly and you couldn't get them insured. They were really, really tough to get insurance for just because it would be violence and you know things like that would happen so nobody didn't want to touch it. So--and I loved the music and I would go and I would get money from guys in my neighborhood to go out and, and bring these acts from New York [New York] in to do these concerts. And--$$Would you get the place for it to be held?$$Yes, I would go, I would find the hall or the nightclub and you know, and you know, we would pay a rental fee and we would pay the acts you know a few thousand bucks [dollars] or whatever. And what I didn't know is you know those acts would turn out to be you know, Wu-Tang Clan, Notorious B.I.G. [Biggie Smalls; The Notorious B.I.G.], Jay-Z, Lil' Kim, Foxy Brown, so a lot of those acts you know we were the first promoters to bring them to Philly. And one of the concerts that I had, I was bringing Notorious B.I.G. to the, to the Penn, to University of Penn's campus [University of Pennsylvania] at the Civic Center [Philadelphia Convention Hall and Civic Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] and one of his first concerts in Philly, I--one of the kids who was working on the show runs to the back and he said he you know, "B.I.G.'s not here yet. He's scheduled to be on stage in fifteen minutes. We got to call the manager." So, I called up the manager and you know I said, "Where the hell is B.I.G.? Where is he?" He said, "We're shooting this video right now in New York but you know we're going to still try to make it down in time." You know New York's two hours away from Philly. And, and they came two hours late, the show was over. And the guy who ran the music label was this guy named Puff, P. Diddy [Sean Combs] and he told the manager, Mark Pitts, he said, "You know what, let's give this guy his money back and let's give him another, another show. Let's go all hang out." So, we had this, we were having this after party at a club called Fever downtown [Club Fever, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], and I was asking Puff, I said, "You know what, what, what do you do? Like tell, tell me about what you do?" So, you know he's telling me you know, "I run, da, da, da, da, da, da." I said, "I want to come work for you." He said, "Your first job is to get me that girl behind the bar," (laughter) and I went up to the bar and I told the girl, I said, "Hey, this guy is--," you know. So, I made the, I made the introduction. Probably three or four weeks later I was, I was joining the internship program at Bad Boy Entertainment.$$So, where was Bad Boy located at that point?$$In New York City.$$No, but I mean what, what building?$$This--we were on 19th [Street] and 5th [Avenue] at the time.$So, you know a few weeks ago--and this was like my, it was, it was mind blowing. Because you know I read, I read the, I read you know Reginald Lewis' biography ['Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun?: How Reginald Lewis Created a Billion-Dollar Business Empire,' Reginald F. Lewis and Blair S. Walker] you know when I--in, in '95 [1995], '96 [1996], some- somewhere like when it first came out. And no, it was before that, maybe '93 [1993], and it blew my mind. I read this book probably fifteen, twenty times, over and over. And I always would think about this guy, what would he do? Like you know it just really, it was incredible. So, last year I spoke at this MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts] conference and I was coming off stage and this girl [Christina Lewis Halpern] walks over to me and she said, "You know I'm starting this foundation around black kids that code. I would love to talk to you about it." So, I said, "I'm in." I said, "Anything around computer science with young black kids I'm, I'm in." So, you know we, we're talking about it. So, a guy walks over and he has his lanyard on and she says, "Oh this is such and such. He, he, he worked with my father." And then I looked and it said the Reginald F. Lewis Foundation [New York, New York] and I said, "Your dad was Reginald Lewis [Reginald F. Lewis]?" She said, "Yes." I said "Look," I said, "I got chills." I said, "You have no idea the impact your dad has had on my life." I said, "I'm here on--today because of him. Like you have no idea." So, I'm getting excited, I'm talking to her about it. So, over the last year I helped her with it. Three weeks ago she had this thing at her house. And, and it was at her place, their, their place in the Hamptons [New York] and it was the launch of this, of the, the foundation that they launched, All Star Code. And me and my wife [Rebecca Carter] flew in and at the airport is this you know astute black gentleman at the airport and he says, "Mr. Carter [HistoryMaker Troy Carter], we've been waiting for you. The, you know, thank you for coming, dah, dah, dah." And I'm not, and I'm you know so he walks us to this car and it's a 1988 Bentley and we get in and he turns around and he says, "This was Mr. Lewis' car. And it, and you're sitting where Mr. Lewis used to sit." This--the guy was his but- was his butler and driver. So, now it's like--I was you know in the car, I was speechless because I never could have imagined sitting in his seat, going to his house and spending that time with his family, I never could have imagined being there. And so, you know, we stayed the night at the house and the next morning when we, when we were leaving Loida [Loida Nicolas Lewis] walked over to me and she said, "It's time for you to write your book." And I said, "Well you know I thought about it. I don't know if I, you know, if I want to do it, you know, I don't, you know I don't know if it, if it's time." And she said, "I'm telling you," she said, "you know my--," she's like my--, "I had to do my husband's book after he died." She said, "It's time for you to write your book." She said, "I'm going to introduce you to Blair [Blair S. Walker] who wrote my husband's book." This is how the world comes full circle. Monday she introduces, she sends out an email with, to Blair and Blair responds, "I've been looking for you." He said, "I've called your office. I've tried to get in touch with you. I've been wanting to write this book about you, you know because this is the next generation of what Reginald left behind, this is, this is for that next generation behind Reginald," because Reginald was about Wall Street and you know and leverage buyouts and that sort of thing. And to be able to talk to young black kids about technology and thinking--you know. So, and so now Blair and I are getting ready to start on, embark on this project.$$Thanks to Loida.$$Yep.