Troy Carter grew up in West Philadelphia with a single mom. His father went to prison for murder when Carter was just 7 years old. Carter dropped out of high school to pursue a failed rap career, and he ended up as a local concert promoter for then-upstarts like Notorious B.I.G.
Through sheer persistence and grit, Carter landed an internship at Bad Boy Records, and later went to work with Will Smith’s business partner James Lassiter in Los Angeles. He was fired and sent back to Philadelphia, where he discovered a 19-year-old female rapper named Eve who was in need of a music manager.
He helped Eve become a commercial success, but he made some mistakes along the way. Eventually, Eve fired him in 2007. The loss put him close to bankruptcy. His house was foreclosed upon, cars were repossessed, and he barely had enough cash for gas.
And then he met Stefani Germanotta.
She was wearing fishnet stockings and big sunglasses, but she had even bigger ambitions. After performing several songs, she cut to the chase, telling Carter: “I want to be the biggest star in the world.”
Germanotta had been recently dropped by Def Jam Records only four months after she signed with the label. But Carter recognized something in her no one else did — pure talent. He took her to Spaghetti Warehouse where they spent three hours talking about life, career, and music. She became his newest client as a music manger.
It took Carter a full year to help get Germanotta’s song played on the radio. That song was, “Just Dance.” And just like that, Stefani Germanotta transformed into Lady Gaga.
Carter became known for spotting talent early — and not just in the music industry. As a serial entrepreneur and investor, Carter has invested in some of Silicon Valley’s hottest startups, including Uber, Lyft, Dropbox, Warby Parker, Spotify, Gimlet, and Slack.
Article sourced from: trapital.co