Music Industry Pioneer. Founder and CEO. Entrepreneur and Tech Mogul. Venture Capital Visionary. Troy Carter rose from humble beginnings, surmounted barriers, and never stops learning from successes and stumbles alike. From launching and managing the careers of artists (Eve, Lady Gaga, John Legend, Meghan Trainor) to recognizing the potential of early-stage investments (Uber, Spotify, Dropbox, Warby Parker), Troy’s path is a living story of beats, bytes, and big ideas. Known for the “art of the hustle,” Troy’s unstoppable combination of work ethic, grit, and genius took him from living out of his car to the C-Suite.
Watch Aspen Young Leaders Fellows, Brenda Velarde and Tyler Yarbrough, as they moderate this town hall with live questions from the audience about what it means to push beyond resilience and lead in turbulent times.
Founder and CEO
Troy Carter is the founder and CEO of Q&A, a music and technology company focused on building integrated solutions for artists via distribution, management, label services, and data analytics with a highly collaborative artist-driven approach. Formerly, Troy was the founder/CEO of Atom Factory and co-founder/Managing Partner of Cross Culture Ventures. He most recently served at Spotify as its Global Head of Creator Services, overseeing the company’s relationships with artists, producers, songwriters, and record companies. In 2017, Troy was named Entertainment Advisor to the Estate of music legend Prince. Troy rose to prominence in the music industry, nurturing the career of hip-hip sensation Eve before transforming Lady Gaga into a global pop phenomenon through the nascent innovation of social media. Since then, he’s managed the careers of John Legend, Lindsey Stirling, Meghan Trainor, and Charlie Puth. His foray into the tech world resulted in the formation of Atom Factory’s angel fund and VC fund Cross Culture Ventures.
Brenda Velarde is a 20-year-old Newark, NJ, native. She is currently a sophomore at Rutgers University pursuing a degree in Psychology while minoring in Social Justice. Brenda intends to enroll in graduate school and become a Pediatric Occupational Therapist. Brenda is a part of the Honors Living and Learning Community, an innovative program revolutionizing honors, cultivating talent, and engaging communities. She is the coordinator for the Peer Mentoring program and also a member of the ImVisible team, which celebrates, connects, and heals our im/migrant narratives. Brenda was a member of the inaugural cohort of the Aspen Young Leaders Fellowship (AYLF) Newark.
Tyler Yarbrough is a 21-year-old community organizer from Clarksdale, Mississippi – the birthplace of the blues. He is passionate about reimagining communities, fostering moving conversations, and igniting grassroots change within Mississippi and beyond. Tyler’s organizing started with advocating for comprehensive sex education in Mississippi public schools and hosting Open Mic Nights for young people to showcase their talents in all their forms. He is pursuing a degree in Public Policy & History from the University of Mississippi where he was elected as a Student Government Senator. Tyler lives by a mantra that “Young people are powerful, and it is our time to reimagine society!” That is why he is using his interests in urban planning, law, and policy to help develop strong communities with ample green spaces, parks, and civic organizations, which is at the core of his thesis research. Tyler is a member of the inaugural cohort of Aspen Young Leaders Fellowship (AYLF) Mississippi/ Arkansas Delta.