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Creative Class

Source: iOne Digital / other

Honoree: Carl Chery

The Grind: Creative Director, Head of Urban Music

Find Him: @carlchery

Carl Cherry knows music. He knows who is talented, what a hit sounds like and who’s up next before most people even know an artist exists. It’s why Apple Music hired him as Head of Curation, and why Spotify snatched him up and hired him as Head of Urban. Carl’s ear for Hip Hop and R&B in particular, is enviable. At Spotify, part of his job is curating Rap Caviar, a highly coveted playlist for artists and music fans alike. Thanks to Chery, who has described the playlist as “aspirational”, RC isn’t just a party, it’s a career changer.

While most people in the industry rely on titles and places of employment to get them ahead, Chery is different. If you take a look at his socials, he doesn’t mention either. Instead he defines himself, a storyteller and a curator. His pages are about music, not professional accolades. You don’t have to scroll far before you see a spirited debate about the greats, hypothetical questions about the nexts, and conversation with music artists. This dedication to the music is what makes him the perfect host for his pop-up podcast, The Rap Pack, where he leads the conversation with artists talking about music and the industry— a retro concept in an era when music is often the last thing artists are asked about by media.

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