As industry titans go, they don’t come much bigger or more respected than Troy Carter. It’s a fact largely attributable to his moulding of superstar Lady GaGa.
Yet, despite steering the singer’s career to dizzying heights over seven years, the 41-year-old was relieved of his managerial duties on the eve of the release of the star’s latest album ‘ARTPOP’ back in November.
At the time, “creative differences” was the stock explanation offered. What’s more, in the period since, both have remained relatively mum on the cause of the rift.
However, that ended (somewhat) this week when a new interview with Carter was published on FastCompany.com.
Check out an interesting excerpt below…
“Carter is supposed to head into another meeting at Capitol after that, but instead he spots an abandoned conference room. It seems he’s finally willing to stop moving, to talk about what’s at his core now that Gaga no longer is. “It’s like you wake up and you work with somebody every day, and then all of a sudden they’re not there anymore,” he says, his eyes wandering down a white marble table that’s as long as a runway. When he first learned the news, he kept it inside. He needed to process it. Being an artist’s manager is like being their CEO, but it’s more personal than that. The job is about believing when no one else does. It’s living on the road together more days than you’re home with your kids. It’s fighting for a person’s art. He did this with Gaga for nearly seven years. “I don’t think you’re ever prepared to sever that deep of a relationship,” he concedes.
He won’t divulge details. The split was rumored to have been brewing for months, and ended with that least illuminating of phrases–creative differences. Carter isn’t one to look back. He says he’s never “hoarded memories.” While he traveled the world with Gaga, he rarely took a photograph. This is the very thing that made him a great manager: his ability to stay present, to make rational decisions just as things are going off the rails. To handle moments like this.
That’s a skill he learned early. He watched his father pick up the pieces of his own life after getting out of prison for murdering his brother-in-law after a fight. And Carter’s seen other lows himself: When he was in his early thirties, his first big client–the rapper Eve, whom he had spent eight years building–walked into his office one day and cut him loose. He had nothing to fall back on. The loss put him close to bankruptcy. His house was foreclosed upon, cars were repossessed, and he barely had enough cash to fill his one remaining ride with gas. The global phenomenon that became Lady Gaga? That was actually just Troy Carter standing back up.
That same year, he met Stefani Germanotta. An old friend of Carter’s brought her by his *office. “She walked in with these huge sunglasses on, fishnet stockings, and basically told me how she was going to change the game,” says Carter. She was a performance artist calling herself Lady Gaga, who had a European dance-club sound and pop-star aspirations–elements that historically haven’t mixed. Def Jam Records had just dropped her. Carter had never heard of her. Yet, he says, “I believed her.”
A fascinating read!