“I knew that I would have to outwork everyone just to prove that I belong here,” said Roc Nation A&R and DJ Rel Carter during a recent interview with the AmNews.
The 29-year-old has his hands in many things at Roc Nation. When he isn’t on the hunt for new talent, Carter is creating playlists for Tidal, putting together parties under Carter Boys or hosting his podcast Dusse Friday.
Whatever the task, he is almost always occupied with music, which is also a vital part of his family lineage. As the nephew of hip-hop mogul, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, Rel has always been enthusiastic about rap. He credits the album “Reasonable Doubt” and other artists he grew up listening to like Big Daddy Kane for helping him fall in love with the art form.
However, music was not something he saw himself pursuing in college. Rel studied Business Administration and Managment with plans of going into hotel management. He sparked an interest in meeting different people from different cultures and backgrounds.
“When I graduated though and actually sat back and thought about what I was passionate about, it wasn’t hotel management,” Rel explains.
Today, he is proudly responsible for scouting and developing artists that are lucky enough to land in the hands of Roc Nation.
Being the life changer does not always come easy. In an era where almost any one and every one is experimenting with music, Rel finds it difficult to wade through pools of new talent on a daily basis.
“It’s hard because everyone is an artist these days,” he admits, “So imagine if you had 50,000 people sending you emails or messages a day and going through it all to decipher who’s good and who’s not.”
So how does the worthy separate itself from the strew of others all fighting for the golden deal? Rel believes in letting the music speaks for itself. He prefers short properly composed emails and five to six songs.
Artists are also encouraged to learn more about the Rel Carter Culture Tour, a platform designed to provide independent creatives with an informative, affordable and accessible alternative to the traditional artist. To date, the tour has reached 15 cities, from Philadelphia to Orlando.
“We literally go through everyone who applies. We’re different from other showcases in the sense that we offer advice, industry workshops and industry Q&As.” Rel says.
He is currently booting up for the third leg of the tour and will be on the hunt for new voices in Phoenix, Boston, North Carolina, Minneapolis, Sacramento, San Francisco and Houston. He is also putting together an LP, No Handouts, which is a compilation album from the Culture Tour.
More about Rel Carter, the Culture Tour and his upcoming projects can be found on relcarterculturetour.com.