By Saybin Roberson, Contributing Writer
Grammy-nominated artist, musician, producer, and philanthropist, Tracy Carter is taking his years of knowledge and talent, and creating his own kind of music. Currently working on five albums, Carter is here to make sounds that tell stories, uplift and are in exact alignment with who he is.
Born and raised in Sacramento, Carter has been immersed in music. With both of his parents being musically inclined, he initially took to music at the age of 13. His mother often brought home different records like Dave Brubeck or Herbie Hancock and more for him to hear, opening up his ears to a variety of artists, genres, and sounds. By the at of 16, Carter had spent countless hours working in studios with artists whom he considers mentors and now musical peers. At the age of 21, he toured Europe with Foley, best known as the lead bassist for Miles Davis. The following year, he was signed by Raphael Saadiq, a figure who still holds a profound influence in his life.
His mantra is truth. A strong believer and lover of God, he uses his faith to remain grounded. The former music director of Inglewood’s Faithful Central Bible Church is now channeling his spirituality, to make music in his ideal realm. “I know my relationship, I’ve always wanted to keep that going,” speaking of his relationship with a physical church and God, adding, “But if I didn’t step out, things wouldn’t be where they are now.”
Carter is able to use his background and teaching to incorporate contemporary gospel, jazz, hip-hop, and R&B into his sound. On listeners opinions, of his sound, he says, “at the end of the day, people will categorize you anyway, and if I put myself in the world of caring what others think, I’ll be that rather than myself.” The artist is boundless currently, with no regards to fitting into a specific box, his music is shaped by his everyday life and inspirations.
His biggest moments so far include his ability to have been free to explore music and culture. The experiences and opportunities that fell into his life due to being so open to music, he’s been able to play with various artists. But currently, Carter’s world is stabilizing as he is recording and working on a record label of his own.
His ability to explore and soak in what he’s learned and utilize it is the goal he wants for others. “The moment you explore it, is the moment you touched ground, so now you have experience with the very thing you say you know nothing about,” he says. As his career grows, he’s interested in mentoring, calling himself a musical philanthropist, Carter seeks the opportunity to share free knowledge to those who are respectful of their craft and passionate to learn.
Today, Carter uses building blocks to drive every aspect of his life, the foundation being the most important piece. His foundation in God and himself, support his dreams and philanthropy. His advice to those serving their creative spirits, “Carry yourself with the highest integrity as possible,” he says, “nobody is perfect, but if you’re striving for excellence, you’re going to work in excellence mode all of the time … and from there you can go to sleep, you can rest and say what’s next.”
To listen to Tracy Carter and follow his career in depth, go to his website traycarmusic.com. You can also follow his Instagram @traycar1.
Grammy-nominated artist, musician, producer Tracy Carter.