Carl LeGrett Of Create Music Group: “Never stop going”

Never stop going. I think it’s really easy for people to get overwhelmed in this industry, especially when you are shooting for the moon and not seeing immediate results. It’s important to remember to love the process rather than being attached to the end result. Although ending up where you want to go may seem […]

Thrive invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.

Never stop going. I think it’s really easy for people to get overwhelmed in this industry, especially when you are shooting for the moon and not seeing immediate results. It’s important to remember to love the process rather than being attached to the end result. Although ending up where you want to go may seem far away, it is not hard to get at least a tiny bit closer to your goal by taking steps day in and day out.


Carl LeGrett serves as Director of A&R/Publishing at Create Music Group, a data-driven media and technology company focused on empowering artists and creators. LeGrett leads the publishing division of Create Music Group and is responsible for building the company’s impressive production/songwriter roster. He has uncovered millions of dollars of unclaimed royalties for Create’s artists. We spoke with Carl about his childhood obsession with Hoopmixtape, the power of manifestation, and why his clients inspire him.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory?” What led you to this particular career path?

When I was growing up in Rochester, NY, I was a huge basketball fan. I used to watch hours and hours of basketball highlights when I was in elementary and middle school. I was obsessed with Hoopmixtape, a YouTube channel that edited basketball highlights against rap beats. Hoopmixtape videos would have some of the craziest hip hop-style beats in the background, and through watching them I quickly developed a love for music production, especially beats.

Back then, a lot of the bigger online Beat-Market Places didn’t exist, so instead I would use SoundClick to keep up with the producers I loved that I had found through Hoopmixtapes. From this ecosystem evolved into the Type Beat World on YouTube. So when Type Beat World began to gain momentum, I was already familiar and in the mix with a lot of the producers in this scene.

I interned for Create Music Group between my junior and senior year of college, and when I graduated, I joined Create’s licensing team, with a focus on the producer world. It was a perfect match, and it made sense for Create to expand and continue building out the way we were working with creators in the hip-hop producer universe.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

At Create Music Group, our core ethos is transparency. We do all of our work on the artist’s terms, and we want to make sure that they understand what it is that we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and where their earnings are coming from. This approach is a departure from the typically opaque and complex traditional record label model. We’re trying to change the business so that creators have a much clearer understanding of how their earnings are being paid out. Publishing in itself and understanding how the royalties are generated and accounted for is one of the more difficult concepts in the industry to grasp. We are transparently showing our clients how all of this works through education and a continuous flow of clear information.

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

When I first joined Create Music Group, you could count the number of employees on two hands. The size of the company and the culture it cultivated really had an impact on me — everyone at Create was always super helpful when it came to teaching me things in those early days. I was always asking a million questions, and just trying to be a sponge and absorb it all. Because of this, I learned how to be multifaceted and understand many different areas of the business. Being able to do most things A-Z is a big reason why I’ve been able to thrive, as opposed to specializing in just one thing.

I want to give a shoutout to Nadeem Mirza, Head of Global at Create. He is someone who really helped me become a wizard in all things YouTube. I’ve spent a lot of overtime and weekend hours working with him and just getting better at everything YouTube-related throughout the years.

I always have to say, a lot of my clients have helped me in so many ways. They have opened a ton of doors for me when it comes to connecting with other creators or even connecting with bigger managers or artists. My own clients have been a huge asset in my career when it comes to growing and growing fast. I remember watching guys like JoeFromYO & DLo go from taking college courses online while on the bus with artists like A Boogie, to being all over the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

In general, I do think positive results can arise as a result of disruption. Disruption, in my opinion, happens because there’s a problem with the current system. Just because things have always been done a certain way, doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the best way to do them. This is especially true of the music industry. As our industry grows and changes, it’s exciting to see the evolution of new and different ways to solve problems. Disruption is a huge part of this, and it’s something that we at Create really believe in.

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

Never stop going. I think it’s really easy for people to get overwhelmed in this industry, especially when you are shooting for the moon and not seeing immediate results. It’s important to remember to love the process rather than being attached to the end result. Although ending up where you want to go may seem far away, it is not hard to get at least a tiny bit closer to your goal by taking steps day in and day out.

How are you going to shake things up next?

I hope to continue educating and informing myself and our artists about the ever-changing music industry, and the new opportunities and solutions that continue to arise. My goal is to always pass along this information transparently, in opposition to the traditionally opaque, old-school music business models.

Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us? Can you explain why it was so resonant with you?

When I was first starting out at Create Music Group, I had a conversation with Mark Hill (Head of Urban at Create) in which he used the phrase, “you’ve been training for this your entire life without even knowing it.” He was basically stating how crazy it is that when you feel like you’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing, it feels like you’ve been preparing for it since day one.

This was a significant realization for me, and it’s pretty crazy to think about. Before I started working for Create, when I was studying all of these artists and producers on my own, I was really just doing it because I loved it and was intrigued by them. Back then, if someone were to call that a waste of time, they may have had a point — but I see now that it was all part of my “training” which got me to where I am today, whether I knew it or not.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“You can’t score without goals.” Goals are the driving force behind what I do every day. I’m a big believer in manifestation, and writing down what it is you want to achieve. Visualizing your goal is the first step towards achieving it.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

It would be to always inspire others, and pull others up with you when you can. The people who continue putting their peers in positions to win will always be the ones that are of the greatest influence. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the successes, failures, and teachings of others. I really believe that inspiring others is the point of everything we do in life.

Going off of this theme, in my own career I want to continue working with the songwriters and producers I believe in, and help to shine a light on their art so that it reaches the most amount of people possible. In doing this, I want to keep building my incredible team, and fostering collaborations where I can. The biggest hits have multiple people involved, the biggest artists have a much larger team behind them. We’re stronger together.

How can our readers follow you online?

I’m very active on Instagram — you can follow me there at @clegrett. You can also reach me via LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/carl-legrett.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!0

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.