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Apple Music's Head of Artist Curation Carl Chery Eying Move to Spotify

Carl Chery
Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Interscope Records

Carl Chery attends the IGA X BET Awards Party 2017 on June 24, 2017 in West Hollywood, Calif.

If the move happens, he could be taking over the service's wildly popular RapCaviar playlist.

Carl Chery, Apple Music's head of artist curation with a specific focus on hip-hop and R&B, is in talks to join Spotify, sources tell Billboard, though the deal has not been finalized, they cautioned. A rep for Spotify declined to comment; an Apple Music spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

If it goes through, Chery's move would presumably fill a vacancy at Spotify left by Tuma Basa, who left a role as global programming head of hip-hop and curator of the widly popular RapCaviar playlist last month to join YouTube. Basa had been with Spotify for three years, while the RapCaviar playlist grew to nearly 9 million followers and expanded into live events. 

At Apple Music, Chery built his own following behind the the A-List: Hip-Hop and A-List: R&B playlists and last year was included in Billboard's first-ever Hip-Hop Power List. When In late 2016, when Chery took on the role of heading artist curation, he launched a segment on Zane Lowe's Beats 1 radio show called "The Cosign" where the former hip-hop journalist who has written for SOHH.com, XXL and BET premiered new tracks by up-and-coming talent. 

Chery had been with Apple since the company's 2014 acquisition of Beats, serving as the head of hip-hop/R&B programming for iTunes and Apple Music, and helped spearhead partnerships with artists including Bryson Tiller on his album TRAPSOUL, which arrived early as an Apple Music-exclusive release in 2015, and two albums involving Chance the Rapper -- 2015's Surf alongside Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment as the first-ever free album on iTunes and then 2016's Coloring Book. He also helped break new acts such as Cardi B, Post Malone, Khalid, Daniel Caesar, 6LACK and H.E.R.


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