Photo by Jess Williams
Photo by Jess Williams

Shy Carter is the man behind pop and country hits by Charlie Puth (“One Call Away”), Meghan Trainor (“Mr. Almost”), Kane Brown (“Heaven”) and Sugarland (“Stuck Like Glue”). After more than a decade behind the scenes, the songwriter is introducing himself as an artist with his uplifting debut single “Good Love.”

Carter’s musical upbringing started as a child in Memphis where he played saxophone in church and eventually on Beale Street. He grew up listening to gospel, jazz, R&B and soul, and all these influences can be heard within his music. Carter’s earliest compositions came in the fourth grade when he’d frequently rap his school presentations. He wrote and recorded his first song at 16 and another one of his original songs received airplay in Grand Rapids, Michigan, shortly after his family relocated during his senior year of high school.

Carter soon found himself in Los Angeles shopping for label deals. Thanks to mutual connections, he was introduced to industry executive and talent manager Courtney Benson who in turn connected him to Nelly. It was his first big break in music and after leaving Nelly a voicemail, it took a year for the pair to connect in person. “Nelly was like, ‘I’ll sign you, but I’m going to sign you as a producer. I’m an artist myself. I want you to produce me and write the hooks,’” Carter tells me. “I was like, ‘Hey man, whatever I can do to make some money doing music. I just want to be in the game.’”

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