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Newhouse NYC Visits Spotify for an Incredible Lecture

By: Kaileigh Woodruff, senior ADV and Sociology major


Last week, the Race Gender and the Media class took a field trip to the NYC Spotify office. While Professor Danyel Smith, culture editor of The Undefeated, normally teaches the class, she was in Denver, Colorado for the 2016 ONA Conference and Online Journalism Awards Banquet (hello, #careergoals). She got us the perfect sub: Elliott Wilson, the founder and CEO of (and Smith’s husband!), led the class on a field trip that was truly unforgettable.

When the students arrived at the Spotify office, Tuma Basa (top), global programming/head of hip-hop at Spotify, greeted us.  His “RapCaviar” playlist is one of Spotify’s most popular lists with more than 4 million followers.

We also had the honor of meeting both Troy Carter (bottom left) and Julius “J” Erving. Carter is the global head of creator services at Spotify (he was also Lady Gaga, Meghan Trainor and Charlie Puth’s manager)! Carter and Erving have been business partners in the past, but now Erving works at Maverick Management. The company represents artists like Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Jill Scott and G-Eazy.

It was clear the students were surrounded by some powerhouses in the music industry, which added to their discussion focused on topics surrounding race and gender in today’s media. For only being a 10-year-old company, Spotify is doing big things while radically changing the music landscape.

After the discussion was over, the students got a quick tour of the Spotify office and grabbed a snack in the enormous snack closet. The space was open, colorful and had a bit of a “California vibe” to it.

We couldn’t have been more excited to spend time at Spotify. Stay tuned for more updates about where Smith takes her class next. And thank you to everyone at Spotify for hosting us!

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