J. Carter created a cultural movement with ONE Musicfest

Founder of ONE Musicfest is focused on providing a premium experience for fans and artists
J. Carter (Photo courtesy of J. Carter)

The ONE Musicfest has become one of the biggest musical festivals in the world. Big-name artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Lauryn Hill, and many more have graced the stage and have given an amazing experience to attendees.

J. Carter, the founder of ONE Musicfest, continues to pour his soul into the Black culture and gives artists and fans a place where they can feel safe and come as they are.


The diversity of the festival is a breath of fresh air for many, as the artists vary from hip-hop to R&B. This year, the headliners include Lil Baby, Jazmine Sullivan, Rick Ross, Gucci Mane, and Jeezy, with a special performance from Lauryn Hill.

In that lineup alone, there is a mixture of old-school and new-school hip-hop and R&B that a wide cross-section of fans will enjoy.


In an exclusive interview with rolling out, Carter described the difficulty of developing a lineup every year.

“Initially, the whole concept behind the music festival is to make it a battle cry of unity through music,” Carter said. “So we think about how to take different … subcultures, and genres of music and different pockets of the urban community and find like those areas of overlap. We think … [if] an Anderson Paak fan would resonate with a Gary Clark fan or a Kaytranada fan or a Migos fan. And if they were placed in that space and they weren’t familiar with that artist’s music, would they walk away as a fan? So we really try to look at it holistically like that.”

The Essence Festival of Culture is another major event where Black culture is highlighted, but Carter says ONE Musicfest is something completely different.

“The Essence [Festival] is super dope for what they do, but it’s different,” Carter said. “I think you’d be hard-pressed to see Uncle Luke, Summer Walker, Ari Lennox,  Pharrell or even an OutKast or a Dungeon Family Reunion. So I think the way we program is very different. It’s very unique to Atlanta’s base, urban, music and culture. I think what we present and what we have is one of the things … like ‘I have no idea when I’ll be able to see this again.’ ”

To have the festival in Atlanta, where music and culture are really big, shows how this has grown to be one of the best events in the nation. In its 12th year, Carter continues to find ways to uplift Black culture, especially for the two days of the festival.

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