Mike Caren

Michael Caren is an American record producer, songwriter, music publisher, A&R representative, and music executive.[1][2] He is the current CEO (and founder) of Artist Partner Group and Creative Officer at Warner Music Group.[3][4] He is also the founder of the Artist Publishing Group[5] and the former President of Worldwide A&R at Warner Music Group.[6][7] Prior to that, Caren was the Executive Vice President of A&R at Atlantic Records and the co-president of Elektra Records.[8][9] In addition to his work as a music executive, Caren has also written or produced numerous songs for artists including Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Kanye West, and others.[10][11]

Mike Caren
Alma materStern School of Business
  • Record producer
  • songwriter
  • record executive
  • music publisher
  • A&R representative
EmployerFounder/CEO, Artist Partner Group,

Early lifeEdit

Caren grew up in Beverly Hills, California.[12] When he was 12 years old, he began DJing at local parties in his neighborhood.[1][13] He attended Beverly Hills High School[14] and worked at a cable radio and music video show on a local public access channel. While still in high school, at age 15, Caren was offered an internship at Interscope Records by Fade Duvernay.[13] He also founded a Los Angeles-based high school and college marketing company called Skool Rules Promotions.[15] He attended the Stern School of Business at New York University.[16]


While interning at Interscope Records, Caren worked on the marketing campaigns for artists like Tupac Shakur.[12] He then went on to work for Loud Records/RCA as a National High School/College Rep. Coordinator and then Ruthless Records as the National Marketing Manager. At age 17, he was offered a marketing job at Big Beat Records, owned by Atlantic Records. Caren took the job and moved from Los Angeles to New York City.[13] During his time at Big Beat, he was also producing records for The Pharcyde, Heltah Skeltah, Saukrates, and several other hip hop artists.[15] After two years in the marketing department, Caren switched over to A&R. Among the first artists he brought to Big Beat was Twista.[13]

Caren would eventually be promoted to Executive Vice President of A&R at Atlantic Records in 2007. Some of the acts he signed included Trina, Sunshine Anderson, and Platinum-selling artist, Trick Daddy.[15] He also discovered and signed Nappy Roots while the group was still attending school at Western Kentucky University.[17] Over the course of his tenure at Atlantic, Caren has been responsible for signing numerous other artists including, T.I., Plies, Trey Songz, Flo Rida, Wiz Khalifa and others. He also founded the Artist Publishing Group, a boutique music publishing company in association with Warner/Chappell Music.[1][9]

In 2009, Caren was named Co-President of the revived Warner-owned Elektra Records alongside John Janick. In his capacity as co-head of the label, he helped sign and work with artists like CeeLo Green, Bruno Mars, and Ed Sheeran.[9][11][18] In 2012, Caren was named the Warner Music Group's President of Worldwide A&R. In this post, he was responsible for artist development across numerous record labels including Atlantic Records, Elektra Records, Warner Bros. Records, and many international affiliates.[6][7] WMG's constituent record labels continued seeing success with artists like Bruno Mars, Flo Rida, Ed Sheeran, and B.o.B. In 2013, Caren launched Artist Partners Group, a sister-company to the Artist Publishing Group, which provides a variety of services to artists and producers including marketing, business development, mentoring, access to recording studios, and legal support.[3][8]

In 2016, Caren was named the Creative Officer of the Warner Music Group. Under this title, Caren acts as an advisor to WMG's global A&R department and also continues to work directly with WMG artists like David Guetta and Jason Derulo (among others).[3][4][11] WMG also made a multi-millionaire dollar investment in Artist Partners Group which houses acts like Kevin Gates and Charlie Puth.[4] Over the course of his career, Caren has signed or co-signed 19 Platinum- or Gold-selling artists. His Artist Publishing Group, which maintains a roster of around 30 songwriters (including Caren himself), was responsible for 30 Billboard Hot 100 entries in 2015.[11][19]

Selected discographyEdit

List of written or produced songs, showing artist, album, year of release, and selected chart history
Song Year Artist Album Notes
"She Said"[20] 1996 The Pharcyde Labcabincalifornia
"Black Fonzirelliz"[20] 1998 Heltah Skeltah Magnum Force
"Riches to Rags (Mmmkay)"[20] 1999 Nappy Roots Music From And Inspired By The Motion Picture South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
"Just a Ride"[20] 2003 Jem Finally Woken
"Take Control"[20] 2007 Amerie Because I Love It US R&B #66[21]
"Swagga Like Us"[20] 2008 T.I. feat. Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Lil Wayne Paper Trail US #5[22]
"I Love College"[9] 2009 Asher Roth Asleep in the Bread Aisle US #12[23]
"Jump"[9] Flo Rida feat. Nelly Furtado R.O.O.T.S. US #54[24]
"Sugar"[20] Flo Rida feat. Wynter Gordon US #5[24]
"Hot Mess"[9] Cobra Starship Hot Mess US #64[25]
"Hell of a Life"[10] 2010 Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
"Dirty Talk"[20] Wynter Gordon With The Music I Die US Dance #1[26]
"The Other Side"[20] Bruno Mars It's Better If You Don't Understand
"Club Can't Handle Me"[20] Flo Rida feat. David Guetta Only One Flo (Part 1) US #9[24]
"Everybody's Girl"[20] 2011 Jennifer Lopez Love?
"Bleed Out"[20] Jason Derulo Bleed Out
"Where Them Girls At"[10] David Guetta feat. Flo Rida and Nicki Minaj Nothing but the Beat US #14[27]
"I Cry"[20] 2012 Flo Rida Wild Ones US #6[24]
"Ring Off"[10] 2013 Beyoncé Beyoncé US R&B #31[28]
"G.D.F.R."[29] 2014 Flo Rida feat. Sage the Gemini and Lookas My House US #8[24]
"Oops" 2016 Little Mix feat. Charlie Puth Glory Days UK #41


  1. ^ a b c Sullivan, Michelle (15 December 2014). "THE PHILOSOPHY OF MIKE CAREN". The Manifesto. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  2. ^ Pisano, Sammy (19 December 2013). "A&R Profile: Mike Caren". Global Music Tribune. Archived from the original on 29 July 2017. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Faughnder, Ryan (8 February 2016). "Warner Music Group steps up investment in Los Angeles venture for artists". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Atkinson, Claire (8 February 2016). "Artist Partners gets multimillion-dollar boost from Warner Music". New York Post. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  5. ^ Asante, Michael (9 October 2014). "A&R Talk: Mike Caren – Worldwide President, A&R, Warner Music Group". A&R Report. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  6. ^ a b Morris, Christopher (23 July 2012). "Mike Caren upped at WMG". Variety. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  7. ^ a b Rys, Dan (23 July 2012). "Mike Caren Named Warner Music Group's President of Worldwide A&R". Billboard. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  8. ^ a b Zemler, Emily (25 July 2013). "40 Under 40: Mike Caren, Warner Music Group". Billboard. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Houghton, Bruce (2 June 2009). "Atlantic Announces A New Elektra Records Will Be Fueled By Ramen". HypeBot. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  10. ^ a b c d Aswad, Jem (12 February 2016). "Warner Music's New Creative Officer Mike Caren on Making Beyonce Beats and Amping Up His Artist Partners Group". Billboard. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  11. ^ a b c d Ingham, Tim (10 February 2016). "Warner promotes Mike Caren to Creative Officer – and pumps millions into his business". Music Business Worldwide. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  12. ^ a b J., Miranda (26 May 2014). "Warner Music Group's Mike Caren Gives Career Advice To Aspiring A&Rs". XXL. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  13. ^ a b c d "Words of Wisdom from Atlantic Records' A & R, Mike Caren". 24 Hours of Hip Hop. 20 April 2009. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  14. ^ Samuels, David (30 March 2015). "Nine Rules of Hit Songwriting". WeWork. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  15. ^ a b c Bouwman, Kimbel (16 October 2001). ""Go out and establish a fanbase. Then let the music business people come to you."". HitQuarters. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  16. ^ "No. 84: Mike Caren | Power 100". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-09-18.
  17. ^ Feinstein, Jessica (21 February 2003). "Atlantic Records VP talks talent". Yale Daily News. Archived from the original on February 25, 2009. Retrieved 18 April 2016.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  18. ^ "40 Under 40". Fortune. 25 October 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  19. ^ Kawashima, Dale (29 June 2015). "Ben Maddahi, President of APG Music, Discusses The Company's Music Publishing Success". Songwriter Universe. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Mike Caren". www.discogs.com. Discogs. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  21. ^ "Amerie - Chart History". www.billboard.com. Billboard. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  22. ^ "T.I. - Chart History". www.billboard.com. Billboard. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  23. ^ "Asher Roth - Chart History". www.billboard.com. Billboard. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  24. ^ a b c d e "Flo Rida - Chart History". www.billboard.com. Billboard. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  25. ^ "Cobra Starship - Chart History". www.billboard.com. Billboard. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  26. ^ "Wynter Gordon - Chart History". www.billboard.com. Billboard. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  27. ^ "David Guetta - Chart History". www.billboard.com. Billboard. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  28. ^ "Beyoncé - Chart History". www.billboard.com. Billboard. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  29. ^ Houghton, Bruce (April 28, 2016). "Warner/Chappell Music Named ASCAP Publisher Of The Year 2016". HypeBot. Retrieved May 18, 2016.