Today, the final musicREDEF newsletter with Matty Karas as ‘curator’ was sent out. I’ve read this newsletter for several years — it’s been a morning coffee companion — and though the curated links to breaking and notable music stories are the main draw for most, Matty’s commentary always brought the newsletter to the forefront of my inbox. Matty’s voice, his humor, his often on-target opinions, his moving eulogies, his constant frustration over things like the under-representation of women in the music industry and frequent gun-related fatalities of young rap artists — it often felt like I was having a conversation with Matty. So, when he dropped the news of his departure yesterday, it was like a good friend had just told me he was moving out of town for good.
Matty was also an early booster of this blog you’re reading, which is another personal bond I have with musicREDEF. A short news item about Matty in Variety mentions that “if you were lucky enough to have him link or retweet one of your articles — and you never had to send him anything because there was a 95% chance he’d already read it — you knew you were doing something right.” I don’t think I ever sent Matty one of my blog posts, but he picked up on them multiple times. And as I started getting serious about writing on here (before it seems I got unserious, but more on that someday), getting linked in musicREDEF was a boon to my ambition and ego.
Well, maybe a little too much ego stroke as I found myself thinking, “Will Matty be into this? Will I get a link?” whenever I embarked on a particularly meaty post. That overthinking wasn’t healthy and contributed to a bit of burnout, but that’s not Matty’s fault. And, honestly, I’m thankful that I went through that period of striving for musicREDEF linkbait. I ended up learning a lot about why I write, why I do this blog, and how I’m the only audience I should be satisfying. But, yes, as the Variety quote stated, it helped me feel like I was doing something right.
I know I’m hardly alone in already missing the prospect of Matty’s latest thoughts on what the hell is going on in this thing we call the music industry. I’ll also miss the prompts — musicREDEF gave me lots to think about, and more than a few blog posts were inspired by those curated links. But I can’t imagine Matty will become silent. Instead, I anticipate he’ll find other avenues, perhaps even his own (blog it, Matty!), for deciphering the madness of this industry and its artists. And, as he and REDEF boss Jason Hirschhorn are presently choosing a worthy replacement to curate musicREDEF, we may soon end up with daily double-shots of indispensable commentary.
Thanks, Matty, and best of luck. Onward. 🚀