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Introducing Poppy Reid
To wrap up our first season of the Muso Podcast we’ve brought you something a little special, because why not go out with a bang and all that?!
Poppy Reid is one of the faces behind the largest indie music media company in Australia, and while you may not yet recognise her name, you will be familiar with her work as Managing Editor at both Rolling Stone Australia and Brag Media( Tone Deaf, The Brag, The Industry Observer, Don’t Bore Us). - While this fact is certainly not a flex, we’re still a bit in awe.
A truely humble Kiwi, with her accent still entact, she took us back to where it all started so we could see how the legend was made. - Shout out to her mumsy for charging her in short stories in exchange for acting classes, clearly prophetising that they would do her some good one day.
Once a young and self-reflective Poppy classed herself as probably not that good an actress, she turned her head to pop punk, metal, and Hanson(later to have her heart broken by Zac’s racism allegations) and wrapped herself in music, which became her muse for writing and all her journalism assignments. Short stories turned to reviews, a blog site, and submissions to Faster Louder, which is where she came across an internship for The Music Network.
A hop, skip and major jump to Sydney later, she did the hard yards and made it to top seat as editor. She was hit up by Luke Girgis - now CEO of Brag Media - then label director for Shock Records, with a then crazy idea to start a music media company. Clearly she decided she was also crazy enough to listen to this pioneer, and now they’ve created a whole movement in Brag Media. Together they’ve taken indie Australian music publication to new heights, with a whole repertoire under their belt, escalating to the reinstatement of legendary Rolling Stone magazine, and going all out with their first print issue during prime COVID, 2020.
“I believe I have one of the best jobs in the world because ive learned to live without a sense of entitlement. Im not entitled to any of the gifts or opportunities ive been given, and most of them ive worked my arse off to get. If you think your dream job is going to fall into your lap, you have a lot of growing to do. Do what others are not willing to do, and you’ll achieve what they could only dream of doing.” - Poppy Reid.
This statement is the true spirit we see come through in our final episode of the season, as Poppy talks us through her labour of love, even checking Slack on her wedding day because of her “hunger to build this plane while it was flying.”
She talks us through running a magazine like Tone Deaf, what it’s like to work alongside Luke and build a media empire, and the road ahead for young writers and their careers. Poppy touches on the fast pace of the writing machine, and churning out content as a master of none/jack of all genres in the bittersweet reality of New Music Fridays vs delving into the belly and being obsessed with an album, the way we used to celebrate a release from our favourite band.
Then we turn to the glorious rising of Rolling Stone and how it came to be, the type of unique content and social issues they hope to include and what it was like to venture to its New York home to meet the O.G’s, including Gus Wenner’s advice about the importance of it’s iconic covers.
We finished off with Poppy’s AI predictions and artists technology experimentation and a touching story about her moment with Tones & I.
What a legend.
Some key advice to writers who are starting out, including to work your arse off, and do what others aren’t willing to. As a casual writer that is potentially struggling between staffwriter and freelance at the moment, keep writing in a space which you want to be operating in such as a Medium account for longform and always remember that people are out there reading your work, including Poppy Reid!!!
The art of curating your music pitch for each music media publication you approach, and letting them know exactly what you’re expecting from them.
The proper decorum for asking a reviewer to come and check out your band.
The importance of mentors, which don’t have to be called mentors, or operate exclusively in the field of your interest.