Molasses Mag is a new music publication by, for and about people of color and other racial/ethnic minorities. Based out of New York and California, we focus on independent and emerging artists around the globe. Publishing seasonally, we aim to take a different approach to music journalism.

The following are some core principles that inform the work we do:

  • Genuine and not performative diversity. People of color have historically been overlooked and erased in music/art canons, as well as in the fields of music journalism and criticism. Yet our contributions are inarguably essential, and we firmly believe that diversity is good not just for its own sake, but also for the sake of high-quality art and journalism. Through this publication, we intend to break the traditional mold by centering diverse perspectives in our coverage and discussions about music, without focusing solely on identity politics.
  • A resistance to the paradigm of “timeliness at all costs.” The acts of listening to and writing about music have increasingly hinged on delivering the hottest takes in the shortest amount of time possible. We believe any piece of music can be made culturally and critically relevant regardless of its recency, and that genuine, thoughtful criticism is sorely missing from music journalism in the wake of endless PR-driven premieres. We intend to remedy this.
  • Recognizing both intellectualism and subjectivity as essential to effective criticism. Music journalism today has many pitfalls, chief among them being a lack of thoughtful, intellectual critique that centers the music itself in its arguments. At the same time, we reject the notion that all journalism must be “objective,” particularly when covering culture, and welcome open reflections and debates on how our personal experiences and biases impact our relationship with music as an art form.
  • Creators deserve to be compensated. Period. Demanding compensation for labor doesn’t make someone a “sellout.” In a capitalist society, we believe that good journalism is worth paying for, and that musicians, artists and writers all deserve so much more than what we’re currently getting. Molasses is, for the time being, a totally volunteer-run operation—we’re just that passionate about what we’re doing—but we’re actively working toward securing funding so we can pay our contributors. If any interested VCs happen to be reading this, email us. Otherwise, we’ll be setting up ways for you to donate soon–keep an eye out!

Still reading? You rock. Subscribe to our newsletter for more of the same.