“Andy, Mac would like to speak with you directly now. Is this possible?”
That was the email I got on Friday, May 31, 2013, from Arthur Pitt, then VP of Rostrum Records whom, along with Benjy Grinberg, were the core duo responsible for launching Mac Miller's career. This was the first time in my 15 years as president/publisher of The FADER that an artist in consideration for a cover had requested to speak with me directly to make their case.
They say you don’t always remember what was said in a meeting or past conversation, but that you do remember how you felt. After this phone call, which lasted about 30 mins or so, I felt energized, happy, inspired, impressed, and, overall, like I just made a new friend. I don’t think I did much talking, but it was definitely one of those "he had me at hello" situations, as his genuine nature and enthusiasm came blasting through the phone and hit me right in my heart.
Mac's passion for music was infectious, and although we (FADER) didn’t connect with his music right away, that all started to change as we learned more about Malcolm — his evolution as an artist, the type of person he was, the level of creativity he brought to the table, the hard work he put in, the raw talent that all existed inside that small frame. The cover was his, and as Arthur recalled last week… "Mac was better than I was at my job. What a moment.”
In all of my years at The FADER, I’ve never seen an artist evolve and grow the way Mac did right in front of our eyes. The thing about him that always struck a chord with me, and everyone here, was his fierce sense of independence when it came to his art. Mac clearly believed in himself and his vision, but he was also humble, honest, open, and self-aware. Mac was like that relentlessly annoying little brother that you want to put in headlock, but at the same time, know he’ll actually end up being your best friend.
He literally went from being an artist we weren't that interested in at first to one who literally embodied everything the FADER looks for in an artist. I’m proud that we were able to play a role in his career and he will be missed dearly by all.