Justin Cosby, the infinitely passionate and altruistic co-founder and director of A&R at Inertia Music, has passed away on Friday. He was 50.
The passing of Cosby was confirmed via a social media statement from label representatives.
He was described as a “loving partner, dedicated friend, (and) inquisitive music lover”, remembered for his “inexhaustible, enduring love of music and the relationships he invested in, personal and professional“.
Cosby co-founded Inertia music in 2000. Inertia collaborates with independent artists and labels locally and overseas, and is known as Australia’s finest vinyl distributor.
Cosby was admired and valued by many, as evident in the touching tributes and statements which followed the announcement on Friday evening.
Indie duo, Big Scary left a touching post on Instagram, recounting how Cosby would write poetry about their songs, “and it always felt so good to know someone was deeply listening.” They described his excitement for music as “like that of a teenager”.
Ineke Daans, Head of Brand Communications at Cosby’s label, wrote of Coby’s generosity and altruism, as he showed others: “how to unconditionally support and befriend and lift one another. He have and he gave. His appreciation was pure and outspoken publicly”.
Inertia Records has worked with Australian artists including Alex Cameron, Hockey Dad, Bleeding Knees Club and King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard.
Cosby also worked with pioneering international artists such as Björk, Angel Olsen, Serpentwithfeet, Mitski and Bon Iver.
Cosby and Ashley Sellers founded the label. Since its inception, Cosby has played a pivotal role in establishing relationships between the label and its influential artists in the two decades.
In 2017, Inertia was acquired by PIAS, an independent music company founded in Belgium.
Notwithstanding the success of Inertia records, the stream of touching tributes to Cosby indicate that his greatest legacy is the kindness he showed others, and his lasting influence on people close to him, personally and professionally.
In this time where the troubled culture of much of the music industry has been headlining, the selflessness unique to Cosby is something to be remembered, cherished and admired.
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Im just shocked to hear of the passing of beautiful Justin Cosby. He signed me when I was 16 and was truly a pleasure to work, a special soul and emotionally intuitive. I’ll never forget him crying at one of my shows because he was so moved…
— Holiday Sidewinder (@hsidewinder) June 26, 2021
Can’t stop thinking about Justin and how passionately he lived and how much time he gave to everyone. He makes me want to be a kinder and more attentive person and reminds me that the joy of music is at the centre of why we do what we do.
— Melody Forghani (@forghandi) June 26, 2021