But Rina’s comments are particularly powerful because of her and Matty’s history, so here is everything you need to know about this entire situation.
In December 2018, Matty was appointed director of the music label Dirty Hit Ltd., which Rina signed to the following year.
She and Matty were initially on good terms, and following the release of her single “STFU!” Rina told NME: “Matty had already heard the new single. He heard it maybe two months ago or something, and he was just was texting me loads of stuff, being like, ‘Fuck! This is amazing’ — just being super supportive. So that’s been incredible.”
The following year, she joked to the same publication that she needed “to get some rock ’n’ roll lessons” from Matty as she shared her admiration for how outspoken he is as an artist.
However, their relationship soured earlier this year when Matty made racist gibes about the rapper Ice Spice during an appearance on The Adam Friedland Show podcast.
He and the podcast’s hosts, Adam Friedland and Nick Mullen, laughed gleefully as they referred to Ice Spice — who is Dominican and Nigerian — as “one of the Inuit Spice Girls,” a “chubby Chinese lady,” and “a fucking Eskimo.”
The men also mocked a variety of accents, including Japanese, Chinese, and Hawaiian, and Matty encouraged the others to imitate what a Japanese person working in a concentration camp would sound like.
Rina was quick to express her disapproval at the time by commenting “what the actual fuck” on an Instagram post that broke down what had happened on the podcast.
Rina herself was born in Japan and moved to London with her parents when she was 5 years old. The star has always been vocal about how immigrating to a new country affected her as a child, and previously recalled her frustration at the way that she and her mom were treated for not speaking English.
“I remember feeling frustrated that I couldn’t speak English,” she told NME in 2020. “And I was frustrated that my mom couldn’t speak English. I thought it was my mom’s fault. Like, Oh, why does she have an accent? Why does she not speak English? And I think I put a lot of blame on her, when actually, it’s just the outside world that’s not accepting.”
Elsewhere in the podcast, Matty admitted to masturbating to a Black woman being “brutalized” on an extreme pornography website that focuses on the humiliation and degradation of women of color.
Adam recalled Matty having the controversial site “blaring” just seconds after he and a group of friends left a party at Matty's house, which Matty corroborated as he told his version of events.
“I was already flustered; I was dressed as ‘guy who is jacking off,’ so I had, like, an untucked shirt, and I think it literally was Ghetto Gaggers on the TV — somebody just getting, like, brutalized,” Matty said before going on to imitate the gagging noises in the videos.
The podcast episode sparked widespread backlash and was deemed so offensive that Spotify and Apple Music eventually removed it from their platforms, although it remains live on YouTube.
Shortly after it was pulled, Matty was terminated from his director role at Dirty Hit, per Companies House. But while he no longer has “significant control” within the label, it is thought that he does still own shares in the company.
So it’s unsurprising that Rina has won high praise for seemingly calling out Matty’s comments on Glastonbury’s Woodsies stage at the weekend during a live show that was televised by the BBC.
Before she performed her song “STFU!” — the same one that Matty was “super supportive over” in 2019 — the anger was evident in Rina’s voice as she told the crowd, “I wrote this next song because I was sick and tired of these microaggressions.”
“So tonight, this goes out to a white man that watches Ghetto Gaggers and mocks Asian people on a podcast,” she went on before shouting, “He also owns my masters. I’ve had enough!”
While Matty is no longer director of Rina’s record label, if he still has shares in the company, he will benefit financially from the label’s profits.
His name is included on a “full details of shareholders” list that was filed to Companies House on Feb. 14. According to the document, Matty holds 18,000 shares, which equates to about 4.09% of Dirty Hit’s total of 440,000.
This means that he will take home 4.09% of whatever profit Dirty Hit makes. It is unclear whether Matty holds extra ownership over Rina’s music specifically, which might be possible through the contract that she signed four years ago.
Many people have praised Rina for using her huge Glastonbury platform to speak out, with one fan tweeting, “yes rina! calling him out live on the bbc & on the biggest stage of all!”
Another added, “big respect to rina sawayama for saying this and at glasto of all places.”
And others validated Rina’s anger, with one popular tweet reading, “what’s even more upsetting is that matt healy, a loud racist who didn’t shy away from making fun of asian people, owning the rina sawayama’s masters when her work is heavily revolving around her asian identity and asian background.”
Someone else agreed: “why do people not understand that the problem lying in this situation is NOT HOW MUCH Matty Healy owns of Rina's masters BUT that he as a white man who's been openly racist without ever being held accountable gets to PROFIT OFF a WOC's work, art – personal art – in ANY way.”
While Matty was spotted at Glastonbury over the weekend, he has not publicly acknowledged Rina’s comments, and it is not known if he was in the crowd during her performance.