Melissa Keklak is a branding and public relations professional with over 12 years of experience working across music, lifestyle, entertainment/celebrity and sports brands.
As the CEO of a full-service communications and management agency and President of record label, she was the perfect person to talk with about balancing the grind.
We spoke to Melissa about her extensive career in the music industry, juggling multiple job roles, exercising to get her mind right, and plenty more!
This conversation is brought to you by Teachable, a powerful yet simple all-in-one platform to create and sell beautiful online courses.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your background and career?
I’ve been working in the music industry for over 12 years. I began my career as the Director of Artist and Public Relations for Casio Electronics, specifically focusing on brand/artist collaborations and publicity for G-Shock and Baby-G watches.
In 2012 I relocated to Los Angeles and launched my own PR & digital marketing firm, MMKpr.
The first campaign our agency secured was Mountain Dew and Lil Wayne’s DEWeezy campaign, which not only broke media impression records for the brand, but also elevated Lil Wayne to mainstream music status, paving the way for multiple deals for the artist.
We’ve worked with more than 40 brands and music artists, including Mountain Dew, Nike, Warner Brother, Ferrari, Brisk, Hurley, Empire Music, Hit Boy, Hopsin, Lil Debbie, DJ Quik, Problem and DJ Carisma to name a few.
Over the past five years I’ve transitioned into becoming a label services powerhouse and music manager for a plethora of artists & producers including Problem, Diego Ave and project manager for Bay Swag.
Last year, I also took on a new role as the president of Heavy Camp; a label owned by hip hop and entertainer mogul Blac Youngsta.
2) What is your current role and what does it entail on a day to day basis?
I own my own PR, music marketing & distribution company, am a music manager as well as President of Blac Youngsta’s label Heavy Camp.
All of the roles entail overseeing staff, artists, communicating with labels, working closely with media and digital playlist curators.
3) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
No two days are the same.
Between managing producers and artists, being a label President and owning my own boutique agency – I never know what is about to happen when my feet hit the floor in the morning no matter how much I plan.
But typically I take care of emails first thing in the morning and then I’m off, doing studio sessions, label meetings, artist meetings, attending promo and interviews with artists, etc.
4) In between everything you do and all your responsibilities, how do you ensure you find some sort of balance in your life?
It’s a must so there are certain things I implement into my routine.
For example, I work out early in the morning 4-5 days a week to get my mind right for the day, I also mediate in the evening a few nights a week.
Life balance is equally as important as self care so making sure I take time to catch up with friends, dial out for a day at the spa, things like that.
5) What are some of the things you do to take time out and recharge?
Hiking, a day at the spa, meeting up with a friend for a great glass of wine, being outdoors with my dogs.
6) Are there any gadgets, tools or products that you can’t live without?
Of course, my iPhone, wireless Beats headphones, candles, and wine opener.
7) Do you have any books that you love and would like to recommend?
I love reading and try to read as often as possible, I think it is important to never stop learning.
Recently I’ve read:
- How to Make Sh*t Happen: Make more money, get in better shape, create epic relationships and control your life by Sean Whalen
- Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
- Creative Quest by Questlove
8) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
Take at least one hour a day for me, whether its to read, grab a workout class, cook a meal in my kitchen. It’s important I take that time to balance and check out to do something for myself.