About a month ago, Melissa Keklak began sharing photos of her new Knack Pack on Twitter. Our team was pretty stoked to read her take, and as we scrolled through her Twitter feed we realized that Melissa leads a pretty inspiring life in the music industry.
The Bag for a Busy Life In The Music Industry
We sat down with Melissa to learn more about her impressive career, and how her Knack Pack helps her get stuff DONE.
Melissa is the CEO of MMKpr, a label services company that represents artists and plans music distribution, PR and partnerships. She’s also the President of Heavy Camp, a music label founded by famous rapper, Black Youngsta.
Breaking into the Music Industry
Melissa started her career as the Director of PR & Artist Relations at Casio America, where she was the driving force behind artist collaborations with creatives like Lady Gaga and Kanye West.
Melissa’s work, specifically her ability to tell an artist’s story, quickly got attention. “I am really focused on new technology and merging media,” she shares. “In the music industry, your reputation is everything. I was doing good work, and artists started to reach out to me to consult and work with them.”
As the industry evolved and social media became more important, Melissa’s skills were in demand. “In 2011, I moved to Los Angeles and started my company,” she shares. Her first campaign was with 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. (College Hip Hop.)
She knows her stuff.
One of the toughest parts about being in the music industry is knowing who to listen to – and who is posturing. “I learned to work projects with blinders on,” she shares. “Music is probably one of the toughest sectors of the entertainment industry. There’s a lot of people who don’t know how to do it, who will go out of their way to tell you it can’t be done.” Melissa quickly learned how to determine if someone was posturing or knew their stuff.
Never Leave Home Without Your Knack Backpack
For Melissa, there’s no such thing as a typical day. She explains, “Musicians are the product at the end of the day, it comes from them. I’m working with and representing artists who have insane schedules.”
Melissa just finished a 2-month recording stint in Los Angeles. “I was in the studio, from 5PM to 5AM, six days a week,” she shares.
This is where her Knack Pack really comes into play. “Once I got it, I switched immediately,” she says. “When I leave the house, I’m not coming back for 16 hours minimum. I have to take everything with me. Honestly, I need to have all the items I use in life with me. My Knack Pack fits everything, and I don’t have to carry multiple bags into the studio.”
Melissa packs all of her gear, clothes and food into her Knack Pack. “I pack a blanket in the expandable compartment,” she shares. “Studios get cold, and it’s important to be able to take quick naps.”
The Knack Pack got quite the reception when she first showed up with one at the studio. “The guys loved it,” she said with a laugh. “We had a blast going through the pockets and talking about where to put stuff.”
Melissa will be traveling a lot in the next few months. Heavy Camp has an official launch, which coincides with launching artists under the label and scheduling appearances and tours. “I’ll be living at the airport, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Cheers to your success, Melissa!
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[FTC Note: Melissa was gifted a Knack Pack for review.]