Let’s face it, 2020 was the nightmare none of us saw coming. We all had to adapt to a new way of life that was straight out a dystopian flick. But what happened to Keishia Mcleod in 2020 is proof that no matter how many setbacks we might have, they’re really “slingshots” in disguise.
Diving into the deep end, I got the chance to have a raw and authentic interview with Legacy Records CEO Keishia Mcleod. This boss babe from Las Vegas always knew she wanted to be leading, creating, and innovating meetings in high-rise office buildings and was determined to make it happen. Sure enough, after starting out at a company at an entry level, Keishia became President of the same company by the time she was 24. Ultimately leading her to where she is today: running her own record label.
AMT: What was your inspiration or motivation behind creating Legacy Records?
KM: Actually, we got into film first. At the beginning of 2020, we were working on a reality TV show and about to release some imprints on Xbox and Netflix. Suddenly, everything got put on hold due to COVID, and no one was even allowed to show up on set. It was a really stressful time because we were getting ready to bring over a few artists from Pixar, Marvel, and DC Comics.
But something exciting was happening at the same time. I was having conversations with a few established artists in the music industry, along with a ton of new and aspiring artists. I remember wondering, “why are these guys not out there doing their thing, living their dream, doing what they do?” I felt this crazy obligation that it’s go time…again. So, I had a phone call with our team, and I said, “guys. It’s time to pivot.”
AMT: Being a female in any industry is challenging, yet you seem to be pushing past all barriers. Why do you think that is?
KM: I’m just not okay with being average or sitting back and watching things happen. I’ve been through so many experiences of failure or judgment, but I’ve always believed you’re only given what you can handle. I’ve always felt that if you can do something or have the ability to withstand an obstacle, then you have an obligation to keep pushing forward and see it through.
AMT: How would you say Legacy Records is different from other record labels out there?
KM: There are things Legacy offers to our artists that are non-existent or well above industry standard in other labels, and that’s because I don’t believe in an industry standard. It has nothing to do with competition, but everything to do with what an artist is worth. I guess this is where my stubborn side comes in since I have a problem with being told how things “should be.” In this transition period from [film to music], I talked to several musicians/artists, including some friends, to better understand their frustrations. So many of their concerns ended up shaping the way the label was formed. I vowed our artists would have a different path and never feel they ‘signed their life away’.
AMT: What would you tell the readers who are looking to pursue a career in music?
KM: Don’t be too judgmental on how or how little of an involvement you have. Be okay with the baby steps and allow yourself the time to catch up to that person you have to grow into to be worthy of that position.
AMT: There are so many ways people define success nowadays. How do you personally define success?
KM: I think success is achieving what you didn’t think you were capable of.
AMT: Since we survived 2020, what is your life motto for 2021?
KM: Throughout our meetings, I just kept hearing, “because of COVID…” or, “when things get back to normal…” and I was so tired of hearing that. What if it doesn’t stop? Are you just going to sit on your butt?
For me, I’d say my motto is, “who cares? Let’s create and get to work.”
Let’s face it, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to success and making our dreams a reality. Perhaps you’re afraid to take that next step because you’re unsure of what lies on the other side. Or maybe you don’t know how to begin and feel it’s impossible to achieve.
The truth is, if we all knew we’d succeed before we even started, it would make the journey of getting there meaningless. We have to fear the unknown to propel us down the path, no matter how ominous it may appear. You have to keep motivated even in the most challenging times (hello 2020) to keep moving forward. It’s that very motivation to follow your dreams despite the odds, which acts like your personal “slingshot” to success.
Let’s create and get to work. We’ve got dreams to follow.