People & Culture Series: Kelsi Ring
Monstercat has a personality. Not just as a label, or as the mischievous cat himself, but as a community. And when it comes to developing a personality, a huge part of those quirks involve a voice, and a story. The way Monstercat interacts with people, tells the world about the music that gets released, and stands out amongst the crowd all has to be shaped by storytelling. Having a strong voice and a strong story essentially answers the big question you might ask yourself if you don’t know much about us: what is Monstercat’s deal?
Kelsi Ring, Head of Communications at Monstercat, is the driving force behind telling Monstercat’s story to the world. Describing the music that’s released, crafting ideas and ways to inform people of what Monstercat’s up to, and celebrating the label’s achievements are just a few of the many ways she helps build Monstercat’s story. So get to know the ultimate communicator!
What do you do at Monstercat?
I'm the Head of Communications so I drive the narrative around our brand properties by securing media and thought leadership opportunities. Ok let’s unpack that. I oversee press efforts for all of the records that we release; our partnerships, gaming or otherwise; our live events; our corporate initiatives; and things like placing staff at conferences and so on. Basically, anything and everything we create under the Monstercat umbrella, I help package into a story and share it with the world. And I make sure that the Monstercat narrative is cohesive and gives an authentic look at who we are and what we’re doing as a company, with our artists front and center to that.
What kind of got you into the electronic music space? Did you start out in PR and then go into music? Or did you start in music and go into communications?
Music has always been a passion of mine. I come from a very musical family. My first concert was Aerosmith when I was five, and there was never a quiet moment in my house. My mom plays the piano, my brother plays bass guitar, and my dad and I can’t play anything but I’d like to think we have a good ear! When I went to college, I studied Communications. At the same time, I also worked on the University’s Program Board so I was booking shows my Freshman year, and I instantly knew that was what I wanted to do with my life. I was working the door at every venue in Santa Barbara and going to festivals. I loved every type of music. But I think, especially during my transition from high school to college, as I kind of grew up, I got closer to electronic music and started you know, as one might say, ‘raving.’ Which I can confirm, I still do to this day. I love dance music and the community that surrounds it. After I graduated college, I started out in the music business not doing PR initially but then fell into it after a year or two and have not looked back. So I've been in Communications for almost eight years now and I've learned a lot by dabbling in a little bit of everything.
Do you ever have plans to learn an instrument in the future or learn how to DJ?
Nobody wants that! I've tried my hand at a couple of different things. Such as singing in the shower. And DJing. Neither turned out well. So yeah, I don't think that's happening anytime soon. But I can make a mean playlist.
What does a typical day look like for you at Monstercat?
Well, every day is different. Typically I run through all of the releases that we have coming up over the next six weeks or so, making sure that I've pitched or followed up on everything, that journalists have the assets they need, or interviews are all scheduled and the artists are briefed. I distribute our daily press releases and clip any pieces that have run. I'm always scanning the media landscape to see where Monstercat is being mentioned, or where we could be. It's a lot of research and reading every morning, then brainstorming and crafting angles. I catch up on music news and take note of any trends or important things that are happening in our genre, as well as the industry at large. Sometimes I’m taking calls with our artists to get their perspective on their release so I can share it effectively. I also handle internal stuff, like I might be prepping one of our executives to go speak on a panel, or look over an employee quote that a partner needs. Do I sound boring yet?
What do you enjoy about working at Monstercat?
I love that Monstercat is not just a label, it's a community. You don’t see that a lot, it’s unique that a label has it’s own personality, and fan base, and culture. That’s one of my favorite parts about working here, just knowing that we’re all contributing to something that people feel like they’re a part of too. We have this real connection with the artists and the people who listen to them. Feels like family.
Out of the four company values (integrity, tenacity, community and curiosity,) which one do you identify with the most? And why?
Curiosity right off the bat. I feel like I'm always asking questions, maybe to an annoying degree, but I always want to know more. It's never enough for me, which is probably why I'm still doing what I do. Because I can’t ever be complacent, you know? And keeping curious here is easy, I learn something new every day. I’m glad I don’t necessarily come from some of the worlds that we work in like gaming, for example. I was never a gamer (sorry) but now that it's a huge part of my job, It's become a part of my life. So I do feel like I relate the most to curiosity. Unless ‘loving dogs’ is a company value, then sorry, I relate to that more.