Lucas Keller is the President and Founder of talent representation company Milk & Honey, headquartered in Los Angeles, CA.
He started out in the music industry as a guitarist in a local band in Wisconsin.
Keller self-financed the launch of Milk & Honey.
Lucas Keller: Career history
Before heading off to college, Lucas Keller played guitar in a local band and worked as a consultant/promotor for Phenomenon Concerts. He promoted for four years, leaving in 2004 to focus on his education. His focus on education, however, did not remain, as Keller dropped out of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 2006.
He moved to Chicago to manage bands at Uppercut Management until 2008.
In 2009, Keller moved across the country to Los Angeles, joining The Collective as a Manager in the company’s music department. This made Keller the company’s youngest music executive.
The Collective’s music department managed such acts as Kanye West and Linkin Park. Keller notably managed Scott Weiland during the breakup of his band, Stone Temple Pilots, after they “terminated” him on their website. Keller personally aided in negotiations with the band regarding Weiland’s departure terms. Keller remained with The Collective until 2013, leaving to found his new management company Milk & Honey.
Keller founded Milk & Honey in 2014 out-of-pocket and out of his own home, focusing on songwriter, producer, and artist management. The company has since expanded to include DSP promotion, marketing, branding, tv/film/ad synchronization licensing, and digital strategy.
As Milk & Honey puts it, they are a “one stop shop for talent.”
Since its founding, Milk & Honey has represented songwriters who have worked with Drake, Justin Bieber, Doja Cat, Post Malone, Dua Lipa, Chance the Rapper, and Calvin Harris, just to name a few. Milk & Honey’s star-studded talent roster has been involved in records that have sold over 400 million units globally as of 2022. Their own talent roster includes the likes of Oak Felder, Sir Nolan, David Hodges, and Oliver Heldens.
Keller launched a sports agency division at Milk & Honey in 2021, based in Dallas, Texas.
Their initial roster consisted of fifteen NFL players. The company now has office space in LA, NY, Nashville, London, Amsterdam, and Dallas.
Lucas Keller: Professional philosophy
In a 2021 ‘My Manifesto’ piece for Music Business Worldwide, Lucas Keller said: “There are these imperfect systems [in the music industry] that have been going on for years, and it’s like: Why does this [model] need to continue to exist? I have one client who believes that if we don’t get songwriters at the table with the labels, and we don’t start to share our royalties with them [and vice-versa] in the next few years, then a rebalancing of the economics of this business will never happen.
“I think that’s accurate. There’s got to be a better way for everybody to share, where the labels don’t feel ripped off and neither do we. While I’m on the subject of ‘imperfect systems’, by the way, the live business is on another level.
“If you look at some of these old rules, these granular details of, say, how you settle a concert, the back-end promoter profit and expenses, just the nuanced way that world works, you think: These rules probably go back to vaudeville or something, or the very early days of touring. And you’re like, Who created this shit?”
“I’m passionate about the fact that all of us – songwriters, songwriter representatives – need to come together as one, and only then go in and have those difficult conversations with the major music companies.”
Lucas Keller, speaking in 2021
He added: “The lack of organization and leadership in the songwriter community today keeps causing all these fragmented movements, who are all advocating for their specific demands rather than really banding together. And then those fragments individually go up against the majors.
“The majors can’t take these groups seriously if they’re not united. It’s a huge undertaking, but I’m passionate about the fact that all of us – songwriters, songwriter representatives – need to come together as one, and only then go in and have those difficult conversations with the major music companies.”Music Business Worldwide