EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Mikael Melo

Mikael Melo is a full-time content creator based out of Toronto, Ontario. He has spent several years creating different kinds of content to help make people laugh and feel good, regardless of what’s going on in the world. More recently, a TikTok of his mocking the Ontario government’s stay at home order went viral, garnering over one million views since being uploaded. He has over 10 000 followers on TikTok, as well as over 5000 followers on Instagram. Between that and other content creation jobs, Melo is super busy!

I was so happy to chat with Melo recently for my website. In this exclusive interview, we chatted about his career beginnings, the aforementioned viral TikTok, brand partnerships, and more. Enjoy!

E: Can you please give some background on yourself?

Mikael Melo (M): I was born and raised in Cambridge, Ontario until I moved to Toronto to study Radio and Television Arts (RTA): Media Production at Ryerson University. In my professional career, I’ve worked for companies such as eTalk, iHeartRadio, BuzzFeed, ScreenRant, The Cannes Film Festival, and more.

E: What inspired you to become a content creator?

M: I’ve always been a creative person. It’s also been a hobby of mine for as long as I can remember. I just think I love making people laugh, so creating comedic comedy is a way to do that to a wide range of people.

E: How did you begin your career as a content creator?

M: I was making videos throughout high school; and as a drama student, I was always drawn to comedy and sketch-based content. I then explored entertainment news, which is a field I love. But I’ve recently found myself coming back to comedy because it’s an area that everyone relates to. I think if you work in entertainment- no matter what capacity- you will always been creative and creating content in some capacity.

E: What was it like the first time you went viral?

M: Honestly, I posted my Ontario Government Hotline TikTok and didn’t think much of it. I then left my phone in my room to have dinner. It’s certainly a cool feeling to hear from friends that their parents or their friends of friends have shared it. I think it’s the coolest thing to know you’re making a lot of people laugh- especially those you’ve never met before!

E: Most recently, a TikTok of yours where you made fun of the Ontario government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. What prompted you to create it?

M: I think the guidelines set were extremely vague and didn’t set a clear tone as to what the rules were. It was “stay at home”, but also “curbside pickup is allowed”. I understand the government is tip-toeing to find a balance of saving lives and saving the economy, but other countries are doing much better at that than we are. So, I created the sketch to poke fun and the holes in this plan, and it seems like many people related and liked it.

E: When did you realize just how viral that TikTok had become?

M: One of my best friends told me that her friend in a very small town up north had seen the video shared by locals. Considering the town is about five hours from me and I’ve never been there before, I would say that was the moment I realized it had made its rounds.

E: When you aren’t creating your own content, what else do you do for work?

M: I’m a social media marketer for a few brands, as well as a video host and reporter for ScreenRant, where I report on the latest TV and movie news.

E: You’ve done a lot of brand partnerships on social media. Would you consider yourself a micro influencer?

M: I guess so. I’ve certainly done enough brand deals now that I feel I can consider myself a micro-influencer. However, I still see it as being a content creator because it’s still just making content for a brand.

E: Who is your dream brand to partner with?

M: I’ve partnered with a lot of brands I love and respect such as Nike, Bud Light, Ralph Lauren, Disney, and more. But the inner nerd in me would love to partner with Nintendo next. This lockdown experience has unlocked the inner child within me, and I’ve spent a lot of time playing my Nintendo Switch. So it would be really cool to partner with them in some way.

E: What advice do you have when it comes to doing brand partnerships?

M: Read your contracts and guidelines. Make sure you know what’s expected from both parties involved. But also make sure the partnership is one that makes sense for your brand. For example, if you’re a beauty guru, it might come off as odd if you partner with a car company if you’ve never talked about cars on your platform. That’s why I think it’s important to be yourself online so that your audience knows who you are and what partnerships and content they can expect from you.

E: How has your career been impacted by the pandemic?

M: For the first part of the pandemic, I was laid off. I think a lot of media jobs took a hit as they looked at how they could readjust to this new normal. Luckily, most of my work came back around August, and I’m able to completely work remotely for all my jobs, which is truly a blessing. I know it’s not like that for everyone because I have friends who work on TV and movie sets which requires them to be in-studio. But luckily, my work in digital allows me to stay at home.

E: Do you believe that your career as a content creator would be different if the pandemic hadn’t happened?

M: Totally! I had an entire plan for 2020, as I’m sure many people did. But I for one believe everything happens for a reason, despite it being annoying at the moment. Had this not happen, I would’ve never explored TikTok and dove into political satire comedy. So I believe my path would’ve been completely different if I had stuck to my original plan for 2020.

E: What advice do you have for anyone who wishes to be a successful content creator?

M: If you think it’s good and you’re happy with the final product, then no amount of views, comments, or likes can change that opinion. Some of my favourite pieces I’ve made flopped. I just think it’s important to get into the habit of posting things less to please others and more so because it’s content you’re proud of. I think it really shows when you’re proud of a piece- and usually, people receive it well.

E: What’s next for your career?

M: I have no idea! We’re still in a pandemic after all, so everything’s up in the air. But if I can manifest a career path, I’d love to become a full-time comedy content creator who also works as an entertainment reporter, and eventually ends up with his own talk show.

E: Where can people find you online?

M: My website is www.mikaelmmelo.com. You can follow me on Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, and Twitter. You can also subscribe to my YouTube Channel!

xo,

Elizabeth

Published by Elizabeth Sarah Larkin

Freelance Writer & Social Media Manager

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