You’re the SVP of Brand Development at Combs Enterprises. Talk to me about how your business relationship with Diddy came about?
I actually was a high school student in Washington, D.C. when Diddy was at Howard and making his way into the music business. I was an admirer of him and I like to think much like his move to DC where he became the party guy, I went to Atlanta and did the same thing. So my initial blue print was based off his success. We met when I was 17 and kind of saw each other along the way and we finally did business with a girl group called Dream. Fast forward to me being his rival at Grey Goose, where we had a couple of historic wars that were honestly more about just promoting the brand. I was the Grey Goose guy. He was the CÃ®roc guy. He recruited me to initially become apart of the CÃ®roc movement, and then the opportunity came for me to be apart of the Revolt team and I jumped at it. After a year and some change of working at Revolt, he offered me the senior vice president position that I’m currently in now.
What is Revolt University that you guys are promoting on Instagram?
Revolt University is my new pride and joy. It’s an extension that I came up with because we actually do a lot of partnerships where we reach out to millennials to engage them to share their creativity with us. A lot of people out here shoot these amazing videos and all this great content on their Youtube pages and we wanted to give them a great opportunity to share that with us. We just did a partnership with Talenthouse for that.
Then, I speak a lot with a partner of mine name Rob Hill, Sr. I would go to a lot of schools and speak, and I was like, “Wait a minute we need to bring this to Revolt.” We have all these branding and marketing classes. We have all these experiential classes that you can teach at school, but obviously someone who has lived it, done it and been successful in corporate America and is doing it is a whole other effect. So Revolt University is going to schools all across America to share these experiences and talk to students in the branding and marketing classes, as well as those in the creative classes.
As someone with years of experience in the industry, what’s the best piece of career advice you’ve received and who did it come from?
When I was a millennial myself, I came to the music business with the Monica project and I was sitting with Dave Gates and Claude Austin and respectively they both told me, “You have to master something before you go to the next thing.â€ And it’s so true because when you’re a creative you want to do everything and it’s like okay well be known for something first. So that’s probably the one thing that plays over and over in my mind as I grow as an executive.
In addition to being a successful businessman, you’re also a husband and father. What’s your key to finding that balance?
Well, first of all you have to want to do it. I tell people all the time you have to want to be married to that person. You have to want to be a father to your children. I’ve wanted to do it since the beginning. I think about all the amazing things that I’m able to do because of my job and who I work for, but I make home a priority. You have to set priorities and make sure that you stand true to [them]. Nothing is more important than my family.
To learn more about Kenny Burns journey to becoming an industry influencer, order his book The Dream is Real at amazon.com.