Can’t Quit the Hustle, the Man Mentoring Through Music and Sports

 Marmoset’s Music Licensing Coordinator, Mike Riggins (photo credit: Kale Chesney)

Marmoset’s Music Licensing Coordinator, Mike Riggins (photo credit: Kale Chesney)

Mike Riggins is the type of person who embodies the epitome of giving; he’s the type of person who naturally finds ways to contribute to any situation, whether it be offering up a personal story, sharing his favorite bundt cake recipe, or mentoring kids. There’s no limit to Mike’s genuine willingness to do and give more.

A Music Licensing Coordinator on Marmoset’s Creative Licensing Team, Mike approaches his work like he does his life, aiming to offer up more than what he did yesterday. It’s not that he’s striving for perfection but rather recognizes the importance in the willingness to change for the better — then pass what he’s learned along.

“One thing I’ve told my players and the kids I mentor is, me as a person, Michael Isiah Riggins, when I wake up every day I have two goals: I want to be a better person than I was yesterday — and truthfully I’m just not going to all the time,” Mike laughs. “It is what it is sometimes. And my other goal is that when I leave this world I want to leave have given more. It’s great to get all the acknowledgments and all that but it feels so much better to give.”

It’s one the many reasons Marmoset is lucky to have Mike onboard, adding to the layers of community Marmoset upholds through their own initiatives and purpose. For many there’s a loss of perspective when it comes to gaining or “getting ahead” through our experiences — Western society constructing an ecosystem where placing one’s career before one’s health or loved ones is the norm. In breaking this kind of self absorption, Mike takes pride in what he does outside of his career, the reward being in itself the very act of giving.

“I leave the office here at 4:30pm, go to football practice, might not get home until 9 o'clock, get back up at 6am and it might be tiring but at the same time when I get to the field, change clothes and see the kids, you think here we go,” Mike says. “You get that excitement in you because I get an opportunity to coach football, a sport I love, but also have an impact on these kids’ lives. Which is just dope.”

 Mike Riggins (photo credit: Kale Chesney)

Mike Riggins (photo credit: Kale Chesney)

Working with high school kids, Mike instills words of encouragement that reach further than sports; for him it’s prompting youth to go beyond surface level success, to stay sharp, educated and striving to be well rounded in skills apart from athleticism.

“The biggest thing is you’re a student athlete, student being the first word, that’s your grind. Then when it comes to practice, it’s time to hustle, you put on a new hat. You got to put it altogether, you got to work. You got to go to weight training, you got to show up for conditioning. You put in all this work, how does it translate? Well, they got their first win in three years, we scored 60 plus points in a game this year, we were half a game out of playoffs for a team that was not expected to be in the playoff conversation. This is what I mean when I say this being a way of life.”

The emphasis on education comes second nature to Mike, being a mentor to his peers starting when he was only in high school. Family being the epicenter of his life, Mike grew up as an only child, catapulting him to seek out quality relationships outside the home. The natural fostering of friendships is perhaps why so many gravitate to Mike, an explanation why those around him open up or seek him out as that friend who’s always willing to dish out much needed advice.

The ironic thing about Mike’s can do and optimistic perspective is how he often takes heavy situations and uproots the good from them. After injuring himself playing football in high school, Mike took that time to explore other areas of interest, finding a passion for music management and starting his own company, High Performance World Wide. It’s one of his many side hustles where he pours his energy in helping artists throughout the community.

Whether talking to artists or the football players he coaches, there’s the underlining principle to strive for more than just that one goal — to not simply aspire for fame or superficial accolades but to always look ahead, to seek out things of substance.

“The thing I love about coaching is helping develop young men to be men. I coach defensive line, so I have four seniors. At the last game, my last message to them was ‘the music fades and when you’re just sitting there, who are you as a man — where are you going next?’ It’s not about the football, it’s about the stuff you do outside of it.”

 Mike Riggins (photo credit: Kale Chesney)

Mike Riggins (photo credit: Kale Chesney)


Read more about the people working behind the scenes at Marmoset.

Posted on November 9, 2018 and filed under Community, Music, Marmoset, Spotlight: Marmoset.