Coconut Oil Advocate. Proficient Pound Giver. Flatiron Gardener. Wake up with music attorney Mike McKoy.
“On a molecular level, something happens that makes the caffeine attach to your cells quicker.”
The sun may have just crept up over the tall buildings of Manhattan’s Flatiron district, but the McKoy household is in motion when we arrive. Mike answers the door in a worn pair of jeans, trailed by his wife Caitlin (in workout gear), and their young daughter, Alex, who slides across the brilliant wood floor in her socks. There is evidence of breakfast on the dining room table. Mike glances around and grins sheepishly. “Just another yuppie dad with a beard, I’m afraid,” he says. “You guys must be used to this by now.”
McKoy is an attorney specializing in the music business. The firm where he is a partner – Serling Rooks Ferrara McKoy & Worob LLP (“we’re one name away from a parody”)—is one of the more prominent music-focused boutique firms in the industry. As Mike explains it: “I’ve worked with both pop acts and niche indie bands – it’s really just about connecting with artists you’re passionate about. A lot of these acts are only kids when we start working with them… they’re 18, 19 years old. So it’s our job to get them thinking about the future. Helping them answer the question, ‘how is [this] going to affect your life?’ Sometimes they’re looking for actual creative input from us in addition to the legal side of things. That can be fun. The bottom line is I have to do the legal work well, and then everything else is a bonus.”
A typical morning finds Mike up early. He goes into Alex’s room to wake her up while Caitlin makes her breakfast. Mike then brews two cups of coffee (one for his wife) and stirs in small amounts of both butter and coconut oil. “I know it sounds strange,” he says. “But on a molecular level, something happens that makes the caffeine attach to your cells quicker.” And then: “Caitlin read about it; it’s apparently all the rage right now.”
Mike pops blueberries, almond milk, and protein powder into an industrial blender, blends well, and sips the resulting smoothie as Caitlin and Alex get suited up for the walk to school. Before Alex leaves, Mike requests a father-daughter handshake and the pair come together in a whir of hands and elbows. Mike carries Alex’s backpack to the door. “I wish he’d do that every day!” She exclaims as she rounds the corner and out the door into the day.
Mike showers, brushes, flosses, and grooms (“I suppose we won’t be getting a shot of me brushing my hair,” he laughs and gestures towards his hairline). Then he gets dressed in trousers, a wool sweater and a ball cap, and we walk up – through a sort of solarium filled with Mike’s many surfboards and wetsuits – to the roof. Flanked by water towers, Mike turns on the hose and waters a gaggle of evergreen bushes.
“That neighborhood feeling. I don’t take any of it for granted. Not even for a second.”
It’s a chilly morning, but Mike’s desk is just a short commute from his home – about half a block. The S R F M & W offices are covered, appropriately, in platinum records and personal notes from various artists. Mike’s office, meanwhile, is a bit of homage to his childhood in Jacksonville, Florida; one photograph depicts a swamp filled with alligators. Mike, after answering a few emails, sits back and seems to reflect for a moment. “If our office moves I’d be genuinely bummed. The fact I’m so close to home allows me to really have time to myself. It gives my family time for our routine.” He goes on: “Some days I’ll walk Alex to school [in the West Village], and then make my way back to the office, stopping for coffee or something as I go… or maybe Caitlin and I will go out for a fun dinner on the weekend, have a few drinks and be able to just pleasantly stumble home.” He smiles. “That neighborhood feeling. I don’t take any of it for granted. Not even for a second.”