This week we are here to introduce you to this synch aficionado, Jillian Rutstein. Read below to learn more about her experiences:
Introduce yourself to us! What do you do in the industry? Where are you from?
Hi! I’m Jillian Rutstein – I’m from Los Angeles and I’m the Director of Creative Synch and Digital for Prescription Songs and our label counterpart, Amigo Records.
How did you get your start in the industry, and how long have you been in the industry?
I was always passionate about music growing up but never knew how many different parts of the music industry there were to pursue. I was willing to do anything to get my foot in the door, so 8 years ago I got the job as Prescription’s receptionist and worked my way up from there!
When did you know being in the business is what you wanted to do? Was there a specific moment where you were like “oh god, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life”?
I grew up going to a lot of live shows and every time I left one I realized there weren’t many other things that made me feel the way music made me feel. From that point on I knew I wanted to somehow make a career out of that feeling.
Is there anything you struggled with (or even still do struggle with) being in the industry?
Not being shy about voicing my opinion. In general (and especially as a woman) sometimes you feel like your voice isn’t as important – but luckily at Prescription I felt empowered early on in my career to speak my mind and voice my creative thoughts.
What is the best part of your job? Why?
THE PEOPLE! Working at a music publisher means you’re working with the people who are the roots of a song - which I think is incredible. I get to work with some of the most talented songwriters and producers who happen to also be some of the most amazing, genuine humans.
What is it about Prescription that made you want to work your way up in the company versus going somewhere else? Similar to the last question, THE PEOPLE! We have a relatively small roster and staff who we’re talking to more than our own families – so having a second family at work is so rare and extremely special.
What are your best tips for pairing songs with synch placements?
I think it depends which direction you’re coming from. If you’re working directly with a music supervisor, my tip is to do your best to understand the brief they sent and to send ideas that are closest to fitting their needs. If you’re a songwriter who wants to land synch placements, I would recommend trying to find the patterns in the songs that you’re hearing in a lot of current TV shows, ads, movie trailers, etc. There are a lot of trends in synch which you can figure out simply by watching TV and listening ☺
What synch pitch are you most proud of?
Recently I helped secure Joy Oladokun as one of the three artist’s in a first-of-its-kind event, The Sims Sessions, a full in-game festival player experience alongside Bebe Rexha and Glass Animals.
Is there someone who you consider as your mentor in the industry?
Absolutely! I’ve been extremely lucky to have multiple wonderful mentors since day 1 –, Megan Wood-Petersen, Rhea Pasricha, Katie Fagan, and Sara Walker.
What advice do you have for women who want to get their start in the music industry?
This industry can be daunting at first, but try your best to stay motivated and confident. Ask questions, try to meet as many people as possible, and know what you want – the rest will follow.
Have you ever been turned down or not taken seriously because you were a female in the industry? What did you do when put into that position?
One of the best things that happened to me was landing at a company like Prescription who has a staff of almost all women. I know our company isn’t the usual, but it’s the main reason why I love my job. If anything, I’ve learned how to be an ally and how to treat others in this industry.
What are some of your other hobbies? What do you do in your free time (which we know can be very hard to find)?
Is going to restaurants a hobby?! I always look forward to finding new restaurants to try. Also love to travel as much as I can!
Who is your all-time favorite artist?
What is something you can't live without?
I wish I had a better answer for this… but my phone and sushi!
Go-to Karaoke song?
Stand Up by Ludacris
Tea or Coffee?
ICED coffee forever.
First concert you went to?
Justin Timberlake’s FutureSex/LoveSounds tour! So epic.
What’s something that you always have on you?
Besides my phone…chapstick!
Who is your dream artist or band to work with?
Have to say Paul McCartney here too! He’s one of the main people I’d love to meet.
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
Every day is different, but there’s a common thread of conversing with our writers, receiving/listening through new audio, being in constant contact with music supervisors, and pitching audio for synch placements accordingly. I also help with digital strategy for the artists on our label roster – creating content calendars, connecting them to the social media partners, etc.!
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Continuing to thoroughly enjoy going to work every day.
What do you hope to see done in the industry within the next few years?
I hope that the percentage of female producers and songwriters go up substantially!
What are you most proud of?
Growing as much as I have at my company. I’ve worked hard, and it feels amazing to take a second to recognize how far I’ve come in the past 8 years.
Lastly, what saying do you live by?
"Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong." -- Ella Fitzgerald
Thank you to Jillian for sharing your insights with us! Be sure to keep up with her work, here.