The path was set early on for Jaime Zeluck-Hindlin. A Long Island, NY native, Zeluck-Hindlin jumped into record label internships while attending Syracuse University before landing a position with CAA and eventually Sony in 2011. When he landed her dream job in A & R, Zeluck-Hindlin worked with artists like Big Boi, Fifth Harmony, and LunchMoney Lewis, and signed and developed acts like the indie star Lauv.
Then, everything shifted in 2017. When Zeluck-Hindlin had her first child, she suffered heart failure and nearly died. This near-death experience made her realize that it was time to work for herself, and Nonstop Management was founded in 2018.
Now, Zeluck-Hindlin, now based in Los Angeles, is working directly with songwriters and producers across multiple genres, including Jake Torrey (Andy Grammar, Kygo/One Republic, BTS) Nick Long (King Princess, Machine Gun Kelly), RYANN (Tate McRae, Ryan Riback), Michael Pollack (Maroon 5, Lauv, Charli XCX), and Maroon 5’s Sam Farrar.
She also signed her husband JKash (Jacob Kasher Hindlin), after working as his publisher and creative partner for nearly a decade. JKash has written for Maroon 5, Meghan Trainor, OneRepublic, and Jason Mraz, in addition to Charlie Puth’s recent single “Girlfriend.”
Nonstop writers have already penned Maroon 5’s No. 1 hit “Memories,” and the band’s most recent single “Nobody’s Love,” written by JKash and Michael Pollack, along with Ryan OG. Pollack and JKash also worked on an upcoming Jonas Brothers project and Katy Perry’s upcoming album Smiles.
Zeluck-Hindlin spoke to American Songwriter about judging one’s success (as a writer), pitching songs, being a chameleon when writing, and what she thinks the “kids” (really) want to listen to these days.
American Songwriter: Now that you are more than two years into operation with Nonstop, is it everything you expected it to be at the time?
Jaime Zeluck Hindlin: It’s crazy! I always hoped we’d get to the place we are now, but I did not think that in two and a half years we would be where we are today. I’d also like to say that we are not even close to where I think we can be. When I started this company, I thought it’d take three to five years, at least, to get to this point. We truly started from nothing. Developing a songwriters career usually takes at least that amount of time. I’m really proud of where we are now, but also know we have a ways to go. I am so proud of my clients and staff and how hard they’ve all worked, because this is a direct result of them.
AS: Were the ebbs and flows of success—and near misses—about what you saw from your previous experience, or do they feel more personal, whether positive or negative?
JZH: They definitely feel more personal, both positively and negatively, because I’m not working for anyone else. It’s my company! Everything feels a bit different when it’s yours, and you’re not trying to impress a boss or get a raise or get promoted. The work that’s being done and the results are a direct correlation of what myself, my team, and clients are putting in. When we have big wins it feels even bigger, and when things don’t go so well, they hit a bit harder.
AS: How do you continue balancing out the risk and reward of decisions that don’t just impact you but many other people now that business has grown?
JZH: I’m a bit more careful these days as these decisions are going to play a large role in where we’re going as a company. There are many risks I want to take, but I think about it differently now. How we handle things early on will ultimately paint the picture for where we are going to be. I pick and choose the things to take a leap of faith on, and only do that if I feel I have to in my gut. I think about my staff and my clients every time I am making a decision. It’s about all of us.
AS: Historically, pop songs never really got much respect within the greater songwriter arena. Have you noticed a shift, or do you still think there are different ways that people treat LA writers, or pop writers, versus those coming out of Nashville?
JZH: There is definitely still a difference, but I think now more than ever, the two worlds are colliding, and it’s a beautiful thing. When I first started in the business this didn’t even seem possible, and now, what we’re seeing is that anything is possible—collaborations of any sort of crazy idea to maybe get a country artist with a pop artist or writer. It’s happened and continues to happen, and I think people only want more of it, because the results are too good. I think now is the time to bring all of the writers together, from whatever genre to the other. It really is starting to feel like more of a songwriting community bridging the gaps of both worlds, and I hope it only continues.
AS: Having heavy hitters on your roster is a nice way to secure consistent results. It also affords you the opportunity to be selective in deciding who’s next. How do you balance finding quality while being in demand and swimming in quantity?
JZH: It’s tough, because a lot of great music is always coming our way and we never want to miss anything or say no to someone that we have a good feeling about. There are a lot of talented people we meet every day, that we genuinely like, but we’re pretty particular when it comes to growing the roster. What’s most important to us is bringing people on that not only have the talent but also feel like a part of our family. We ask ourselves these questions when looking at new talent: Do they feel like our family? Do we want to be around them all the time. Do we want to help nurture and grow their careers? Can we see ourselves going to bat for this person, and are our visions aligned? I only want good energy around us, and at the end of the day, that is what is most important to me and the company. It’s how I differentiate what we work on from what we don’t work on. Of course, you have to get that special feeling in your gut when you hear the music. You know when it’s something you can’t live without.
AS: We headline our most recent cover story on Finneas, “The Next Great Songwriter Is Already Here.” Do you think the bedroom pop revolution is something that will continue to produce more talent?
JZH: There is music I’m currently working on, which lives in that space and we’re so excited about it. The second I heard it, I couldn’t stop listening. It’s a lot of what the kids want, and I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon. I think after seeing success stories like Billie [Eilish], Finneas, Lauv, it’s only giving more artists the confidence to do this and know that they can create some of the best, fresh, pop leaning music from their bedroom and that seems to be a lot of what the culture wants right now.
AS: Do you think that there’s a sense of “it all sounds the same” going around that is turning people off?
JZH: No, I really don’t. What I’m seeing is that a lot of these artists are doing it in ways that are unique to them and I personally don’t think they all sound the same. Of course, we are seeing that the really great ones rise to the top, because they do things to set their music apart from the rest.
AS: How do you determine the weight and feel of that. If you notice that a trend has started to hit a saturation point, but there are still gains to be made, do you keep going after it or do you start trying to find that “next” trend?
JZH: I think it’s a balance staying on top of what’s currently working while also always looking for the next “thing.” I don’t want to exhaust myself over any certain type of music, but I think it’s about constantly growing. I’ve learned that what usually gets people’s attention when listening to songs is when they hear something new that they’ve never heard before. That’s how I usually like to approach pitching songs. If you pitch too much of the same, it can come off as been there, done that.
AS: At Nonstop, how do you prepare your people to work with others? JKash has hits with everyone from Maroon5 to Thomas Rhett, which is a Top 40-country split for the same writer.
JZH: What I love about my writers, JKash in particular, is how versatile they are. JKash is literally a chameleon and can write in any type of room—whether it’s pop, country, hip-hop, alternative. I usually only give my writers the heads up about what the artist is looking for before they go in so they feel prepared, but most of my crew can adapt to whatever genre it is, and that is something I love about them.
AS: How should songwriters judge success?
JZH: I think success feels different for everyone and in most cases, feels the best when it results in hit songs. I think one of the best successes, early on in your career, is when you have found your ride-or-die team—management, publishing, lawyers and collaborators. That’s a good place to start. Once you get your footing in this business and know you have your go-to people that will do anything for you, and that you can also get the best results from writing-wise, is a big success. So many people work for years to find their “team,” and I think that’s half the struggle. Yes, having big songs and winning awards and all of that is success, but you can’t get there without a core team and knowing you have the people around you that will help take you to that next level.