Janesta is the founder of women-run Rocking Horse Road (RHR) and Coversion Music. Initially known for her music supervision work with RHR from Canada via London, her team gained notoriety for creating the music for the Moonlight trailer campaign. RHR's sync with the Philips Norelco campaign featuring a cover of "It's Your Thing" led to the creation of the much-needed Coversion, The Sync-Focused Covers Catalog, already a go to for key music supes around the world. She was a finalist for best video game music supervision for Music Week's Sync Awards and Coversion just had it's first sync debut in a Macca's (Australian McDonald's) campaign with an incredible cover of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, "You Really Got a Hold on Me".
Success is such a personal concept – we all see and define it differently. How did you personally define your success?
Success to me is being able to do what you love, while also being able to make a living and inspire others to follow their passion. I left a salaried job within a small music region to jump in to the unknown and try and make a go of it in music licensing. If I hadn’t made that change, I would not be where I am now. I wouldn’t know the people I know. I wouldn’t be answering this interview on a plane from London to LA… and I wouldn’t be as proud of myself as I am now. I am doing what I love. I am learning more all the time. I am pushing myself forward and following my own path. That, to me, is success.
What advice would you give women who want to enter your side of the industry - What are your top three tips?
Reach out to others and ask questions, don’t be afraid to learn new things – no one knows it all. And make real relationships - Don’t be fake. Be you.
How have the personal and professional experiences in your life contributed to your success today?
Professionaly, I can say, without a doubt, that my time at Sonic Entertainment Group in Halifax, NS and my time with Mike G, Louis Thomas and Wintersleep gave me the basis for everything I know. I started at the company as office manager and dabbled in PR, as label assistant, in live events, and worked in artist management – which was where I spent the majority of my 8 years there. Being on the management side introduced me to all sides of the industry, since you need an understanding of a little bit of everything to do a great job as a manager. It enabled me to have a clearer understanding of where an artist, label, management, publisher, sync agent and music supervisor all stand in terms of clearing a placement before I even opened the doors to my licensing company. Though, I admit that I learned much more on the Sync Agent and Music Supervisor side since diving in to that.
Personally, as an only child for 8 years, with 2 working parents, I think I learned to do a lot on my own. Not in a bad way, but in an exploratory way. I taught myself certain things such as how to ice skate, or how to play bass, etc. I think that instilled a degree of do-it-yourselfness that if I didn’t have, I might have been even more nervous to start my own company.
Can you share with us some of the challenges you’ve faced?
Breaking in to the industry as a newbie was hard. Even coming from a music industry background, the sync world is its own world and I highly underestimated that. Saying that, I followed my own advice and approached people organically and made some real relationships. I really want to get to know people and make a genuine connection whenever possible.
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned?
SLEEP ON IT.
What do you think is the most pressing issue women in the music industry face in your region?
If we’re talking about Canada’s east coast, I would say the lack of mentorship programs for women in the industry WITH women in the industry. There are a few organizations that help fund mentorships but they themselves are not funded enough to be able to really offer a real solid mentorship cycles. There are industry leaders who are willing to put in their time, but young women still need to be able to afford to eat, or to travel to the opportunity, or live in a safe space while they are learning.
Who inspires you, and why?
My Grandmother because she always did what she had to do. She is still the family’s matriarch, and its firm center. At the same time she spent her career working in social work, helping kids in a group home where she was the house mother. Every kid that went through there called her ‘Mom’. She could be incredibly tough at work if the situation called for it, but had the softest heart in the world at home. I have never in my life felt scared of her – only the purest love. But somehow, you always knew.. you do as Nanny says. I still do. It’s a respect that it not demanded, but ‘it just IS’.
What do you look forward to accomplishing at Coversion in the next year?
We are excited to keep building our reputation as THE go-to for sync focused cover songs for media. We have owned masters, licensed masters and can make bespoke masters tailored to a music supervisor’s needs.
Tell us more about how you got involved in Coversion What is your ultimate goal and what do you need to take it to the next level?
I started Rocking Horse Road Productions, my music licensing house, 5 years ago. We’ve seen many briefs come in looking for new versions of recognizable songs over the years, and started to hear a lot more cover songs in ads, trailers, films, etc. From that – Coversion was born. We make sync focused cover songs for these types of placements and have become the first go-to catalogue specializing in sync focused covers!
My ultimate goal with the company is to be able to provide quality for music supervisors and to help their projects resonate with audiences. To be able to induce goosebumps or illicit some type of feeling from the viewer while watching a film, an ad or a trailer – that is the stuff that #synclife is made of ☺.
We are looking forward to getting on more briefs lists to help that goal along, so add us to your briefs lists: email@example.com!
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