Manager Jaime Zeluck Hindlin Scores With ‘Flowers,’ ‘Last Night’

by info.vocallyrics@gmail.com
37 views

Since founding Nonstop Management at her kitchen table in 2017, Jaime Zeluck Hindlin’s boutique management company for songwriters and producers has become a stealthy power player in the music business. Getting the right people in a room is Hindlin’s specialty, but her range of clients contributing to three songs from the Hitmakers 2023 Top 25 is nothing short of remarkable: Miley Cyrus’ “Flowers,” Morgan Wallen’s “Last Night,” and Rema and Selena Gomez’s “Calm Down (Remix).”

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think that something like this would happen,” Hindlin says of Nonstop’s blockbuster 2023. “Obviously, you hope for one big hit. But three? I’ve had my jaw on the floor for half a year.” After all, some of the placements were the culmination of years of emails, phone calls, and relationship-building. “We try every angle,” she says. “We reach out to the artist through management, their label — anything to get a songwriter’s name out there.”

And her persistence usually pays off. Cyrus was at the very top of Michael Pollack’s list of dream artists to write with and Hindlin, along with publishers Ryan Press and Katy Wolaver, finally got him in a session with the superstar in 2021. That resulted in a song called “You,” which first surfaced on “Attention: Miley Live,” and an ongoing creative partnership. “There was magic between the two of them from day one,” Hindlin says. “It was just meant to be.”

As sessions for “Endless Summer Vacation” progressed, Pollack suggested they bring in Gregory “Aldae” Hein and, soon thereafter, “Flowers” was born. “I remember the day the three of them got together,” Hindlin says. “Michael said they got something really special.” Which turned out to be something of an understatement. “Flowers” would go on to spend eight non-consecutive weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and was nominated for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance at the Grammys.

“Once I heard the demo, it was the only thing I wanted to listen to,” Hindlin remembers. “I listened to it in my car, I listened to it when I was working out.” She had the song to herself for the best part of a year, before it was unleashed on January 12 — and sped to one billion Spotify streams in record time. It would be a once-in-a-career highlight for most managers, but lightning struck again a couple of weeks later when Morgan Wallen dropped “Last Night,” co-written by Hindlin’s client and husband, J Kash, on January 31. 

Kash had been wanting to work with Wallen for a while, but he was predominantly known as a pop songwriter thanks to penning a laundry list of hits for everyone from Britney Spears to Maroon 5. He had enjoyed success with Thomas Rhett’s “Look What God Gave Her,” but genre lines run deep in the country. So Hindlin started strategizing. The key turned out to be Charlie Handsome, a producer Kash had been playing session tag with since 2017.

“I could not get them in the same room,” Hindlin laughs. “Years went by and I was still plotting with Hand some’s publisher, Katie Welled.” They finally set up a session in Nashville with songwriter Ashley Gorley, but another collaborator dropped out at the last minute. Instead of giving up, Hindlin’s colleague Mya Hansen made a last-minute call to local songsmith John Bryon and everything fell into place. “It just was a matter of putting the right room together.”

Again, Hindlin knew they had something special. “When I got the songwriting demo back, I listened to it over and over,” she says. “I remember driving my daughter to school and putting on the demo with John Byron singing. As soon as it stopped, I would play it again.” And the general public had a similar reaction. Just as “Flowers” was ascending the charts, “Last Night” exploded. It would go on to replace Cyrus’ ballad at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 — and stay there for 16 non-consecutive weeks.

“They were battling each other and I was like, ‘How is this even real?,’” Hindlin remembers. “Things like that happen at a major, but not in our own little baby company.” It would get even more surreal when Rema and Selena Gomez’s “Calm Down (Remix)” remix, co-written by one of her new signings Kiddo A.I., turned out to be the slowburn hit of the year and started shooting up the charts in early 2023.

Hindlin introduced Kiddo to Interscope A&R Vanessa Angiuli in early 2022. They immediately hit it off and started swapping song ideas, but the call that would change the young songwriter’s career trajectory came on the July 4 weekend. Angiuli asked Hindlin if she knew Rema’s “Calm Down” — she did — wondered if Kiddo would be open to co-writing a verse for the remix with Gomez. The initial demo was finished in less than a day. “Three weeks later, it came out,” Hindlin says. “It didn’t really make a splash right away.”

In fact, it took exactly one year for “Calm Down (Remix)” to reach number one at pop radio, this July 4 weekend. Prior to that, it had climbed to number three on the Billboard Hot 100 — behind “Flowers” and “Last Night.” Hindlin found out that Nonstop had pulled off the rare chart trifecta while in a treatment center for trauma stemming from a near fatal bout of peripartum cardiomyopathy that she experienced during childbirth.

“It was my second week there,” Hindlin says. “I didn’t have my phone, but I would call Kash to check in every day and he told me the company had one, two, and three on the Hot 100.” The irony wasn’t lost on her. “I was at the lowest point in my life, having the biggest week of my career,” she says. “I put everything into this business and probably didn’t take the best care of myself.” Now, she’s aiming for a work-life balance while operating at an even higher level.

“I want to make dreams come true for everyone across the roster,” Hindlin says of a clientele that includes renowned hitmakers like Ali Tamposi and Madison Love as well as newcomers such as Victoria Zaro, Jake Torrey, and Johnny Simpson. “I’m making sure that everybody gets to work with their dream artist or has their dream opportunity,” she says, “because I love seeing the people that I work with all win at the same time. It’s the coolest feeling ever.”

You may also like

Leave a Comment