It’s no secret that the instructors at The Los Angeles Film School and The Los Angeles Recording School, a division of The L.A. Film School are industry-experienced professionals. Like many of you, our instructors are creative individuals who are passionate about storytelling in its many forms. We caught up with online music production instructor Jonathan Gautier who has used music to tell stories ever since he started playing the piano at 5 years old.
“Music is my identity. It’s the only way I know how to communicate.” – Jonathan Gautier
As a father of two young girls, Jonathan runs his own recording studio, Sound House Studios, in Lakeland, Florida, and teaches music production online at The L.A. Recording School. An expert in all things music production and performance, Jonathan gives us the inside scoop on making a career out of doing what you love. Keep reading to find out what it’s like working on tracks for major artists, owning your own studio and teaching at The L.A. Recording School.
As Fate Would Have It
Opportunities often have a way of finding people who aren’t seeking them out, and that’s exactly what happened to Jonathan. Over our Zoom chat, Jonathan shared how he became a GRAMMY-winning producer in the most unexpected way. A mysterious project landed in his lap (or rather studio) during the height of the pandemic. Little did he realize this project would end up being his golden ticket to a GRAMMY.
How did this opportunity unfold?
Violinist Bobby Hawk needed a studio to record strings for a track while he was quarantined in Florida. Unbeknownst to Jonathan, music super-producer Jack Antonoff had called around to studios in the area to find a spot for Bobby to record a track for an upcoming project. Antonoff called Sound House Studios late one night to inquire about using the space to record. As fate would have it, Jonathan picked up the phone after hours and booked the session. The project turned out to be for Taylor Swift’s GRAMMY-winning studio album, Folklore.
“I just picked up the phone and then all of this stuff happened,” said Jonathan. “Sometimes it’s an opportunity that you may not know what that opportunity is, but you’ve just got to step into it.”
As the sole owner and operator of Sound House Studios, Jonathan used his personal cell phone number as the main contact on his website and Google. This simple decision worked in Jonathan’s favor and kickstarted his success as a studio owner. “At the time, I couldn’t afford a separate landline, so I put my cell phone as the main number,” laughed Gautier. “And it’s never changed.”
The Taylor Swift Connection
That initial connection with Jack Antonoff and Taylor Swift’s team eventually earned Jonathan an additional engineering credit and a GRAMMY win for his work on Folklore. The relationship between Sound House Studios and Jack Antonoff continued with the release of Evermore later that same year. Jonathan credits this opportunity to a simple phone call and made his studio available when needed. He’s worked with top artists including Lorde, Bleachers, Florence and the Machine, Diana Ross and Clairo throughout his career in the studio.
As an Online Music Production Instructor, Jonathan Gives A Key Piece of Advice to Students
Jonathan started teaching at The L.A. Recording School in October of 2021. As an online music production instructor, Jonathan teaches two entry-level sections in music production. He is the first instructor students see when they begin the online degree program. On average, he teaches about 50 students per term and introduces them to all things music production.
“I tell my students all the time to learn the art of being approachable.”
“Make as many connections as humanly possible. I write down a list of people I want to reach out to. At first, I go for the low-hanging fruit with people I haven’t touched base with in a while. It’s very different doing everything remotely, but starting a relationship is key. I also never talk about my prices or try to sell the studio to people. I’m basically trying to sell the idea of ‘hey, you have a story. I would love to hear more about it.’ and that’s it.”
Jonathan lives in Lakeland, Florida with his wife and two daughters. When he’s not teaching classes at The L.A. Recording School, you can find Jonathan at Sound House Studios recording music.