We had the good fortune of connecting with Jacob Yoffee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jacob, what habits do you feel play an important role in your life?
Getting up early and devoting the first part of my day to my personal agenda has been the single most important habit of my career. Very often an email, phone call or text can send you on a trajectory set by somebody else and it’s important to secure time for your own goals each day. To clarify though I mean REALLY early – like 4 a.m. That way by the time the business messages start trickling in I’ve already got 5 or 6 hours in working on things I’d planned to address the night before. It was actually a tip from one of my mentors at NYU, Ira Newborn. He would say over and over again — get up at 4 a.m., put on a pot of coffee and get started. That’s the only way you’ll make it. The side effect was realizing I could actually work on my own to-do list before any new work requests came in.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
If there is anything I’m most excited about is that my industry has opened up to new styles of music in the past 5 years in a way that I never expected. It seems that all styles of music have been validated and the sky is the limit for your creativity. Personally my background is a strong mix of classical and jazz music, with a bit of pop/rock/r&b/hip-hop. When I first started working in LA most of my skills didn’t seem to be useful on the projects I was scoring. But now I’m able to utilize all my experiences in my work. It’s thrilling to not only work on projects that allow these styles but also to watch & listen to the work of my peers. We are living in really exciting times for music & film!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Some of my best friends are huge fans of movies and what better way to explore LA than to visit famous filming locations? We’ve had a lot of fun visiting spots used in Back to the Future, the Office, Superbad, Arrested Development — it’s something fun to do when you are looking for alternatives to the typical LA tourist activities.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Forever grateful for my wife, Jerri Penland, my parents and in-laws who have always been 100% supportive of my career goals. My musical mentors: Gary Thomas, Deniz Hughes, Ira Newborn, Cedric Lewis, Perry Ditch, Mark Honnold, Sonny Kompanek, Morris Moshe Cotel & Christopher Theofanidis. A huge shoutout out to Elliot Goldenthal who was the prime inspiration for me to dive into the world of composing as a career path. And my son who makes me laugh every single day!!
Priscilla Jimenez, Miles Maker