Musician and composer Giya Rushidat resides in Los Angeles today but was born in Saudi Arabia and raised in Jordan. As one of the few female composers of Arab heritage, Rush takes pride in shattering stereotypes about women in film music and Middle Eastern women in general.
Despite a physical attack after her concert in Jordan, this resilient artist continues to share her voice and her emotive and provocative scores with American audiences. She is especially interested in scoring films not traditionally offered to women, such as big action films.
To date, Rushidat has attended the Royal College of Music in London, become a Sundance Composers Lab Fellow 2019, debuted at Carnegie Hall, composed Hollywood Films, received commission for composition for a Royal Event, and a current partnership with an ex-NASA rocket scientist, developing technologies to help children with autism express themselves more freely. Read on to meet our Entrepreneur of the Day.
Name: Ghiya Rushidat
City/State/Country: Los Angeles, California, USA
Title: Music Composer
Lioness: How long have you been in business?
Rushidat: I have been making music for films and motion picture for 11 years now. I started as a concert pianist before switching into composition in around 2009.
Lioness: Why have you chosen to dedicate yourself to this particular business/industry?
Rushidat: Music and art seems to be the only constant in my life since I was a child. I find extreme gratification in making music and performing. It fulfills my soul and enables me to channel out my emotions and experiences into art. It has become a sweet addiction since then and I honestly would not see myself going on with life without it.
Lioness: What makes business/product unique?
Rushidat: I was raised in a Middle Eastern country and have been British schooled and classically educated at the same time. Being exposed to both worlds of the ethnic music, and the classical and orchestral, western world, has given me great confidence in expanding my palette and being able to compose to and enjoying pretty much any genre thrown at me. That blend between cultures is something I am grateful for in addition to being an avid traveler, worldly and multi-linguist. I try to stretch my abilities and skills as far as I can to have better communication with the people I work with. I also take pride in my work ethic and making things work by the deadlines and at the best quality possible.
Lioness: You could have worked for anyone and would have been successful, why become an entrepreneur?
Rushidat: I have tried working with some composers and have been mentored by many A-list ones, those experiences were extremely helpful in shaping my sound and also enabled me to learn so much from them that would probably take me years to learn on my own. However, I am more of a free spirit, very much like an idea machine. I like to fly solo and experiment on my own and create my own experiences, timetable, work structure and be selective with my values and visions.
Lioness: What was your last, “why did I go into business for myself” moment?
Rushidat: Funny you ask this. It was yesterday. I am sure a lot of artists can relate to how much we are haunted by self-doubt, imposter-syndrome and anxiety of making it or not. Possibly every entrepreneur goes through this rollercoaster of emotions. And that is the joy of it. It pushes you out of your comfort zone, it is the best way to grow and expand.
Lioness: Every female professional should have multiple streams of income.
Lioness: If you could steal some business mojo from another mogul, who would it be and why?
Rushidat: Music-wise, Hans Zimmer’s Remote Control Productions. For business structure, Google. I highly value the efficiency behind the former and the culture and innovation behind the latter.
Lioness: What is your business motto?
Rushidat: I have many, but my favorite would be: Exceed Expectations. In our Middle Eastern culture, generosity is our middle name. We can go extra miles to treat our guests and make them feel at home. I try to bring this culture to my work as well.
Lioness: If you could give other entrepreneurs three tips, what would they be?
Rushidat: Live below your means, keep an idea book and work on those ideas overtime, partner and collaborate.
Lioness: Has there been a piece of technology or software that has been a lifesaver to you?
Rushidat: Non-Music: Pomodoro, Music: Logic Pro. I think all technologies and software I have chosen to try and get have saved my life in a way or another.
Lioness: What is your goal for the next year?
Rushidat: Well, after lots of research, I realized that sharing goals is not a great idea since it gives you that instant gratification and it could in return affect your performance. But I will share with you that my goals this year are triple what I have accomplished last year. I have also just launched my content creation company Unicorn Creationz and have a lot of goals for this one as well.
Lioness: When someone is telling their friend about your business, what do you hope they say?
Rushidat: We love her music and vision and have a blast working with her.