Netflix has just released their movie To All the Boys: Always and Forever, and with it an amazing soundtrack on Capitol Records. We had the honor of meeting five artists who lent their talents to the soundtrack to ask them a bit about their music and experiences. Leah Nobel, The Greeting Committee, Jordan Suaste, Peter Manos, and Ashe all contributed incredible songs to the album and had great things to say.
Leah Nobels’ song “Beginning Middle End” is a perfectly fitting love song that showcases Nobel’s textured, relaxed singing style amidst engaging pop instrumentation. When we asked her how she crafted the song, the singer admitted she took “anecdotes from [her] personal life” to write the optimistic tune.
The Greeting Committee has two songs on the album as well as a cameo in the film and, after being warmly greeted by the cast and crew, admitted “It’s just good to know that good people are behind this film”. Their first song “Run For Your Money” is a fun, upbeat tune with surf rock elements and swinging, energetic vocals. Their second song “17” keeps the energy going with echoing hand clap percussion and emotive lyrical delivery.
Jordan Suaste’s song “If The World Ended Tonight” is a light, dreamy track with beautiful choral accompaniment supporting his heartbreaking, sincere singing. Suaste, who was at the bank when he received word that his song was going to be in the movie, was elated, stating “I was emotionally through the roof. It was crazy to me. I told the bank teller. I told everyone.”
Peter Manos’ song “In My Head” is a beautiful, moody track with sparse percussion and light piano instrumentation. His voice is soft and flowing as he soulfully sings “I know you’ve changed, it don’t feel the same”. Already a fan of the first and second movies of the trilogy, Manos admitted that hearing his song during the prom scene in the third movie was “pretty crazy” and “super sick”.
Ashe also lent multiple songs to the album. Her first song, “The Same” is a versatile track that begins with optimistic and ambient instrumentation before changing completely into a longing, acoustic tune that highlights her beautiful, ringing vocals. The dichotomy was intentional to represent two parts of the story, as Ashe explained “I essentially wrote the same lyrics for each section and then changed the chords and production so that [the two halves of the song] were completely different in meaning”. Her other song on the soundtrack “Moral of the Story” is a haunting tune with piano instrumentation in a minor key and rhythmic lyrics that are simultaneously calm and a little chaotic, creating an intoxicating juxtaposition. The
To All The Boys: Always and Forever soundtrack is an incredible compilation full of beautiful, energetic, and heartbreaking songs that perfectly capture the essence of the movie. Thank you to Leah Nobel, The Greeting Committee, Jordan Suaste, Peter Manos, and Ashe for discussing the soundtrack with us. Be sure to check out these songs and artists, and don’t forget watch To All The Boys: Always and Forever on Netflix.
Written by Katrina Charles
Leah Nobel, The Greeting Committee, Jordan Suaste, Peter Manos, and Ashe
Q (Rising Artists for Leah Nobel): “Beginning Middle End” is so perfectly tied into the movie as being the ultimate love song that Lara and Peter choose together. What was your creative process in making this song, starting with the initial concept you were given for the film?
Leah: I received what’s called a brief. It’s basically this email outline from Music Supervisors that they send out when they’re looking for music for a specific use and my publisher sent it to me and in the brief it did not indicate what movie this was for. It said something like “we’re looking for optimistic love songs for this new romantic comedy” and it included maybe a couple key words and a couple little blurbs about the theme. So me and my collaborator Quinn Redmond who was my co writer and also produced this song, used the brief as kind of an anchor point to start creating and in addition to that, we sort of filled in the story with some anecdotes from my personal life and that’s kind of how it was born but after the song was chose and we learned more about the capacity in which it was going to be featured a lot of the instrumentation and sort of the sonic direction was altered based on the footage that we saw in the movie. Although, I will say there were not a lot of lyrical changes so that’s an indication that the brief sort of gave us enough information to create something that emotionally resonated.
Q: What’s coming up next for you guys?:
Greeting Committee: We’re writing our next record. We should have new music coming out soon. Peter: I have a lyric video for the song in the movie coming out this week.
Leah: I have an EP coming out in the spring called Factory Settings and there’s a song out now called “Talking to the Dog at the Party” that is on that EP. It’s an introvert’s anthem.
Jordan: I think I have a few songs coming out next month leading up to an EP. [emphasis on think because it might end up being one song released].
Ashe: I really can’t say much except there’s something coming soon.
Q: What was your initial reaction when you found out that your song will be featured on such a Netflix blockbuster?
Leah: I was sort of in disbelief at first because if any artist has ever worked with films and done soundtracks or placements you know that film’s change their minds so many times and it’s very likely that your song or your scene could get cut, so my first reaction was like “oh this isn’t gonna go through.” But as time progressed and I started working with the music supervisors to customize my song and it was clear that this was definitely happening.
Jordan: I had a full mental breakdown. I was at the bank getting a loan at the time and I looked down at my phone and saw the text and I started crying and screaming: “I watched the first two movies, oh my god!” I was emotionally through the roof. It was crazy to me. I told the bank teller. I told everyone.
Q: Peter, what was your reaction to hearing your song during the prom scene?
Peter: It was pretty crazy. I had never had a song in a movie. I’d seen the first and second film a few times with my girlfriend so I was already a fan. Seeing it in the third movie was super sick. A month before I found out my song was going to be in the movie, I remember getting coffee with my girlfriend and saying to her that it would be pretty sick to have a song in one of these movies. Then a month later, I received an email asking if they could use my song. It’s crazy how stuff like that happens.
Q: What is the hardest thing you’ve encountered as musicians and songwriters when writing songs about heartbreak?
Ashe: I feel like it’s one of those things that you have to forget that anyone’s going to listen to it. You have to put it out and pretend that no one will care.In the second movie, Moral of the Story is in a high school teenage rom com but it’s about my divorce. And writing about heartbreak is therapy for me. It’s something I knew I needed to write about. But I had to pretend that no one was going to hear it.
Leah: I think the hardest thing for me when I’m writing something personal and sad is leaving myself enough space to heal before I start writing about it. I think you can kind of make the mistake of, if you know that writing is cathartic, doing it too soon after something traumatic or painful happens. And then, every time you play it, it’s like picking at a scab. My mentality is to leave a waiting period to process it before I write about it.