Learn more about the musicians Gemma Hayes and Clem Snide's Eef Barzelay who wrote the Janie Jones soundtrack.
From the director:
During the process of writing Janie Jones I was both using music for inspiration and searching for recording artists who might write the songs. The easiest decision for me was to choose Gemma Hayes to write the songs for the title character. First off, Gemma Hayes writes with the kind of sensitivity, truth and soul that made her a perfect choice. Secondly, I happened to be in a relationship with her at the time and our communication was such that she could easily get inside my head about the Janie character--not to mention the fact that she knew my daughter. I told her very early in my process I wanted her to write these songs but she made it very clear that she didn't want the job because she was my girlfriend. I told her the truth, which was, that there was no better person to write that music and that she was(and is) one of the most talented recording artists out there--regardless of my relationship to her.
While searching for the right song writer for Ethan's music (as well as the band music) I considered going to many different artists. I talked at length with my music supervisor Liz Gallacher about writers like Sufjan Stevens, Will Oldham, M Ward and many others… I had a specific idea of the music in my head but wasn't sure who would be exactly right to work with. Liz suggested Clem Snide's Eef Barzelay. I knew a little bit about Clem Snide but wasn't sure until she sent me some of his tracks. I was blown away and immediately started to listen to as much of his music as possible. On top of that, he had written score for film before and there was the opportunity to have a strong thread between Ethan's songs and the tone of the score. After talking at length with Eef about the acoustic music and the band music I knew he was right and I hired him.
I worked closely with both Gemma and Eef while they were in their writing process. But really after giving them a few references talking about the direction they understood what was needed and I was amazed at how fast and how well they were able to write these songs. Of course there was some back and forth, but they're such good writers that we had the songs finished in plenty of time for the shoot.
- David M. Rosenthal