WRITTEN BY: Caitlin McGeehan
Love was in the air, or through the screens, at the To All the Boys: Songs of Always & Forever event, with the artists behind the songs of the To All the Boys: Always and Forever, the end to the Netflix romantic comedy trilogy. Ashe, Peter Manos, Leah Nobel, Jordan Suaste, and The Greeting Committee (Addie Sartino, Brandon Yangmi, Pierce Turcotte, and Austin Fraser) shared how their songs fit into the film and how they write about heartbreak.
All of the artists were in disbelief at first about their features on the soundtrack, especially since film music supervisors change their minds so frequently. The music of To All the Boys: Always and Forever is a storyline in itself. It changes and evolves to solidify the coming of age feel to the film. The soundtrack jumps from “Don’t Look Back in Anger” by Oasis, to “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls, and Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti.” To Brandon Yangmi of The Greeting Committee, the range of music speaks to the idea that “love is timeless” and it’s in all decades.
Leah Nobel considers her song “Beginning Middle End” (covered by The Greeting Committee in the film) a character in the way it was integrated throughout multiple scenes. It’s also the song Lara Jean and Peter claim as “theirs.” Although it aligns with the film, with lyrics like “Will you be my beginning, my middle, my end” on the film’s story, Leah Nobel wrote the song only with information she received from a brief. A brief is an outline from movie music supervisors sent out for specific use or creation of songs. As Ashe commented, “it’s as though you watched the movie and then wrote the record.”
The Greeting Committee make a cameo in To All the Boys: Always and Forever, playing the rooftop party as a band. The group described the overnight shoot in New York City as a whirlwind experience, and thanked Leah Nobel for allowing them to put their own Greeting Committee spin on “Beginning Middle End” for the scene.
To All The Boys soundtrack veteran Ashe has two songs featured, which she was offered to write after her success of “The Moral of the Story” in the second film. She saw the scenes that she was writing to, which influenced changes in production to mimic the quick switch on-screen from love to heartbreak.
Peter Manos’ “In My Head” melds into Jordan Suaste’s “universal love song,” “If The World Was Ending Tonight” in the sentimental prom scene. Peter Manos explained that he wrote the song about a time in his life that was similar to Lara Jean and Peter’s (graduating, deciding whether to stay together or break up), which allowed it to fit so well with the storyline.
The group of artists discussed the challenges that come with releasing songs about heartbreak. Addie Sartino of The Greeting Committee noted how difficult it was to share that kind of music with her parents, since it is so personal. Ashe tries to forget that anyone is going to listen to her heartbreak music so it can be as authentic as possible, and Leah Nobel has realized she has to leave time for healing before channeling it into music. It’s undeniable how both love and heartbreak influence genuine music.