Artists from the ‘To All the Boys: Always and Forever’ soundtrack talk about their experience, love and nostalgia
To celebrate the release of “To All the Boys: Always and Forever,” Capitol Music Group and °1824 hosted a press conference Feb. 16 with artists from the soundtrack of the third and final installment of the “To All the Boys I Loved” franchise.
With messages from fans flooding the Zoom chat, the press conference bustled with energy as over 400 participants joined to converse with artists Ashe, Leah Nobel, Jordan Suaste, Peter Manos and The Greeting Committee.
Ashe, whose 2019 hit “Moral of the Story” was featured in the second film, created a lot of buzz in the call with fans excited to hear about her song for the third film. Shortly after the second film’s release, the franchise’s music supervisors pitched the idea to Ashe about producing another single for the third movie while they were out having drinks. Though the idea was casually tossed around at first, the 27-year-old singer eventually wrote “The Same” for the film.
Having gotten a preview of the two scenes her song would be playing in, Ashe created different versions of “The Same” with slight tweaks in chords and production to match the scenes’ polarizing feelings of love and heartbreak.
Nobel, on the other hand, had not seen the first and second movie prior to composing her track, “Beginning Middle End.” She also didn’t know what movie she was writing a song for; she only had knowledge of its rom-com genre, so Nobel relied on the email outline she received from the music supervisors as an essential part of her song’s creation.
“Me and my collaborator Quinn Redmond, who was my co-writer and also produced the song, used the brief as kind of an anchor point to start creating,” Nobel said. “In addition to that, we filled in the story with some anecdotes from my personal life, and that’s kind of how [the song] was born.”
Nobel was excited, but apprehensive, about the prospect of her work being featured in the popular blockbuster film. Nonetheless, Nobel “was shook” about how “Beginning Middle End” was incorporated into the storyline: the track represented the tender love story of main characters LaraJean Covey and Peter Kavinsky.
“Films 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 ‘this wasn’t going to go through,’” Nobel said. “It was revealed to me in degrees as time passed how my song was sort of integrated into the film. I didn’t know that in the beginning, I just knew they were slow dancing to it and The Greeting Committee’s going to cover it … It was really cool to hear it incorporated in dialogue and sort of referenced to it almost as a character in the film.”
Suaste added that he reacted less logically and more emotionally, stirring laughter in the call when he shared the relatable story of the first time he received notice that his ballad “If The World Ended Tonight” would be added to the soundtrack. A fan of the franchise, Suaste described that he “had a full mental breakdown” and screamed while he was at the bank getting a loan.
Manos’ single “In My Head” perfectly encapsulated the feeling of change and growing up reflected in “To All the Boys: Always and Forever” as the characters graduated high school and entered college.
“When I made the song, it was a few years ago; I was closer to the age of Peter and LaraJean in the movie. I think I wrote about a similar time in my life that they were going through in the movie, so I think naturally because of personal experience, it fits,” Manos said.
He didn’t fail to keep the mood light with a story about how he “got dumped in high school pretty bad.” It worked out in the end though because Manos and his current girlfriend are going strong and are fans of the movie franchise, making his involvement in the third film’s soundtrack that much more “sick.”
Nobel found that “To All the Boys: Forever and Always” was nostalgic to her own senior year when she, like Lara Jean, decided to choose a different path for college and not stay close to her high school boyfriend. After hearing this, the process of how she wrote “Beginning Middle End” makes more sense and resonates perfectly with the film.
Indie band The Greeting Committee burst into laughter when bassist Pierce Turcotte revealed that he was in a high school relationship that almost tore the band apart. Luckily, it didn’t or else they would not have made their cameo in the film and made viewers swoon with their cover of Nobel’s “Beginning Middle and End” during the iconic rooftop prom scene, which Suaste added was his favorite scene. The band’s “Run for Your Money” and “17” were also on the soundtrack.
“When we found out we got to go [on set], it was definitely a whirlwind. It happened very quickly; it was like 36 hours in New York City [with] no sleep … We were on the rooftop until five or six in the morning, and we had been there essentially all day long,” lead vocalist Addison Sartino said. “We’ve done covers of songs before, but not something to this extent or of this importance … I definitely think it hits nostalgia in our fans like ‘I wish we could be on a rooftop with The Greeting Committee right now.’”
Participants of the conference call alluded to the soundtrack in general as creating a feeling of nostalgia throughout the film. When asked about the incorporation of music from several decades to create the movie’s romantic, coming-of-age atmosphere, the artists repeatedly highlighted the idea that “love is timeless,” which was first spoken by The Greeting Committee.
Nobel thought it was cool of the soundtrack to introduce younger audiences to older music, then joked that she “felt unworthy” to be in the soundtrack alongside the Spice Girls. Ashe chimed in comically by asking why the Spice Girls weren’t in the conference call.
“Older music is popping up more and more on TikTok and everything too. It’s just coming into culture nowadays, and I think it is because love is timeless like The Greeting Committee said,” Suaste said. “There’s a different form of love written into those [older] songs.”
Though the “To All the Boys I Loved” trilogy came to an end this past Valentine’s weekend, the success of these five artists is only beginning. Fans should anticipate new music from the artists in the coming months.
“To All the Boys: Always and Forever” and its soundtrack have been available on Netflix and various music streaming platforms, respectively, since Feb. 12.