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HONEY

Finding The Right Sound
Grammy-winning producer Rodney Jerkins was brought aboard as executive music producer. His extensive credits include work with Jennifer Lopez, Destiny's Child, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige and other pop, R&B and hip-hop icons. 

Woodruff explains how the music came together. "One of my dearest friends, music supervisor Paris Davis, came to my rescue. I had just met with a whole lot of great people, but I needed someone to really commit to being involved—feeling the story and being inspired by it— to give me music that really was made specifically for the film.” 

"My music plays a character,” says Jerkins, "and that's the phrase that got my attention.” Jerkins, who always wanted to get into the movie industry, continues, "When I was 19, I was asked during an interview where I wanted to go in life. I told them that once I conquer the music industry, it's off to the movie industry. So I feel like it was destiny for me to be here.” 

Before Jerkins came aboard, Woodruff was especially frustrated about the theme song. He explains, "People gave me stuff more suitable for a club. It didn't build, it didn't have an arc, it didn't tell the story—there was no emotion. I never thought it would be that hard, because I gave them songs like ‘What a Feeling' from Flashdance and the soundtrack from Fame. I wanted a modern version of that. It was very difficult to get people to go beyond what they're doing. But we needed more for this film.” 

Woodruff was moved to tears when he heard Jerkins' "I Believe.” "Rodney totally delivered it. He heard me, he understood the story. I'll never forget, he played the song and I had tears in my eyes. He really, really got it,” recalls the director. 

Satisfied with "I Believe,” Woodruff pushed Jerkins for more. "One day I called him and said I needed another song. I roped him in. Now he's done all kinds of stuff; songs with live musicians to jazz, to off-Broadway, to funky hip-hop to reggae. He's awesome.” 

Jerkins eventually created 16 songs for the film on a schedule that found him working seven days a week. He even surprised the director with the song "Honey.” Woodruff comments, "That song is a testament to Rodney's commitment to the film. He's been inspired by it. Quincy Jones has done so many different things with scoring films and I see Rodney as a young Quincy in that way.” 

Producer Platt agrees that Rodney Jerkins was the perfect choice. "The music in this movie is a character and it tells part of the story. The feel of the music, the sensibility of it, the lyrics, all go hand-in-hand with the dance and the movement, the characters, the drama and the story. It was important to Bille and me to find someone that could give a voice to that in a very real way.” 

Multiple Grammy-winning composer/producer/arranger/songwriter Mervyn Warren was later involved in the project to score the film, building on the blocks already provided by Jerkins and providing a fluid through line between the prominent musical pieces and production numbers woven into Honey's story.

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