“Soulful and emotive” are the two words USC singer-songwriter and producer Jane Honor would use to describe her music. On Friday, Honor will release her debut album, “Spiraling In Central Park,” following the success of her debut singles.
At only 21 years old, Honor, a young music industry student, already knows who she is as an artist. “Spiraling In Central Park” maintains a cohesive sound across its eight tracks, and its production showcases Honor’s smooth vocals and ethereal lead vocals.
The album track “My Body” sums up the tone of the project. The ballad’s production is built around a slow piano riff and crescendos at its bridge, while its chorus becomes an anthem, “It’s my body and I want it back / Yeah, I hate it but it love you of course.”
For Honor, “My Body” is one of the most important songs from “Spiraling In Central Park” and features some of its most introspective lyrics. Proceeds from his streaming will be donated to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, an organization co-founded by his biggest musical inspiration, ’90s alternative rock artist Tori Amos.
“She’s a woman who talks about a lot of tough topics, and she’s also a keyboard player,” Honor said. “She taught me that girls can be into rock music and girls in rock can play the piano.”
Honor’s passion for music started long before she started recording. Before falling in love with Amos’ music, she starred in her first musical at just eight years old.
“A lot of the songs I was learning for acting, I was trying to find little ways to change them or change the lyrics or the melodies to make them sound better to me,” Honor said. “It eventually led one of my teachers to say, ‘You should write songs. “”
For Honor, it was the pandemic that boosted her artistry and inspired her to create her own music. Her first songwriting class at USC was giving homework each week. Here Honor became more comfortable with herself as a songwriter and with sharing her work with teachers, classes and peers.
“Things really kicked off when the pandemic hit because I felt like I had learned all these songwriting skills and I could actually apply them at my own pace,” Honor said. “So I spent the lockdown writing and recording most of this album.”
Honor said she was lucky with the success of her July 2021 single “There Will Be No Music” and her performance on streaming platforms. The single’s success, in part due to the PR firm TREND that Honor works with, caught the attention of Alethea Freidberg, social president and member of the A&R team at 840 West, the student record label at USC.
“840 does a lot more marketing for the USC circle, and then TREND PR also helps,” Freidberg said. “The combination of 840 and TREND has really helped her get good playlist placements and has really helped bring Jane’s numbers to where they are today.”
According to Freidberg, playlisting in the age of streaming has become increasingly important, especially for someone taking an alternative route to what has become increasingly popular – post on TikTok and hope your music career will take off from there.
840 also offers its artists access to INgrooves, a site designed to provide independent artists with insight into audiences and listening trends. According to 840 West President Jack Mangikyan, “The data they provide is outstanding. That’s more data than Spotify For Artists can provide, and it gives artists a lot of insight into how their songs are performing.
“For artists, it gives them a distribution channel they can trust and also the transparency, which every artist, no matter how big or small, should have access to with a very transparent distribution network,” said Mangikyan. “In terms of the team itself, having the ability to work in a team environment, working together and getting that experience as well.”
Honor’s single “Melt” was the first song released with the help of 840.
“[Working with 840] is a great learning experience because you really don’t think about everything that needs to be done until you have a whole team of people thinking about everything that needs to be done,” Honor said. “I definitely just learned on my own how to manage my workload and make sure I check off all those milestones that maybe I didn’t think were that important but actually are.”
Working with 840 and taking classes for her music industry major, Honor began to prepare for a songwriting career outside of USC. Although she works with 840 to promote her music, Honor is not signed in an official capacity and seeks to continue releasing music independently from major labels.
“I learned how the industry works and how being a freelance artist works and how you can get people’s attention as a freelance artist,” she said.
Along with releasing her album, Honor is recording new music and already has a four-song EP slated for release in fall 2023. In Central Park” and will include more dynamic voice acting and production with more drama and drama, Honor said.
Going forward, Honor said she wanted to write and produce more, letting her own music take a back seat.
“I love writing for other artists and collaborating with people and being really creative,” Honor said. “I would like to stay independent and grow gradually. My goal has never been to be famous. I just want to make music and have enough to maintain a stable life.