Gender Parity “P-Valley” creator Kateri Hall was at the forefront of the mindset that aimed not only at women onscreen but behind the scenes (Hall, hired two female casting directors, two female editors of “Musical Tina Musical” fame, four female DPs and Eight women to conduct the series) and hip-hop-heavy soundtracks, where 50% of the female artists are present.
The new drama, Tonight, has been adapted from Stars’ premiere hall drama “Vogue Valley” and revolves around a strip club called Pink. Set in the Mississippi Delta, women working as foreign dancers are trying to break out of the shackles of the club and the fictional city of Chukalisa.
Hall song supervisors Stephanie Diaz-Matos (“The Get Down”) and Sarah Brumberg (“Pitch Perfect 2”) were called in to set the tune for the show. Talk to two people Diversity Look to artists like City Girls and Megan Thi Stallion to provide the pumping sound of striptease.
What were your first few conversations about the music of the show?
Stephanie Diaz-Matos: The first thing Katori said in the final mix from our first meeting was that he wanted the music to be authentic. He wanted it to feel real to the strip club world, to Memphis and to the South. And he wanted a mix of classic and new elements. Katie is such an interested music listener and to make sure we have something new when it comes to the timeliness of the music and the show, but she was also very concerned about playing the club’s hit classics.
Sarah Brumberg: Spotify has a playlist, “Dirty South” and it was a big exit point for us. The producers will stay, and it was like following the breadcrumbs. We like this person and it is produced by this person and then they also produce it and they probably have female artists.
Tell us about the incredible female artist you came up with. How did you choose who was right for the show?
Bromberg: The idea was to use female voices, especially when the girls were dancing. The first two episodes had an incredible amount of needle drops. It was about finding enough artists to come from the right regions. We have sent searches for female artists. We scattered around and we created many playlists that worked on each song that could be effective and filling in all the gaps was a challenge. We’ve got some amazing artists and we’ve also commissioned new pieces.
One of these commissioned works was in three episodes of “Trinity” Tokyo Vanity. How did it come about?
Diaz-Mats: It was an artist who was Katori. We tracked them down and they submitted a few ideas. I think the one we landed with works perfectly. But we shot it, choreographed it, and edited it, and it worked. Juicy Fruit is someone else like Katrina
At what point did you bring Megan They Stallion into the mix, because her currency must have gone up last year, and one wonders what the rate of using her songs is?
Bromberg: He was at the top of our list from the start because he was just about to explode at the scene and he was definitely given priority. We used a song that was played at the beginning of the cutter and is a must for the cutter. It was a journey and it was for many artists on the show struggling to properly clear his music. We made him for lots of stains. There were two placed and the other we liked but had to omit it because we couldn’t clean it completely and there were some issues with the release.
Where would you use the music as the show was heavy with music and where did you balance to give the audience a break?
Bromberg: I don’t think the show has a lot of quiet time but there is a very smart musical gearshift that takes a break. It really comes down to storytelling. When you have Katrina as a showburner, don’t be afraid to flip the script because she has the opportunity to see the story differently and tell it differently and you’re going to leave something different like Valerie June.
Have you done very vocal matching with characters like using Tokyo Vanity for Mercedes or Valerie June for Kishawar (Shannon Thornton)?
Diaz-Mats: We had a lot of conversations while exploring the original title which was a very long process in the original title. But through this, when we hear the voice, we will have the conversation, ‘It sounds like this character.’