Jem (singer)

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Jem at Glastonbury 2005
Jem performing on the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury Festival on Sunday 26 June 2005
Background information
Birth nameJemma Gwynne Griffiths
Born (1975-05-18) 18 May 1975 (age 48)
Penarth, Glamorgan
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, record producer, DJ, screenwriter
Instrument(s)Vocals, piano
Years active1998–present
MapleMusic Recordings (Canada)
Sony BMG
RCA Edit this at Wikidata

Jemma Gwynne Griffiths (born 18 May 1975), known by her stage name Jem, is a British singer, songwriter, and record producer.

Born and raised in Penarth, Glamorgan, she began songwriting at an early age. After graduating from university in 1996, she worked as a DJ as well as co-founder of record label Marine Parade in Brighton.[1] On 24 March 2004, she released her debut studio album Finally Woken through ATO Records. Featuring the singles "They", "Just a Ride" and "Wish I", the album saw the most success in the United Kingdom, where it was certified Platinum.[2][3] Jem followed up her debut with her second album, Down to Earth, released on 18 September 2008. Her third album, Beachwood Canyon, was released in 2016.

Early life and education[edit]

Jemma Griffiths was born in Penarth, Wales, a small town near Cardiff on 18 May 1975. Jem originally found her passion for singing and songwriting whilst attending Stanwell School. During her early school years she explored her musical interests with the family piano, penning her first song at the age of thirteen.[4] Jem has three siblings, older sister Chloe, eldest sister Georgia, who provided vocals for the Welsh indie/punk band Weapons of Mass Belief alongside brother Justin, who also goes by the name Yestyn, of Glass Pear.

In 1993, Jem moved to Brighton to study Law at the University of Sussex.[1] Both during her studies and after graduating in 1996, Jem spent time as a club and festival promoter and also began working as a DJ in Brighton's club scene under the name Jem, inspired by the animated series Jem and the Holograms.[1][5]


1999–2006: It All Starts Here... and Finally Woken[edit]

In early 1998, alongside Adam Freeland, she co-founded and helped run the specialist breakbeat/hip hop record label Marine Parade. However, after spending two years acting as agent and promoter for other aspiring musicians, she soon felt that she had neglected her own musical career.[4] In November 1999, she left Brighton and returned to Wales, where she assembled a mobile recording studio and focused on developing her own individual songwriting and music production skills, completing a collection of four demos that acted as the basis of her break into the music industry.[1]

In 2000, Jem moved to London where she met Sugababes manager Sarah Stennett, with whom she began a professional relationship.[6] Stennett introduced her to other writers and producers.[6] She had a writing session with electronic producer Guy Sigsworth, during which the song "Nothing Fails" was created; the song was eventually picked up by Madonna for her 2003 studio album, American Life.[1] In 2001, Jem travelled to Brooklyn, New York City, teaming up with hip hop producer Ge-Ology and co-producer Yoad Nevo.[1] In March 2002, Jem stopped by independent radio station KCRW to leave a demo of her song "Finally Woken" in Nic Harcourt's mailbox.[5] Harcourt began playing it on his show Morning Becomes Eclectic.[5] This attracted the attention of Bruce Flohr, an A&R rep for RCA Records and newly established ATO Records, who offered her a recording contract.[6] She was subsequently signed to the label and Jem relocated to Los Angeles.[3]

On 13 October 2003, in preparation for the release of her full-length album, Jem released the EP It All Starts Here..., consisting of five tracks. Her full-length studio album Finally Woken was released in the United States on 24 March 2004. In the United Kingdom, "They" was released as her lead single on 13 March 2005. This was followed by "Just a Ride" in June and "Wish I" in September, which was used as the theme tune to UK reality television programme Celebrity Love Island. Finally Awoken spent 32 weeks on the UK Album Chart and peaked at number 6.[7] Jem licensed every song on her album to be broadcast on American television programs, films and advertisements as a method of promotion.[8] Television program The O.C. was the first to use Jem's music in several of their episodes, eventually inviting her to guest-star on the show. She performed a cover version of Paul McCartney's 1970 song "Maybe I'm Amazed" in the first season finale.[5] Since then, every song from the album has appeared in various television programs, such as Six Feet Under, Desperate Housewives, Without a Trace and Grey's Anatomy.[8]

2007–2009: Down to Earth[edit]

In 2006, Jem decided to cease touring and to spend a year focusing on writing new material and developing her second studio album. She parted from Yoad Nevo and met with four different producers across the United States. Over the next few years she worked with Jeff Bass in Detroit as well as meeting with Lester Mendez in Los Angeles. Producers Mike Bradford and Greg Kurstin also collaborated with Jem. During the production of her album, Jem wrote and lent her vocals to the song "Once in Every Lifetime" which appeared on the Eragon movie soundtrack.

Jem's second studio album, Down to Earth was released in the United States, Canada, and Japan on 18 September 2008 with the European releases varying by each country between January and March 2009. The album peaked at 48 on the Billboard 200 and 64 on the UK Albums Chart[9] The lead single of the album "It's Amazing" originally appeared on the soundtrack for the 2008 movie Sex and the City. Released 3 June 2008, the song failed to chart in the United States or the United Kingdom. Her following single releases off the album included: "Crazy" in August 2008, "And So I Pray" in May 2009, and "I Want You To..." in October 2009, however, they did not grant as much commercial success as her debut album.

2010–2016: Other projects and Beachwood Canyon[edit]

In 2011, Jem contributed to the record Ten Years On: A Collection of Songs in Remembrance of September 11th 2001.[10] In 2012, Jem returned to producing her third album. In November, she recorded tracks at the Grand Master Studios, in Hollywood,[11] and originally anticipated a release in early 2013.[12] Outside of music, she also announced that she had spent several years writing a screenplay.[13]

After numerous delays, in January 2016, Jem published the first photoshoots for the Beachwood Canyon album on her Facebook page and announced the official release of the album for spring 2016.[14] The first single "Beachwood Canyon" was released on 1 July. On 5 August 2016, the album was released digitally worldwide.

Musical style[edit]

Jem's musical style is varied and encompasses genres such as trip hop, electronica, pop rock and new wave, with critics often associating her with other female British musicians Dido and Beth Orton.[5]

Personal life[edit]

In September 2009, Jem married American musician and songwriter Joseph George in Montecito, California. They had originally met in 2005, on the set of filming the music video for "Wish I", where George acted the role of Jem's love interest.[15] They both currently reside in Los Angeles.


Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
Finally Woken
  • First studio album
  • Released: 24 March 2004
  • Labels: ATO, RCA
  • Formats: CD, download
6 36 15 197 11
Down to Earth
  • Released: 16 September 2008 (US)
  • Label: ATO
  • Formats: CD, download
64 43 4
Beachwood Canyon
  • Released: 5 August 2016
  • Label: Orchid Entertainment
  • Formats: CD, download


  • It All Starts Here... (13 October 2003, US only release)


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US AAA[25]
2004 "They" 6 28 15 45 8 47 29 47 18 Finally Woken
2005 "Just a Ride" 16 27 89
"Wish I" 24 27
2008 "It's Amazing" 77 Down to Earth
"Crazy" 97
2009 "And So I Pray"
"I Want You To..."
2016 "Beachwood Canyon" Beachwood Canyon

Music videos[edit]

Year Song Director Album
2005 "They" Laurent Briet Finally Woken
2005 "Just a Ride" Steven Murashige
2005 "Wish I" Steven Murashige
2009 "It's Amazing" Saam Gabbay Down to Earth
2009 "I Want You to..." Jemma Griffiths


Song Production Title Year Production Type
"Just a Ride" Music from the OC: Mix 1 2004 soundtrack
"Maybe I'm Amazed" Music from the OC: Mix 2 2004 soundtrack
"California Sun" "Just a Ride" 2005 single
"Amazing Life" Six Feet Under, Vol. 2: Everything Ends 2005 soundtrack
"Easy Way Out" Carmen Rizzo: The Lost Art of the Idle Moment 2005 album
"The Thieves" Weapons 2006 album
"Once in Every Lifetime" Eragon: Music from the Motion Picture 2006 soundtrack
"Everytime" Vusi Mahlasela: Guiding Star 2007 album
"Ecouter" Carmen Rizzo: Ornament of an Imposter 2008 album
"It's Amazing" Sex and the City: The Movie: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 2008 soundtrack
"Yellow" Sweetheart: Our Favorite Artists Sing Their Favorite Love Songs 2009 compilation
"Until the Morning Comes" Glass Pear: Until the Morning Comes 2009 single

Song usage[edit]

Song Production Year Type
"Come on Closer" "Closer"
"Las Vegas"
Life As We Know It"
Desperate Housewives
unofficial soundtrack
Official Season 1 Promo
"Wish I" "Celebrity Love Island"
"Grey's Anatomy" S. 1, Ep. 7
title theme
unofficial soundtrack
"Maybe I'm Amazed" "The OC" 2004 official soundtrack
"Just a Ride" "The OC"
"The Prince and Me"
"Grey's Anatomy" S. 2, Ep. 2
"Shark" S2E03
"Six Feet Under" S4E06
official soundtrack
official soundtrack
official soundtrack
unofficial soundtrack

"They" "The OC"
"Crossing Jordan"
"Grey's Anatomy" S. 1, Ep. 1
"The X Effect"
"Strictly Come Dancing"
unofficial soundtrack
unofficial soundtrack
unofficial soundtrack
title theme
"Tango/Argentine Tango Track(Series5/8)
"Save Me" "Grey's Anatomy" S. 1, Ep. 6 2005 unofficial soundtrack
"Flying High" "Wonderfalls" S.1, Ep. 11
"Grey's Anatomy" S. 2, Ep. 20
"One Tree Hill" S. 2, Ep. 15
"Laguna Beach
"Sex Drive (film)"
unofficial soundtrack
"Amazing Life" "Six Feet Under"
Lexus ES 350
official soundtrack
"24" "Ultraviolet"
"Center Stage: Turn It Up"
"Without A Trace"
unofficial soundtrack
unofficial soundtrack
"Once in Every Lifetime" "Eragon" 2006 official soundtrack
"California Sun" "Grey's Anatomy" S. 3, Ep. 22 2007 unofficial soundtrack
"It's Amazing" "Sex and the City: The Movie"
"Medium" S. 5, Ep. 89, 90
official soundtrack
unofficial soundtrack
"Crazy" "Gossip Girl" 2008 unofficial soundtrack
"I Always Knew" "90210" 2008 unofficial soundtrack
"Keep on Walking" "Damages" S. 2, Ep. 13
"Orange Is the New Black" S. 1, Ep. 12
unofficial soundtrack
"Forever and a day" "Beastly" 2011 unofficial soundtrack


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Jemma Griffiths Biography". Archived from the original on 9 November 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  2. ^ "Award". BPI. Retrieved 10 August 2023.
  3. ^ a b "". Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  4. ^ a b Griffiths, Jemma. "Jem, Part 1". Chatshow Network (Interview). Interviewed by Andrea Binks. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e Stuart, Courteney (22 April 2004). "Dig it! This Jem wants to shine". The Hook (316). Archived from the original on 6 October 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  6. ^ a b c "Interview with Sarah Stennett". HitQuarters. 21 January 2013. Archived from the original on 5 June 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  7. ^ "OfficialCharts". Official Charts. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  8. ^ a b Moss, Corey (15 November 2005). "Moby-Style Promotion Works For Inescapable Jem". MTV. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  9. ^ "Official UK Charts". Official Charts. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  10. ^ "Ten Years On". Archived from the original on 13 May 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  11. ^ "Facebook". Facebook. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  12. ^ "Facebook". Facebook. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  13. ^ "Jem | The Official Website of Jem". Archived from the original on 13 February 2014. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  14. ^ "Jem". Archived from the original on 26 February 2022.
  15. ^ "Joseph George's Bio". Josephgeorgemusic.comaccessdate=2014-08-09. Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  16. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 281. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  17. ^ a b " – Discography Jem". Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  18. ^ a b " – Discography Jem". Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  19. ^ "Jem – Chart history (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  20. ^ " – Discographie Jem". Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  21. ^ "Jem – Chart history (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  22. ^ " – Jem – They". Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  23. ^ " – Discografie Jem". Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  24. ^ " – Discography Jem". Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  25. ^ "Jem Chart History: Triple A". Billboard. Retrieved 9 March 2018.

External links[edit]