Jen Mozenter, 24 and Claire Schlissel, 23, the two young women that make up female production duo The Jane Doze, can’t seem to agree on how they met. Jen says it was at a Hey Monday show at the Highline Ballroom, and while Claire admits, “I do remember attending that evening,” she claims their first encounter was in a studio at the Crush Management office a few weeks later. Either way the two girls crossed paths, someone started talking mashups, and the rest is history.
Recently The Jane Doze snagged the top spot on the Next Big Sound fastest accelerating chart, a testament to their rising popularity. Having worked together for two years now, the pair have built up a solid repertoire, released their first mixtape Girls Talk last February, and are booking gigs across the country. As is the case for many EDM acts, most of their online activity is happening on SoundCloud, where so far they have more than 1.5 million plays and more than 130,000 downloads. While they still have less than 10,000 followers on both Facebook and Twitter, they are steadily inching closer to the million mark on YouTube, seeing 20,000 video views in the past month.
Both girls have long had a deep-seated interest in music. Claire grew up playing violin and piano, and picked up guitar in her teens. She was an undecided freshman at NYU when she had the “revelation” that she could turn her personal passion into a career, and started to pursue music management. Jen said she drove her parents crazy growing up, wanting to try another instrument every month or so, and ended up studying music business at the University of Miami where she was first exposed to EDM and got into production. Despite the success they are seeing with this project, both still maintain careers within the industry.
“The initial goal was just to really just put things out for our peers, our friends via our social network” said Jen, but the feedback was so great they decided to take it a step further. That’s when they started to establish their presence across social media. “We knew how important those tools were going to be.” The inspiration for their playful title comes from a desire to not reveal too much about themselves, and instead let their music speak for itself, “We wanted to play off the idea of anonymity,” said Claire, “being girls and releasing music could work to both our advantage and disadvantage, especially in the EDM world.”
“For six months we didn’t put up any photos,” she explains, adding that people still leave comments on their tracks that may be complimentary, but totally refer to them as dudes.
The inspiration for what they produce can come from anywhere; they might come across a great instrumental or a capella, and know they want to work with it. “It will remind of a song or multiple songs, and we’ll go from there,” said Claire. Jen explains how there is often a social aspect to what they create. ”A lot of our success comes from picking up things that people are already talking about in popular culture.” For instance the controversy last year between Tegan and Sara and Tyler the Creator spawned their Tegan the Creator mashup. “Oddly the music worked so well together,” Jen said.
The recipe for success is making music that is better than the sum of the parts that go into it. As Jen put it, “We like to believe that what we are making is an original in its own right.”
Liv Buli is the resident data journalist for music analytics company Next Big Sound. Buli is a graduate of New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and her work has appeared in Newsweek Daily Beast, The New York Times Local East Village, Westchester Magazine and more.