Silky voiced singer-songwriter Jem initially enjoyed more commercial success in the USA than back home, with her 2004 debut, Finally Woken, making stealthy inroads into the North American market. Griffiths studied law at the University of Sussex and then became a club promoter in Brighton, working for Fatboy Slim's Big Beat Boutique and helping set up the Marine Parade label. In the new millennium she decided to launch her own recording career, making a demo using money from the UK government's New Deal for Musicians grant. She spent a couple of years struggling to find a sympathetic ear for her music, which veered away from big beat music in preference for a downbeat style favouring gentle singer-songwriter melodies embellished with discreet beats and electronic touches. Jem's initial breakthrough came about when one of her finished tracks, 'Nothing Fails', was placed on Madonna's American Life album. Still unable to secure a recording contract in the UK, Jem then relocated to America and set up base in Los Angeles. Tracks from another demo CD began gaining extensive play on the influential KCRW radio station and helped the artist land a recording contract with Dave Matthews' ATO Records imprint. Jem's debut proper, the It All Starts Here … EP, was released by ATO in autumn 2003. It featured two of the tracks that had gained prominent exposure on US radio, 'They' and 'Finally Woken', ensuring that Finally Woken was greeted with a great deal of interest when it was released in March 2004. Sales of the album were further boosted when Jem made a guest appearance on the prime-time US teen soap opera The OC, crooning a cover version of Paul McCartney's 'Maybe I'm Amazed'.