"Lion Eyes" was the second song that Jordan Burchill ('13) and Mikaela Kahn ('12) wrote together.
Filmmaker Spike Lee liked it so much that he used it for his movie BlacKkKlansman.
Burchill and Kahn perform alternative indie/folk music as the duo Beth // James, a combination of their middle names. The jazz studies majors started playing together as freshmen and moved to Austin after graduation.
Kahn saw an open call for independent music submissions on Lee's Instagram account for his Netflix show She's Gotta Have It. They submitted "Lion Eyes," but Lee had been holding onto it for BlacKkKlansman, which depicts an African American detective going undercover in the Ku Klux Klan.
"We had completely forgotten about the submission and were shocked," Burchill says. "We are so excited to have a small part in an amazing and important movie."
The duo also released the single "Wasted on Sundays," and an EP is due out this fall. They say UNT's jazz program helped them get to this position.
"It definitely taught us to work extremely hard, and always be prepared," Burchill says.