This week, I had the chance to catch up with Black Panther composer Ludwig Göransson while he was in his LA based studio, working on a new Childish Gambino record. We spoke about working with Childish, as well as Kendrick Lamar, who curated Black Panther: The Album and performed a number of tracks for its release.
It’s been a big year for Göransson, releasing Black Panther and walking away with a Grammy for his work with Gambino on his record “Awaken, My Love!”, “Yeah, and there’s no stop,” he said. “I’m sitting in the studio working with Childish Gambino on his next project. It’s never ending so far. And I just got started on the Venom (motion picture score) a few weeks ago, the movie comes out in October. So I still have a couple of months to finish that.”
Göransson has been working with Donald Glover/Childish Gambino since his days on Community, when he scored the series. I asked what attracted Göransson to working with Glover/Gambino over the years, “It’s his ability to really push himself, and experiment, and not be afraid to do things that people wouldn’t like at first glance. Just being such a pioneer, that’s really inspiring to work with someone like that. That makes me push myself even further as well.”
And what about working with Kendrick Lamar on the Black Panther soundtrack? “I was so excited to get to work with Kendrick… being in the studio with him was so inspiring. I was able to to work on the song which ended up in the car chase, “Opps”. It’s on the soundtrack, I did it with his producer Sounwave. It was such an inspiring experience, just to see how he works in the studio. We ended up getting Vince Staples on the track, and another talented South African rapper Yugen Blakrok. Getting a glimpse into that world was very fascinating to me.”
I asked if the work with Kendrick, and on Black Panther, is inspiring his work with Childish Gambino, and on any other projects he might be working on, “Every experience on every project, makes you grow and learn, having working on Black Panther and scored and written two hours of music for Ryan Coogler’s film, it feels like it made me a better musician and made me a better person.”
Stay tuned to our sister site The Iris for more from our chat with Göransson, as we delve into how he created the unique soundscape created for the blockbuster film.
Kendrick Lamar is touring Australia in July and playing Splendour in the Grass. Details on those shows can be found here. The Black Panther Original Score by Göransson and Official Soundtrack by Kendrick Lamar, meanwhile, are both now available. Black Panther is still in cinemas, but hits digital retailers on May 16th and home release Blu-Ray on May 30th.