With the 2019 Oscars taking place this Sunday, we’re providing you a little background on this year’s best films and the original soundtracks that bring them to life. Today, we’re exploring the contenders for Best Original Score, which range from Japanese-inspired soundtracks to epic, African theme songs. Read on to learn more about the composers and their music that earned nominations this year!
Ludwig Göransson – Black Panther
The go-to composer for entertainment industry stars like director Ryan Coogler and hip-hop artist Donald Glover, Ludwig Göransson has earned both an Oscar and GRAMMY nomination for his work on Marvel’s Black Panther. The score for the film draws heavy inspiration from traditional African music and rhythms—Göransson and Coogler personally traveled to Africa to learn, record and make Black Panther as authentic as possible.
Terence Blanchard – BlacKkKlansman
Terence Blanchard, with his years of experience as the artistic director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz and previous work with director Spike Lee, made him the obvious choice for Lee’s newest film. This is the six-time GRAMMY winner’s first shot at adding an Oscar to his collection.
Nicholas Britell – If Beale Street Could Talk
Nicholas Britell had an incredible 2018, scoring films like Beale Street and Vice as well as attending his first Oscar’s ceremony for his work on 2017’s Moonlight. His most notable trait as a composer is how heavily he draws inspiration from both hip-hop and pianists—Beale Street‘s soundtrack is filled with piano beats and breath-y musicians, as if he were more MC than composer.
Alexandre Desplat – Isle of Dogs
As arthouse film hero Wes Anderson’s go-to composer, Alexandre Desplat has already won the hearts of audiences everywhere with his clever, endearing and quirky soundtracks to films like Fantastic Mister Fox and The Grand Budapest Hotel. His work on Isle of Dogs maintains his renowned style, while also incorporating plenty of Japanese ancestry and sounds into his work.
Marc Shaiman – Mary Poppins Returns
Back in 2014, composer Marc Shaiman had a video of himself go viral on Facebook: it was simply him relaxing to the score of the original Mary Poppins echoing from his record player, and he titled the video “Heaven.” When he heard that a sequel was in production, Shaiman jumped at the chance to be a part of it—and now here he is, set to make an appearance at the Oscars on Sunday.
The 2019 Oscars begin at 5:00pm PST on Sunday, February 24, and will feature performances of Kendrick Lamar’s “All The Stars” from Black Panther and Lady Gaga’s “Shallow” from A Star is Born.