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91st Oscars Backstage Interview Transcript: MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

SPEECH BY: Ludwig Goransson


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Q. How does it feel as a white Swede to have created music that have made so many jaws drop and started discussions about racial injustice and black empowerment, both when it comes to Childish Gambino and for BLACK PANTHER?  And to follow up on that question, can you give a specific example of what somebody has told you and how you've changed, you know, their perspective?
A. Well, I feel extremely grateful to be here and I feel extremely grateful to work with collaborators like Ryan Coogler and Donald Glover.  And you know, I met Ryan Coogler at USC.  He was like one of my first American friends when I moved from Sweden to L.A. in 2007, and we    I scored his first little short film together and we have been working since then.  And when I read his script for BLACK PANTHER, I told him, like, the only way I could score this movie is to go to Africa and immerse myself in the culture and study the music and learn the music.  And of course I felt the pressure because I understood how important this movie was for so many people that hasn't been represented in film before.  But I think, like, working with Ryan Coogler and understanding    having his, you know, support and his trust it kind of really inspired me to really go all    you know, go that extra mile and then really wanting to do justice for the movie. 

Q. And the reaction?  The specific reaction?
A. The reaction?  I think, I mean, to me, the most grateful part was, you know, I went to West Africa and to Senegal specifically for a while to work with some incredible musicians and artists:  Baaba Maal, Massamba Diop, Magatte Sow, and to me    the most grateful part for me was after the movie came out and getting the calls from Senegal and hearing them, you know, like, talking to me about them, watching the movie, and being so proud of hearing the music and hearing their instruments being represented on the big screen in front of the whole world, so...

Q. So you have worked on several projects with a strong political meaning and message, Fruitvale Station and, as my colleague said, Childish Gambino.  How important is it for you to work on projects with that strong political message and why do you choose those projects? 
A. You know, like I said, when I moved over here, I was dreaming to work with American, you know, filmmakers and American artists.  I love American film, I love American music, and somehow I was lucky enough to meet these incredible artists and collaborators.  And you know, the first time when I met Ryan Coogler we were still in college, and I could immediately tell, like, what an incredible visionary he was and how special and brilliant this person was and we did the student movie and it was unlike anything else I've done.  It was always    it was like the best thing I've done, and it was.  And same with Childish Gambino when we started working together.  It was every song we did it was, like, this is the best thing I've ever created.  So we're just doing the same thing that we did 12 years ago, but now I guess the whole world is listening in a different way.



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