Known for his vibrant, often playful orchestral music for film and television, Ludwig Göransson is an Oscar-winning Swedish composer based in Los Angeles. Also recognized for his Grammy-winning work as a producer and songwriter in genres including rap, pop, and R&B, he often performs and records his own music unless an orchestra is warranted. Some of his earliest lead composer credits came on television sitcoms such as Community (2009-2015) and New Girl (2011-2018). Early in Community's run, he also began collaborating with cast member Donald Glover on his rap music as Childish Gambino. Göransson was recognized by several film critics associations for his music for the 2015 boxing film Creed, and in 2019, he won the Academy Award for Best Original Score for Black Panther (2018). That same year, he took home Grammy Awards for Record and Song of the Year for Childish Gambino's "This Is America" as well as for his Black Panther score.
Born and raised in Linköping, Sweden, Göransson grew up with a musician father who started him on music lessons at a young age. Reared mostly on pop/rock, he branched into jazz and classical in his teens, and went on to graduate from the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. He then relocated to Los Angeles, enrolled in the Scoring for Motion Picture and Television program at the University of Southern California, and soon found work as an assistant to film composer Theodore Shapiro (Old School, Tropic Thunder, St. Vincent), who shared Göransson's penchant for comedy.
After earning some credits on film shorts and in television, the young composer got his breakthrough assignment in 2009 on what would become the long-running sitcom Community. It led to concurrent work on New Girl and Happy Endings, among other TV series. Meanwhile, Göransson began a fruitful partnership with actor/writer/musician Donald Glover, producing his 2010 Childish Gambino mixtape, Culdesac, and co-producing the project's official debut album from the same year, Camp, which Göransson also co-wrote. During his time with Community, he found additional work on feature films including the comedy We're the Millers and the biopic Fruitvale Station, both released in 2013. That year also saw the release of Childish Gambino's second LP, Because the Internet. Göransson wrote and produced the album with Glover and guest collaborators including but not limited to Chance the Rapper, Azealia Banks, and Thundercat.
Around this time, Göransson also started his own solo project under the name Ludovin, releasing the indie pop EP How to Find a Party in 2013. He still found time to collaborate with other recording artists, such as producing two songs on Days Are Gone for indie rock band HAIM and writing songs for, among others, Chance the Rapper and Pell. Community ended its run in 2015, a year that saw Göransson's scoring work in the critically acclaimed Rocky franchise entry Creed. Over the next couple of years, he contributed to albums by musicians including John Legend (2016's DARKNESS AND LIGHT), Moses Sumney (2017's Aromanticism), and ZZ Ward (2017's The Storm).
Following Fruitvale Station and Creed, Göransson's third collaboration with director (and former USC classmate) Ryan Coogler and actor Michael B. Jordan was the blockbuster superhero flick Black Panther, which arrived in 2018. His dynamic score charted at 64 on the Billboard 200 and went on to win the Oscar and the Grammy for Best Score. He also took home Grammys in 2019 for Record of the Year and Song of the Year for co-producing and co-writing Childish Gambino's "This Is America" with Donald Glover. It was the first rap song to win the Grammy Award for Record of the Year.
Branching out into the Star Wars universe in late 2019, Göransson signed on to score the Disney+ television show The Mandalorian, crafting a soundtrack companion for each of the show's eight episodes. He returned the following year for season two. That year, his music also appeared in the film Tenet and Trolls World Tour.
© Marcy Donelson /TiVo