LUD­WIG GORANSSON

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He’shad­his­hand­int­wooftheyear’s big­gest pop cul­ture mo­ments — with the ilm “Black Pan­ther” and the song “This Is Amer­ica” — but un­like Michael B. Jor­dan or Child­ish Gam­bino, Lud­wig Goransson can eas­ily walk down the street like a reg­u­lar dude.

At just 34, the tal­ented and skilled com­poser from Swe­den is hav­ing the best year of his ca­reer. He com­pleted the ilm score for the uber-suc­cess­ful “Black Pan­ther,” even trav­el­ling to Sene­gal for three weeks to learn about African mu­sic and work with lo­cal mu­si­cians.

He earned three nom­i­na­tions at this year ’s Grammy Awards for his pro­duc­tion and song­writ­ing work on Gam­bino’s 2016 al­bum, “Awaken, My Love!,” and the duo reached even greater heights with the epic “This Is Amer­ica” — and its her­alded video — which went vi­ral and be­came an in­stant No. 1 smash in May. Goransson also com­posed mu­sic for “Venom,” re­leased last month, and re­turned to the “Creed” fran­chise to do its ilm score (“Creed II” hit US the­atres on Nov.21).

“It deinitely feels like I’m liv­ing a dream. But I try not to pinch my­self be­cause I don’t want to wake up,” the long haired, easy­go­ing mu­si­cian said, sit­ting com­fort­ably on a couch at a ho­tel in New York City.

Oh, and he’s even worked with Bey­once and Jay-Z.

“I worked on a lit­tle trailer for the tour,” said Goransson, who is signed to JayZ’s Roc Na­tion. “It was just a short lit­tle thing but still it was Bey­once and Jay-Z. It doesn’t get big­ger than that.”

Goransson is clearly booked, and busy. He worked for months on “Creed II,” star­ring Jor­dan, Sylvester Stal­lone and Tessa Thomp­son, say­ing the fran­chise “is so close to my heart” be­cause the 2015 ilm was one of the irst stu­dio fea­tures he com­posed mu­sic for.

Goransson moved to Amer­ica to study at the Univer­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia over a decade ago, where he met Ryan Coogler and com­posed mu­sic for the direc­tor’s stu­dent ilm. When Coogler di­rected the crit­i­cally-ac­claimed in­de­pen­dent, “Fruit­vale Sta­tion,” he called on Goransson. “Creed” and “Black Pan­ther” soon fol­lowed.

“What’s re­ally great is that it was a very nat­u­ral progress for us. Ev­ery time we worked to­gether it was al­ways like step­ping stones to­gether,” Goransson said of his re­la­tion­ship with Coogler, who didn’t di­rect “Creed II” but is cred­ited as an ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer. “We’re de­vel­op­ing and we’re get­ting to know each other more for ev­ery pro­ject.”

Goransson, who now lives in Los An­ge­les, grew up in Linkop­ing, a small town two hours south of Stock­holm. He started play­ing gui­tar at 7 — his fa­ther is a gui­tar teacher — and when he was 9 he fell in love with Me­tal­lica.

“That’s when I was like, ‘OK, I want to spend 10 hours a day prac­tic­ing gui­tar for the rest of my life,’” he said. “I wanted to be the best gui­tar player in the world. And then my dad got me a portable recorder, so I started writ­ing my own mu­sic.”

He got a job as­sist­ing com­poser Theodore Shapiro — irst work­ing on the 2008 com­edy “Tropic Thun­der” — af­ter grad­u­at­ing from USC.

“From the very first sub­mis­sion of ma­te­ri­als that he sent to me in ap­ply­ing for the job, it was im­me­di­ately clear that he had his own voice as a com­poser, and that’s re­ally rare,” said Shapiro, who has also scored “The Wolf of Wall Street, “The Devil Wears Prada,” ‘’Blades of Glory” and more.

“You can ind a lot of peo­ple who are very proicient at do­ing other styles, but it’s very rare that you ind some­body who re­ally ar­rives with a very unique sen­si­bil­ity and that it’s al­ways been clear that he had that. He just thinks a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ently than ev­ery­one else.”

Shapiro’s busy sched­ule wouldn’t al­low him to com­pose mu­sic for a then-new TV se­ries called “Com­mu­nity,” which de­buted in 2009. So he rec­om­mended Goransson.

“They gave me a chance,” Goransson said.

It was where he met Gam­bino, then mainly known as Don­ald Glover. Work­ing on a song to­gether for the show led to Goransson and Glover trad­ing ideas about for Gam­bino’s 2010 mix­tape, “Culde­sac.” They have worked tightly ever sense.

“It’s a sim­i­lar jour­ney that I did with Ryan (Coogler). We started on a mix­tape, then we started on a smaller pro­ject. What’s re­ally fun, work­ing with Don­ald, is he’s such a Re­nais­sance man. You never know where he’s go­ing to go, what he’s go­ing to do. Ev­ery pro­ject is mu­si­cally very dif­fer­ent from each other, but I still feel like they’re emo­tion­ally very con­nected,” said Goransson, who has also pro­duced for Chance the Rap­per and HAIM. “I think we just keep push­ing each other and I keep learn­ing, keep chal­leng­ing my­self. It keeps get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter.”

Along­side Gam­bino, Goransson earned Grammy nom­i­na­tions for al­bum of the year for “Awaken” and record of the year and best R&B song for the hit, “Red­bone.” The song won Gam­bino his irst Grammy — best tra­di­tional R&B per­for­mance — a cat­e­gory only awarded to per­form­ers, not pro­duc­ers or song­writ­ers.

But this awards sea­son, Goransson is look­ing like a white-hot con­tender, from the Gram­mys to the Os­cars, thanks to “Black Pan­ther” and “This Is Amer­ica,” which he and Gam­bino started work­ing on three years ago.

The work for “Black Pan­ther” was also in­tense and long — and re­ward­ing. Goransson said com­pos­ing mu­sic for the top-gross­ing Mar­vel Stu­dios pro­ject came with “ex­treme pres­sure.”

“Be­ing white and from Swe­den, scor­ing a movie like this, there was a big pres­sure. Know­ing Ryan, hav­ing a col­lab­o­ra­tor that you worked with over 10 years ... his trust and his conidence in me re­ally turned the pres­sure into more of an in­spi­ra­tion,” he said. “Af­ter I read the script, I knew the only way that I could score this movie was to go to Africa, do my re­search, learn and train with some of the great­est mu­si­cians I’ve ever met. It was in­cred­i­ble jour­ney for me.”

Shapiro said Goransson go­ing the ex­tra mile for “Black Pan­ther” is “what sep­a­rates that score from ev­ery­thing else and makes it spe­cial.”

“He didn’t have to do that. He could have stayed at home and done the re­search. But he ... re­ally dove in to an ex­traor­di­nary de­gree and that com­mit­ment clearly came out in the mu­sic that he wrote,” he said.

Go­ing the ex­tra mile is com­mon for Goransson, even on a lighter level. On this day, for a photo shoot, the com­poser with a fun fash­ion sense (he wore a for­est green crushed vel­vet suit to the 2018 Gram­mys) shows up with three coat op­tions, in­clud­ing a furry, brown num­ber. He is even game to jump in the freez­ing snow to take pho­tos.

Shapiro said apart from be­ing tal­ented, Goransson is sim­ply a fun and kind dude.

“He has this easy con­fi­dence about him that is re­ally mag­netic, but also a real kind­ness to him, and that’s an in­cred­i­ble com­bi­na­tion. And ob­vi­ously it draws peo­ple to him and makes them want to col­lab­o­rate with him,” Shapiro said.

Though he’s vir­tu­ally un­known to the larger pub­lic, Lud­wig Goransson was part of two of the big­gest pop cul­ture mo­ments in 2018 with “Black Pan­ther” (he com­posed the score) and Child­ish Gam­bino’s “This Is Amer­ica” (he pro­duced the track)

Child­ish Gam­bino, (left), and com­poser Lud­wig Goransson

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