Scoring one of DMX’s last films: Meet music composer Julia Zuzanna Sokolowska
It’s no secret DMX’s death left a hole in the music industry. One of the leaders of the 90s rap scene, X truly was “Gon’ Give It To Ya” in every performance. Without question, DMX was an influence on so many artists to date. One of the musicians influenced by DMX’s work was music composer Julia Zuzanna Sokolowska.
So when Julia Zuzanna Sokolowska was given the chance to compose one of DMX’s last films before his death, Fast Vengeance, it was a no brainer. As DMX filmed his role in the movie months before his early death, Sokolowska had plenty of material to incorporate into her score for the new film. Go behind the scenes of the stunning score, to see how Sokolowska tried to memorialize DMX’s unique musical style in his final project.
Bringing the streets to the music, literally
It’s not uncommon to bring real life sounds into a movie’s soundtrack. But what about using real life objects to create beats for a cyberpunk-inspired score? This is where Julia Zuzanna Sokolowska goes above and beyond as a music composer. Rather than just make computer-generated beats for the Fast Vengeance score, she makes her own beats with something strange.
Using a custom made Aprilia motorcycle, she was able to create beats that stood out in the movie’s soundtrack. The hybrid score for Fast Vengeance stands out in comparison to other action movies because of little details like that. To help capture the dark wave, cyberpunk, and retro wave influence of the score, using mechanical beats couldn’t have been a smarter move.
Taking her skills to the next level
Julia Zuzanna Sokolowska is no stranger to high expectations. In the early days of her career, she served as the orchestrator for projects such as The Book of Life, Beauty and the Beast in Concert at the Hollywood Bowl, and Empire. Going from conducting scores written by others to writing her own scores is a big jump, but Sokolowska has seen great success so far.
Just in 2020 alone, Sokolowska had six different projects drop featuring her original compositions. Fast Vengeance is far from her first rodeo, but there’s a lot riding on her score for the new film. Sokolowska herself called DMX “one of my childhood idols”, so it’s not about proving herself. It’s about properly honoring someone she deeply admired.
The power of DMX
When we say DMX influenced numerous musicians of all genres, we weren’t kidding. As a music composer, Julia Zuzanna Sokolowska needs to transcend genres to develop a score that properly fits each film she works on. Just like DMX, Sokolowska’s work doesn’t automatically go into one genre.
While we don’t know for certain what DMX would think of the score for Fast Vengeance, we hope that he would love it dearly. Just like DMX, Sokolowska goes above and beyond to reinvent film composing with each score she does, and that’s the spirit of DMX.