Julia Zuzanna Sokolowska is the Hollywood composer you need to know
You may not have heard of Julia Zuzanna Sokolowska, but you definitely have heard her. Whether you listened to her producing work on Matthew Morrison (Glee, AHS) and his debut album, or her orchestrations she led for The Book of Life and Empire, you’ve heard her work.
A legendary Hollywood composer and producer, Sokolowska started big with Morrison’s debut album, and has only gone up from there. With a scoring catalog that includes Revenge, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia, and The Whistle, it’s hard not to be impressed.
A team player
She’s far from a solo worker though. In 2016, she created the arranging group the Hollywood Arrangers. Alongside herself, the group includes Jerry Peters, Richard Niles, and Inyoung Park. The group has been a huge success, with clientele like Usher, Anthony Hamilton, Judith Hill, El DeBarge, and PSY using their services.
Going a step further in 2018, Sokolowska created the all-female scoring group Illuminating Music. In her attempt to promote diversity in Hollywood, she created the team to help give women a chance to work on composing feature film scores. Films scored by the group include Sailing Through Life and Aylesbury Estates.
New style, new adventure
Even with all the amazing work she’s done establishing groups for collaboration, Sokolowska is still composing her own projects. Coming up for her is Divos!, a comedy based around a high school drama department, complete with its very own drama king.
But with this comedy comes a new style of percussion-heavy music for Sokolowska. Rather than cymbals, drums, and chimes, the music is created through jazz tap dancing and marching band instruments. Inspired by the Birdman soundtrack, Sokolowska was beyond on board for trying something new.
Taking a new twist on a classic trope
We’ve quickly seen the “star athlete joins the drama club” trope pop up over and over again in Hollywood. But Divos! is taking the trope and trying to make something new out of it, and that’s in part to the innovative score from Sokolowska.
Just like how the soloist is usually the one who’s worked their life for the chance to shine, music is made up of harmonious instruments, not everyday sounds. Director and producer Ryan Bartley, and writer Matt Steele wanted to get someone who would understand this, and Sokolowska was perfect for the job.
The future ahead
Looking past Divos!, Sokolowska is also working on the music for the upcoming Netflix series Army of the Dead. She also helped out composing the documentary Find an Identity, which is currently in post production.