How composer Justin Hurwitz brought La La Land to life with music

Composer Justin Hurwitz takes listeners behind the process of creating music for Damien Chazelle's new film, La La Land.
Composer Justin Hurwitz has teamed up with director Damien Chazelle again for his latest film, La La Land. (Getty Images)

One of the biggest stars of the upcoming Damien Chazelle film, La La Land (out Dec. 25), isn't its A-list stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling — it's the music. 

Much like Chazelle's last project, Whiplash, music plays a big part in this new movie and there to compose the music was Justin Hurwitz (who also worked on Whiplash). His job: "To serve Damien's story and his script."

"He was telling a story about young dreamers so my music was supposed to get across very often the idea of dreaming," Hurwitz explains. "It's a love story and a love story that has a lot of ups and downs so it had to be romantic, it had to be hopeful, but there also had to be a bittersweet quality to it." 

While Chazelle and Hurwitz took inspiration from '60s French musicals and the works of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Hurwitz wanted to create something new and not old-fashioned. So he avoided watching them during his composing process and, instead, "composed from an emotional place."

Without a doubt, the results reflect just that: pure, musical transcendence. 

For the full list of Golden Globes nominees, go here.


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