Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger Theme Origin Revealed By Composer

In an interview with Pitchfork, Ludwig Göransson broke down his most iconic scores, including Black Panther. In the video, which can be seen below, he discusses an instrument called the talking drum which was used in many key moments in the film, including T’Challa’s own theme:

“You can basically say words and communicate with this drum and I was asking [the musician who plays the drum] “How would you say “T’Challa” on the talking drum.” And he played me the rhythm. That became part of T’Challa’s theme.”

Göransson also talked about Killmonger’s theme, revealing that the song originated when musician Amadou Ba “started playing crazy screaming through the flute” while screaming “Killmonger names” through the instrument:

“[Amadou Ba] was almost singing into the flute and it gave it such a special character. And I was like, okay well this could be interesting for Killmonger’s character. I told [the musician] about Killmonger and his part of the story and his character. After I gave him that story, the flute player kind of transformed into a completely different person and started playing this crazy screaming through the flute and like, screamed Killmonger names through the flute.”

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