Composer, arranger, and music producer Joseph Trapanese is perhaps best known for his sleek, ominous scores for hit films like Oblivion (2013), Straight Outta Compton (2015), and the Raid series.
His diverse output also includes the score for the blockbuster musical The Greatest Showman (2017) and lighter fare such as the action-comedy film Stuber (2019). In addition to his work for film, television, theater, and video games, Trapanese has collaborated behind the scenes with recording artists including Dr. Dre, Moby, and Kelly Clarkson.
Born in New Jersey, Trapanese earned his B.A. in composition from the Manhattan School of Music. He went on to study at UCLA for his M.A. in music for visual media and ended up teaching electronic music and composition at the school from 2008-2011. Around this time, he also began collaborating with a number of mainstream musical acts. His first major break came in 2010 when he worked with Daft Punk on the sweeping digital soundtrack to Disney's Tron reboot/sequel. Trapanese followed that success by creating a score with Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park for the American release of the 2011 Indonesian martial arts film The Raid: Redemption (he would continue without Shinoda in 2014 with The Raid 2). That same year, he helped with arrangements on a handful of tracks for M83's breakthrough hit Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, which led to the pair's collaboration on the 2013 Tom Cruise sci-fi epic Oblivion. He also reworked Moby's "Extreme Ways" for The Bourne Legacy.
Highlights of his scores over the next couple of years include Earth to Echo (2014); The Divergent Series' second installment, Insurgent (2015), and the landmark rap biopic Straight Outta Compton (2015). Meanwhile, in the studio, in addition to M83 and Moby, he worked with Active Child, Dr. Dre, Kelly Clarkson, 3OH!3, and Dia Frampton (as the duo Archis).
Alongside songs by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, 2017's The Greatest Showman featured a score co-composed by Trapanese and John Debney. In 2018, his music could be heard in the adventure films Arctic and Robin Hood (starring Taron Egerton) as well as in the USA Network series Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G. His work on the detective-ridesharing comedy Stuber hit theaters in 2019. ~ Neil Z. Yeung, Rovi