15 17 Oct '24

Kulanen Ikyo

978c8669 976a 4a15 8162 6849098b13a7
Function: Composer WSAcademy: WSA Voting Member
Kulanen Ikyo is a Nigerian film composer representing Nigerian creativity's rich cultural diversity. He is well-known for his exceptional work on Netflix's original film, "The Black Book." It was a massive success in Nigeria, becoming the first runaway hit on the global streaming platform, garnering 5.6 million views just 48 hours after its release. The film climbed to No. 3 on Netflix's worldwide film charts. Kulanen's energetic score pulsates throughout the movie, with driving percussion echoing the protagonist's relentless pursuit of justice and a beautiful melody capturing the film's emotional undercurrents.

Kulanen's musical journey is a testament to his passion and dedication. Born and raised in Nigeria, he was captivated by the storytelling power of music, particularly the vibrant rhythms of his heritage. His musical exploration began with crafting a guitar-like instrument from an empty can and a wood baton, using any item he found around his home to make music. After earning a degree in physics from the University of Jos, he embarked on a new path, pursuing film scoring. His goal was clear: to introduce innovative methods of blending traditional African music with symphonic elements, a mission he continues to pursue with unwavering enthusiasm.

Kulanen also attended the Film Scoring Academy of Europe (Summer Programme) and is a Berlinale Talent, which solidified his foundation as a composer with a global perspective.

His portfolio comprises a remarkable range of projects, with standout contributions to critically acclaimed films such as "Lionheart (TIFF 18)," "I Do Not Come To You by Chance (TIFF 23)" "The Trade," "Blood Sisters," and "October 1." In 2015, he earned the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award for his groundbreaking work on "October 1." His innovative work on Netflix productions such as "Oloture," where he uses the talking drum and experiments with the balafon scale to evoke the atrocities of sex trafficking, "LionHeart," where he incorporates highlife music and quirky African tones to support the story, "Blood Sisters" and "A Sunday Affair," ushered in a new era of creativity and success for the burgeoning Nigerian film industry. His music is synonymous with the streaming giant's commitment to diverse storytelling and global representation.

His compositions offer a rich auditory experience, seamlessly guiding emotions through the film's narrative. As one reviewer eloquently says, "Kulanen Ikyo takes us to places with the score. The cinematic sonic scapes are gripping, providing the perfect backdrop for this motion picture." His expressive and original work truly showcases the depth of his artistic voice.

Kulanen's influence extends beyond his music. He is actively shaping the future of Nigerian cinema, supporting and empowering the next generation of Nigerian creatives through workshops and regular small group talks. His commitment to preserving and celebrating African musical heritage sets him apart as a leader and visionary whose influence resonates far beyond the borders of his homeland.

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