How Composer Daniel Pemberton Brought The Funk To ‘Ocean’s 8’

Warner Bros Pictures
Warner Bros Pictures

EXCLUSIVE: In addition to its stellar female ensemble, one of the other stunning characters in Warner Bros./Village Roadshow’s Ocean’s 8  that takes its chic sensibility to a whole other level is its snappy ’70s jazz funk score written by Daniel Pemberton, a British composer who is fast becoming a go-to musician for his unique compositions on major studio releases.

In fact, Pemberton is already a fave of Ridley Scott’s having crafted a classical score for the filmmaker’s caper All the Money in the World and his 2013 crime pic The Counselor, not to mention he has two Golden Globe noms under his belt for Steve Jobs, and the title song from Gold. Previously Pemberton penned pizzazz for Warner Bros.’ Man From U.N.C.L.E. with his ’60s woodwinds-harpsicord-bongo sounds. 

“I learned from that film the power of giving artists and musicians space, to rewrite what works best with cues on the fly,” says Pemberton about how he assembled a group of New York-based musicians to jam their way through his notes. He also played keyboards on the score. As explained in the above behind-the-scenes video, Pemberton specifically recorded and mixed the score in the pic’s setting of NYC.

In regards to the vast amount of jazz heard on Ocean’s 8, including surf guitar, big 50 cords, Latino percussion, and dirty roaring New Orleans-saxophones, Pemberton explains that he approached his “stinky and fun” score like a grand master heist that Sandra Bullock’s Debbie Ocean pulls off with her gal pals, “I’m pinching from every genre.”

Here’s a couple of tracks from Pemberton’s Ocean’s 8 score including the main theme “NYC  Larceny” and “In Vogue”


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