( ) – Colombian music is not only succeeding on the Spotify or YouTube charts with artists like Maluma, Karol G, Blessd or Shakira.
Another artist, David Murillo, shines but from an unrecognized arena, from composition. Murillo is in charge of creating sound environments and the music of several series of one of the platforms of streaming most popular: Netflix.
In recent times we have seen how the compositions in television series or streaming are discussed among the general public. The music in a production of these levels is so powerful that it can evoke feelings, or revive themes after decades. As “Stranger Things” did, also from Netflix, with “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God) from Kate Bush or Linda Ronstadt’s “Long, Long Time” most recently on HBO’s “The Last of Us”. (HBO is part of Warner Bros. Discovery, our parent company.)
That is where the work of Colombian composer David Murillo comes in. He is the artist behind the sound atmosphere of series like “Who killed Sara?” and “Give gas” from Netflix or from films like “La ciénaga: Entre el mar y la tierra”.
His life is divided between musical production –where he has also worked with artists such as Lola Índigo for “4 Kisses” or “Santería”– and with the hard work of generating feelings in the audience that keep them on the edge of their seats.
Colombian music on Netflix
David Murillo came to Netflix thanks to the work he did for the original tape of that platform “Dad Wanted.”
“We had been demonstrating to Netflix that we could deliver music in very short times and actually very much in sync with what the producer, the director and the studio wanted, because, of course, they are part of the conversation,” Murillo told Zona. Pop .
This synchronization with the entire team led Murillo to gain the trust of the company to face the musical arrangements of his first series with the platform, “Who killed Sarah?”.
With three seasons, the production was one of the most successful Latino series on Netflix.
“Music in Who killed Sarah? it is not simply commenting a little and in a certain way accompanying the action. No, the music from the beginning in the conception of the series was one more character,” Murillo told Zona Pop in an interview.
And that was what happened. The music managed to become the omnipresent protagonist that was taking the spectators from scene to scene. That, says Murillo, he could only achieve by composing with transparency.
“It had to have transparency at times when too much information is communicated to the listener or the audience and we had to have to maintain interest and weave that suspense and intrigue about what is to come in a certain way,” says the Colombian composer.
Why opt for composition?
His passion for acting and all things musical, he explains, led him to pursue a career perhaps not considered the first option for those wanting to enter the music industry.
There will be some who choose to go ahead and become singers. But others, like Murillo, were more attracted to music production and film composition.
But this is not just any hobby for him. Murillo began studying music at the age of four, he was part of the Colombian Orchestra System until he arrived at Berklee College of Music, one of the most prestigious institutions for the study of music.
There, thanks to a scholarship he obtained from Howard Shore – the composer behind the “Lord of the Rings” franchise – he specialized in film music, electronic production, sound design and music composition for video games.
The latter is a musical branch that will only be recognized at the 2023 Grammy Awards and where artists from the mainstream Latino begin to collaborate. Such is the case of Nathy Peluso who in 2022 released “Emergencia”, a theme inspired by the PlayStation game “Horizon Forbidden World”.
Music with the label ‘Made in Medellín’
Medellín has become an epicenter of music in Latin America. Reggaeton, among other genres, made the city reach every corner of the planet musically.
Also from Medellín were born phenomena that intertwine music and acting. Clear examples are “La reina del flow”, an original production by Caracol Televisión but which later came to Netflix and caused a sensation. And from the Antioquia region “Canto para no llorar” also came out, the series also from Caracol and which is on Netflix, about the life of the popular music singer Arelys Henao.
But what is it about Medellín that continues to attract people? For Murillo, the key is in the musical mix of the region, something that is also transferred to his compositions.
“I think that Medellín has been a very integral part of what happened in Colombia and it is that musical miscegenation. Of course, the African is part of our tropical genres, such as salsa, merengue. Percussion, for example, is too important for us and that is reflected not only in reggaeton, but also in all the genres that motivate us to move”, explains the composer.
The city’s lyrical legacy cannot be overlooked either, he says. For Murillo, “At one time Medellín was almost the capital of tango” and he adds that boleros with their rich lyrics also conquered the region.
All of this together is what makes the ‘Made in Medellín’ stamp stand out in every corner of the world.
“Those musical textures make Medellín a very interesting music capital that has, in a certain way, even in the urban genre, a very different identity from Puerto Rican reggaeton. Very different from the Dominican urban that they are doing in Miami today. From this miscegenation of our history, Medellín has a very important part to contribute in the musical world, ”he explains.