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Meet Composer Ramin Kousha in Culver City

Today we’d like to introduce you to Composer Ramin Kousha.

Ramin, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was born in Iran to a family of educators. My dad was a mechanical engineering professor in the local university, that’s where he met my mother who was also a professor. Very early on, I was exposed to music through my kindergarten teacher, I naturally gravitated towards the piano as my instrument of choice. My parents soon realized my passion that led them to hire a private tutor at the age of six. A couple of years later, my life took an unfortunate turn with the passing of my mother in a tragic car accident. At the time, playing the piano and listening to movie scores helped me get through a sad time in my life. Shortly after learning music theory and performing piano in various orchestras, I realized my passion for composing and I began to develop an interest in storytelling and became fascinated with movies. I would often sit on the piano for countless hours to figure out the melodies and chord progressions that I heard in movies.

At the age of 18, I moved to Los Angeles to attend CSUN’s film scoring program. With the help and mentoring of some great professors, I learned that it is possible to make a career out of film scoring. Soon after I landed a pivotal internship with a well-known Hollywood composer which gave me real-world experience, since graduating I have been blessed to work with many talented directors/producers and compose some of my best work up to date. I have been on the grind ever since working day and night taking no days off that led me to develop a busy career as a music composer. In less than ten years, I have scored nearly 40 feature films, TV, documentaries, and video games in different genres.

Can you give our readers some background on your music?
My background is Iranian-American and I always try to use Iranian traditional instruments in a unique way to add more flavor and color to my work. I took my two biggest passions (orchestra and analog) and fused them together to create something new and unique. Depending on the project, I use different techniques and methods to bring something new to the table. Luckily my projects have been diverse and gave me the freedom to play with unique instruments and collaborate with great domestic and international musicians.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I usually take projects that I know I can apply to new things and approach the material in a new way. I try to make the music unique for each project, using new instruments and techniques. For example, I recently worked with an Academy nominated director Majid Majidi on a project called ”The Sun” which I used a combination of Persian (Santur and Tar) and South American (Charango) instruments or another example would be my latest IFC thriller/drama project “Radioflash” directed by Ben McPherson. I sampled many classical instruments such as violin and cello but not in a classical approach, instead of tapping and stretching the strings to come up with strange sounds. Also, sampled traditional Iranian instruments such as Kamancheh and Setar and some Iranian percussion instruments to add more color to my music. I had the freedom to play with unique instruments and collaborate with great Iranian artists and record live strings in the Capital Record Studio.

Years ago, I had a great opportunity to work on a couple of projects that I was very interested in, one of them being Syfy original “Sharknado” which became a cult classic movie as well as a Showtime action/crime “Abducted” directed by Prince Bagdasarian. Both projects were diverse enough to show my range as a movie composer, you can listen to some of my previous work on music streaming platforms such as iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music…

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Luck plays a huge role in my life, from me finding my passion at such a young age to having wonderful parents that supported me every step of the way. Getting into this business as a young composer there are many trials and tribulations, I have learned that patience and persistence is the only recipe for success. You know how they say when opportunity knocks on your door you better answer it, I’ve learned in this business that you have to be willing to chase opportunity down the street.

In a nutshell, I’m very fortunate and grateful for both my career path and my personal life, I was given an opportunity of a lifetime being able to come to America and fulfill my life’s dream to be a composer and collaborate on amazing projects with talented people that I’ve admired.

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Image Credit:
Ruben Herrera

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