Jongnic “JB” Bontemps is a uniquely modern film composer, harmonizing a classical education with his rich tech background as a maestro of Silicon Valley to write everything from the hip-hop infused score for the Tribeca-favorite documentary United Skates, to rousing additional music for Creed II. He’s been the go-to composer for the latter film’s director, Steven Caple Jr., including the score for the coming-of-age drama, The Land, where he also orchestrated the song “This Bitter Land” for Nas and Erykah Badu.
He has scored dozens of features, documentaries, shorts, and videogames in all genres—fusing a contemporary sound with timeless emotion. Other recent projects include the Toni Braxton-starring drama, Faith Under Fire, and the Sundance selection Leimert Park, produced by Charles King (Mudbound). JB’s scores have echoed at Cannes, the Warsaw Film Festival, Pan African American Film Fest, and American Black Film Fest, and at home on HBO, BET, Lifetime, NBC, Showtime, Netflix, PBS and Disney XD.
Born in Brooklyn, JB learned the piano and soaked up his gospel and jazz surroundings. He studied music at Yale, then found himself at the heart of the tech industry as a software developer and entrepreneur (he sold his startup to HP). He thrived there for several years, but eventually decided to pursue his deeper passion and jumped head-first into the film scoring program at USC and the Sundance Film Music Lab. He apprenticed as a programmer for numerous A-list Hollywood composers, before breaking out as a singular solo composer.
“Film music has to tell a story without words,” JB says. “Its job is to add depth and dimension to the images and words presented on screen. That’s what attracted me to the medium; the opportunity to really express emotion with music alone.”