Grammy winning composer Mateo Messina’s distinct, moving, and often quirky musical voice has graced Oscar-winning films, indie hits, and popular television alike. His folksy, guitar-led score for Jason Reitman’s Juno (starring Ellen Page and Michael Cera) contributed to the film’s runaway success and its soundtrack album’s Grammy win. He lifted the spirits of Phil Alden Robinson’s dramedy The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, starring Robin Williams (in his final role) and Mila Kunis. His cheeky, funk-flavored music was spread onto the dark comedy Butter, starring Jennifer Garner. For Reitman and Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody’s critical darling, Young Adult (starring Charlize Theron), Messina created and produced muzak versions of iconic ’90s radio hits. Messina’s most recent work includes the action comedy Barely Lethal starring Hailee Steinfeld and Samuel L. Jackson.
Messina’s lengthy CV also includes music for Reitman’s films Thank You For Smoking and Up in the Air (starring George Clooney, nominated for six Oscars), the R-rated comedy Life Happens, and the sports drama From the Rough (starring Michael Clarke Duncan). For the “small” screen he’s accompanied the NBC comedy series Growing Up Fisher (starring J.K. Simmons), the high-seas adventure Crossbones (starring John Malkovich), USA lawyer comedy Fairly Legal, the Discovery Channel mini-series Harley and the Davidsons, and the NBC series Perfect Couples. Messina is currently working on season 2 of Jason Reitman’s comedy series for Hulu, Casual, as well as season 2 of the NBC comedy, Superstore. He will also be coming back for a second season of the Nick Nolte political comedy, Graves.
Growing up in Seattle, Messina was drawn to music and started playing piano at the age of three. He began composing early, premiering his first symphony at 23. He’s since written a total of 17 symphonies—with the proceeds of each premiere benefitting families at Seattle Children’s Hospital (totaling more than $1 million to date). Messina loves writing music for film and television because it’s “like going to a different summer camp six to eight times every year. Each has its own style, its own discipline, shape, tone, characters, etc. You collaborate and move a mountain with a group of inspired people. It’s a challenge, and it is a blast.”