EXCLUSIVE: ‘Cobra Kai’ Composers Discuss Guitar-Shredding For ‘The Karate Kid’

Chris Tilly

If you like “total, merciless, guitar-shredding” you need to check out the music of Cobra Kai, the belated Karate Kid sequel that launched on YouTubeRed earlier this year to rave reviews.

In the above video, composers Leo Birenberg and Zach Robinson explain why scoring the show was their dream gig, and discuss writing music for leg sweeping and training montages.

They also explain how the tone of the series differs to the original movies, and discuss how they divided up the various audio themes of the show…

The Three Distinct Musical Worlds of Cobra Kai

Zach Robinson and Leo Birenberg: “For Cobra Kai, we created three unique score worlds, each supports a different story being told on the show. We like to say Johnny’s music is the representation of how he hears himself: as the ultimate badass, scored with face-melting guitar riffs and bruising arena drums.

“Daniel is supported by more orchestral, Japanese-influenced sounds and his tonal palette is our through line that connects us to the earlier films and Bill Conti’s legendary score.

“Lastly, we have the new Cobra Kai students, who are scored with a blend of hard rock (inherited from Johnny), ’80s inspired synthwave, and modern EDM.

“Part of the fun of having established these musical identities was when we got to mix and match them based on the interactions happening between the ever-twisting story arcs of the characters.”

You can watch Cobra Kai on YouTubeRed, while Zach and Leo’s Cobra Kai score is available here.

Chris Tilly
FANDOM Managing Editor in the UK. At this point my life is a combination of 1980s horror movies, Crystal Palace football matches, and episodes of I'm Alan Partridge. The first series. When he was in the travel tavern. Not the one after.
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