Composer Guillaume Roussel discusses creating eclectic score for Syfy’s Happy!

Guillaume Roussel Headshot Happy

Season 2 of Syfy’s Happy! is back this week and promises to be just as outrageous as Season 1. Nick Sax and Happy are back together and instead of a Christmas theme, the story is centered around “Making Easter Great Again,” which includes crazy Easter bunnies and plenty of blood. Happy! does everything not to follow conventional TV formulas, which is what makes it so great. This includes the show’s eclectic score by composer Guillaume Roussel, which at times consists of jazz, rock and ’80s synth vibes. Leading this wild ride is the showrunner, Brian Taylor, whom Roussel says, “Just wants everyone involved to have fun and not second guess themselves creatively.” We spoke more in-depth with Roussel below about Season 2 of the show below.

What was the most challenging part of scoring Happy! Season Two?

I think the most challenging part of scoring Season 2 was following all the different directions the show was taking us. There are many different musical styles this season, so trying to have one cohesive vibe was challenging. The DNA of the show is to be wild and go in many different directions and not just have one color.

Season 1 of Happy! revolved around a Christmas theme, and this season revolves around an Easter theme. Do these holidays impact how you score the show?

Some holidays have a lot more iconic sound to them than others, so it just depends. Obviously, the music around Christmas is very rich. We used a lot of instruments that are proper for Christmas. Easter was trickier because there aren’t many distinct Easter sounds or chants. Yes, the holiday has an impact though.

In the sneak peek for Season Two, Christopher Meloni says that this season is a lot grander than Season One. Does that include the score?

In a way, this season is going further in new territories than ever before. I don’t want to give too much away though. I think we can say the music is going in more extreme directions for sure.

Happy! has developed somewhat of a cult following. Were you surprised at all from the response of Season One?

It’s hard to really know how any audience will react. What’s refreshing about the show is that it doesn’t try to pull any strings or have an agenda. There is freedom in the storytelling that leads to something unique. I think that’s why people really enjoyed it. The way the showrunner, Brian Taylor, works with people around him (me included) is that he likes people to have fun without second-guessing themselves. That, I think helps the show to go beyond expectations.

Did the showrunner, Brian Taylor, give you freedom when creating the score?

He has a strong vision with a very precise indication when we spot the episodes. He isn’t afraid to let me go extreme in the direction we decide to go.

You are also scoring The Spy for Netflix. Can you talk a little about your score for this?

This project is obviously very different. It was great to compose for The Spy. The show has a very interesting color because it takes place in Israel and Syria. It’s a thriller mixed with a lot of emotional scenes. It was very interesting to work on this because the showrunner, Gideon Raff, has a very strong relationship with music. I could really be focused on the emotion of the characters and that’s something I always really enjoy doing. I hope this project will get a good response. It’s very powerful.

Happy! is based on New York Times best-selling author Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson’s graphic novel of the same name. The series follows Nick Sax (Christopher Meloni, Law & Order: SVU) – an intoxicated, corrupt ex-cop turned hitman – who is adrift in a world of casual murder, soulless sex and betrayal. After a hit gone wrong, his inebriated life is forever changed by a tiny, relentlessly positive, imaginary blue winged horse named Happy (Patton Oswalt).

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