While traveling through the streets of Night City, you’ll definitely hear the atmospheric score playing in the background or on the radio stations of the future. The music from Cyberpunk 2077 is truly one of the game’s trademarks. Today, let’s take a look at the huge talent powerhouse that stands behind it!
“Scary and pretty at the same time”, “very industrial”, “psychedelic, trippy, yet uplifting” – those are but a few of the descriptions the artists of Cyberpunk 2077 have given when describing the game’s score. For some, it can be quite surprising that one of the composers behind the game’s music is Marcin Przybyłowicz.
Marcin is widely known for scores in games from CD PROJEKT RED, including The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The soundtrack in those games was heavily influenced by Slavic, medieval music that used folk instruments to create a unique atmosphere. In Cyberpunk 2077, the setting is obviously quite different, yet as Przybyłowicz himself sums it up:
– In fact, in terms of emotions, the world of The Witcher and Night City have a lot in common. In both of these places, we experience legendary and monumental things, but there are also calm, intimate moments full of emotions. Sometimes there’s grief, and sometimes joy.
Just tuning into the frequencies of Night City – especially after spending so many years with Geralt and the rest of The Witcher characters – did take a bit of time as it was a whole new approach to making music. In the end, Cyberpunk 2077 has a completely different musical DNA: analog synthesizers, distortion in all forms, a little more distortion, strong beats, and a bit more distortion just for good measure. It seems to me that months of experimenting with all kinds of analog synthesizers, effects, groove boxes, and other toys allowed us to find this frequency and compose something that will remain in the memory of players for a long time.
To bring such an amazing atmosphere to life, Marcin Przybyłowicz collaborated with two experienced composers – P. T. Adamczyk and Paul Leonard-Morgan – as well as some of the best musical artists around the world.
Run the Jewels
This American hip hop duo consists of Brooklyn-based rapper and producer El-P and rapper Killer Mike from Atlanta. Their track "No Save Point" shows that hard rap lives on in the dystopian world of the future.
This Swedish hardcore punk band has a huge role to play in Cyberpunk 2077. Their rebellious music serves as the basis of the fictional band, Samurai - the same one that is headed by the legendary Johnny Silverhand (Keanu Reeves) himself. In real life, Refused is composed of vocalist Dennis Lyxzén, guitarist Kristofer Steen, drummer David Sandström, and bassist Magnus Flagge. Just listen to their “Chippin’ In” song to feel the game’s vibe!
Rakim Athelaston Mayers is a New York-born rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, model, actor, and music video director. His works have earned him many accolades (e.g. BET Award), as well as nominations for Grammy Awards and MTV Video Music Awards.
Elizabeth Bernholz is a British electronic music composer, producer, and musician from Brighton, England. Gazelle Twin specializes in electronic, industrial pop. She describes the music of Cyberpunk 2077 as “rebellious, noisy and quite aggressive”.
Claire Elise Boucher is a Canadian musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, music video director, and visual artist. Her music incorporates elements of genres like art-pop, synth-pop, dream pop, R&B, electronic music, and hip hop (her track “4ÆM” is a great example of such versatility). Grimes also voices Lizzy Wizzy, a Night City celebrity, in Cyberpunk 2077.
He is an American rock musician, singer, and songwriter straight out of sunny San Diego. Ilan Rubin is best known for playing drums with bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Paramore, and Angels & Airwaves. In 2020, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
He comes from Atlanta and specializes in electronic, experimental music as well as sound design. Over the years, Richard Devine has released albums like Sculpt (1995), Lipswitch (2000), and RISP (2020). He’s also known for sound work for companies like Sony and Google, as well as the Doom video game.
This UK-based artist with Jamaican roots fuses styles and genres like dancehall, hip hop, and Reggae with powerful, dynamic lyrics. His single "Talk Out Loud" became a big hit in 2006, and his career hasn’t slowed down since. His input to Cyberpunk 2077 gives us music that is both industrial and rebellious.
A Russian DJ, music producer, and vocalist famous for her style that is best described as “a raw blend of house and techno with a very acidic feel”. She describes her music in Cyberpunk 2077 as “psychedelic, trippy, yet uplifting and engaging”. In 2018, she won the International Dance Music Award for Best Female Artist.
Jordan Cardy is an indie rock and hip hop artist from Essex, England. With two albums to his name – Scum (2017) and Internationally Unknown (2019) - he began gaining recognition at a young age. In the Cyberpunk 2077 OST, he decided to mix elements of electronic and punk music.
A renowned cellist and erhuist from Shanghai. She has performed alongside such renowned artists as Johnny Marr and Hans Zimmer. Tina Guo is known for her versatility, contributing music to both video games and films. In Cyberpunk 2077, she dazzles us with tracks that are “heavy and dirty” as well as those that are “beautiful and ambient”.
As you can see, the music that plays in Night City comes in many styles and flavors, just like the metropolis’ districts and their various inhabitants. Visit the Cyberpunk 2077 official YouTube channel and Spotify to listen to the OST excerpts while gearing up to play the most anticipated game of 2020!