Jongnic “JB” Bontemps is a uniquely modern film composer tapped by Paramount Pictures to score the blockbuster, sci-fi action movie Transformers: Rise of the Beasts starring Anthony Ramos, Dominique Fishback, and Michelle Yeoh for director and long time collaborator Steven Caple Jr.
JB is known for his fusion of contemporary sound with timeless emotion. He became the go-to composer for director Steven Caple Jr. while scoring his coming-of-age drama The Land, for which he also orchestrated the song “This Bitter Land” performed by Nas and Erykah Badu. The two then went on to collaborate on the acclaimed film Creed II, for which JB provided rousing additional music. JB’s music can most recently be heard in the Netflix romantic comedy Wedding Season, the CW sci-fi series 4400, and the dramatic feature Last Night in Rozzie directed by Sean Gannet. His soon-to-be-released projects include two for Disney+: the feature film World’s Best for director Roshan Sethi and the 6 part series Choir for director Rudy Valdez, as well as the Arkane Studios horror video game Redfall and Jagged Mind for director Kelley Kali.
JB has lent his talents to a number of critically acclaimed documentary projects. He initially became known for his hip-hop infused score for the Tribeca-favorite documentary United Skates, and has since gone on to collaborate with multiple award-winning documentarians on their projects, including Julie Cohen and Betsey West’s feature film My Name Is Pauli Murray; his work for which was nominated for a Critics’ Choice Award. His other documentary projects include the CNN special The People vs. The Klan, director Sam Pollard’s films Citizen Ashe and Reopening Night, the Netflix documentary projects Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story and We Are: The Brooklyn Saints, and Shonda Rhimes’ Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker.
JB has scored dozens of features, series and video games in all genres, including the Lifetime biopic Clarke Sisters: The First Ladies of Gospel, the Toni Braxton-led drama, Faith Under Fire, the Sundance selection Leimert Park produced by Charles King (Mudbound), the BET+ original series Boomerang, and additional music for the Epix series Godfather of Harlem starring Forest Whitaker and the award winning game Call of Duty WWII. JB’s scores have echoed at Cannes, the Warsaw Film Festival, Pan African Film Festival, and the American Black Film Festival, as well as at home on Netflix, CNN, HBO, BET, Lifetime, NBC, Showtime, Netflix, PBS and Disney XD.
Brooklyn born, JB learned the piano and soaked up his gospel and jazz surroundings. He studied music at Yale and later found himself at the heart of the tech industry as a software developer and entrepreneur after selling 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 on his own.
“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.”