Tom Holkenborg, aka Junkie XL, is a Grammy nominated multi platinum producer, musician, composer and educator whose versatility puts him on the cutting edge of contemporary music, and whose thirst for innovation is helping to reimagine the world of composition.
Known as a ‘Full-Contact Composer’, Holkenborg is hands-on at every stage of the composing process, a multi-instrumentalist who combines a mastery of studio engineering, classical musical training and an innate sense of curiosity. He’s as adept working with a 50 piece philharmonic orchestra as he is with a wall of modular synths, playing a bass guitar or building his own physical and digital instruments. His drive to reimagine what’s possible and share that knowledge with the next generation of composers is what makes Holkenborg a unique force, and one of the most in-demand film composers in the world.
Tom’s film scoring credits have grossed over $2 billion at the box office and include Mad Max: Fury Road, Deadpool, Black Mass, Alita Battle Angel, Divergent, Brimstone, The Dark Tower, Tomb Raider, Terminator: Dark Fate, the record setting Sonic the Hedgehog 1+ 2, recent monster hits Justice League: The Snyder Cut, 3000 Years of Longing and Godzilla vs Kong. Forthcoming projects include Zack Snyder's Rebel Moon and George Miller's Furiosa. He has worked with directors including Peter Jackson, Robert Rodriguez, James Cameron, George Miller, Christopher Nolan, Zack Snyder and Tim Miller among many others.
An educator as well as a creator, Tom is committed to breaking down the barriers of entry in the world of film composition, creating the groundbreaking educational series Studio Time, which has been watched by millions, the free SCORE Academy program and a music composition program at the ArtEZ conservatorium in his home country of the Netherlands. On YouTube, Tom has created an educational series Studio Time, which is available for free and has been watched millions of times.
Tom is able to draw on his extensive knowledge of classical forms and structures while keeping one finger planted firmly on the pulse of popular music. When his eclectic background is paired with his skill as a multi-instrumentalist (he plays keyboards, guitar, drums, violin, and bass) and a mastery of studio technology, a portrait emerges of an artist for whom anything is possible. Outside of his own artistry Tom’s desire to marry technology and classical composition to initiate change and evolution led him to partner with Orchestral Tools to create Tom Holkenborg’s Brass and Tom Holkenborg’s Percussion, his first sample libraries, making world-class sounds available to composers everywhere.
The foundation for Tom’s work in film started in his native Holland, where he created multiple film scores, before undertaking mentorships with celebrated composers Harry Gregson-Williams and Hans Zimmer, with whom he worked on projects like Inception, Batman vs Superman and Dark Knight Rises. Tom’s partnership with Hans was formative, enabling him to hone his own voice and style while learning from one of Hollywood's most influential composers. Tom’s own Hollywood journey really started to take flight in 2014 with his first major solo project, and the first of his many collaborations with Zack Snyder, 300: Rise Of An Empire. It was the beginning of a scoring schedule that has netted billions of box office dollars, included blockbusters and indie projects, seen Tom work with some of Hollywood’s most lauded directors, and kept him jam packed ever since.
Holkenborg’s music career began in 1993 when he started the industrial rock band Nerve while also producing hardcore and metal bands like Sepultura and Fear Factory. Drawn by electronic breakbeats, he started Junkie XL in 1997 debuting with the album Saturday Teenage Kick.
Holkenborg went on to produce six albums under the Junkie XL moniker while playing headline shows all over the world. In 2002, he scored a #1 hit in 24 countries with his rework of Elvis Presley's “A Little Less Conversation”.
Following the success of his Junkie XL project, Holkenborg collaborated with celebrated artists like Dave Gahan, Robert Smith, Chuck D, and remixed artists such as Coldplay, Depeche Mode, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and many more. In addition Holkenborg created the music for video games like FIFA, Need For Speed, The Sims, and SSX and commercials for global campaigns like Nike, Heineken, Adidas, Cadillac and VISA.
It was only after hearing his track "Dealing with the Roster" featured in the 1998 film "Blade" that Holkenborg got the bug to score films.
The rests, as they say, is history.