Jonny Greenwood Wiki: 5 Facts To Know About The ‘Phantom Thread’ Musician

Musician Jonny Greenwood’s Oscar 2018 nomination has him in the headlines lately. Read these 5 facts to learn about his life, net worth and more!

#1 Jonny Greenwood is an Amazing Musician

Greenwood has been a multi-instrumental musician with legendary British band Radiohead, formerly known as On a Friday, since their start in 1985. After signing their first record deal in 1991, the now professional guitarist dropped out of the psychology program at Oxford Brookes University. Greenwood plays anything he can get his hands on, including piano, synthesizers, viola, glockenspiel, harmonica, recorder, organ, and banjo, but specializes in guitar. In fact, Greenwood is known as one of the best to shred a six-string today, being named one of the greatest living guitarists by NME in 2010 and has received high praise from several other publications. Greenwood cites his influences of jazz, classic rock, reggae, hip-hop, and electronic music as what has helped him to create his distinct style as a musician. The multi-talented artist also has a background in computer programming and uses it to build software that contributes to the band’s sound. This unique technique was most prevalent in their 2011 electronic-heavy release, “The King of Limbs.” Radiohead has recorded nine full-length albums over the course of their career and they continue to be one of the biggest touring groups in the world, headlining festivals and selling out arenas.

#2 Greenwood Has Close Ties to the Country of Israel

In 2015, Greenwood joined forces with Israeli composer Shye Ben Tzur and the Indian group the Rajasthan Express to create an album titled “Junun.” Produced by Greenwood, the album includes lyrics in Hebrew, Hindi, and Urdu and Pitchfork described it as a culmination of “Bollywood-style brass exuberance, the devotional Qawwali music of Sufi Islam, and bowed-string instruments associated with the Manganiar community.” Junun is a word that can be found in all three languages and translates roughly to passion, obsession, insanity and madness in English. Greenwood’s wife, visual artist Sharona Katan, is Israeli and the two currently reside there with their three children Tamir, Omri, and Zohan, leading him to the country’s music and culture and inspiring him to make his contribution. In 2017, Radiohead faced intense scrutiny in the form of a strongly-worded, highly publicized letter and statements made by other big-name recording artists over their decision to play a concert in Tel Aviv, Israel, who boycotted playing in the country as a timely show of solidarity with Palestinian peace efforts. Those in opposition see concerts as a tool for the government to portray business as usual to the rest of the world in times of heated conflict in the region. This lead to backlash against the band, which singer Thom Yorke reacted to by stating “All these people stand there at a distance throwing stuff at us, waving flags, saying, “You don’t know anything about it!” Imagine how offensive that is for Jonny.”

#3 Greenwood Has Composed Eight Films and Received an Oscar Nomination

Rave Reviews for Phantom Thread

Jonny Greenwood has composed eight film soundtracks since 2003, including the titles “Bodysong,” “There Will Be Blood,” “Norwegian Wood,” “We Need To Talk About Kevin,” “The Master,” “Inherent Vice,” “Phantom Thread” and “You Were Never Really Here.” He also received one Oscar nomination in 2018 for Best Original Score for his masterful work in “Phantom Thread.” Greenwood was nominated along with Alexander Desplat for “The Shape of Water,” Hans Zimmer for “Dunkirk,” John Williams for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and Carter Burwell for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” For Greenwood, composing a film and working on “Phantom Thread” was much different than playing guitar on an album with his band Radiohead, “I was pretty happy just writing lots of music and knowing I had some amazing musicians lined up to record it. Some scenes needed specific cues written to picture; others were sketches of the characters or the situation.”

“I was pretty happy just writing lots of music and knowing I had some amazing musicians lined up to record it. Some scenes needed specific cues written to picture; others were sketches of the characters or of the situation.”-Jonny Greenwood

On his work in Phantom Thread.

#4 Jonny Greenwood and Director Paul Thomas Anderson Share a Close Bond

Anderson and Greenwood

Greenwood describes their relationship as a “slightly nauseating bromance,” and the two worked together on “There will be Blood,” “The Master” and “Inherent Vice” before their collaboration struck gold with “Phantom Thread.” While working together on the film, Anderson said, “The best part of my day is waking up in the morning to new Jonny Greenwood emails with music. It’s like Christmas morning every time.” Anderson has also worked with Radiohead to direct a haunting music video for the song “Daydreaming” along with two intimate, live recordings of Greenwood playing with singer Thom Yorke for “Present Tense” and “The Numbers,” all from the band’s latest album, “A Moon Shaped Pool,” which was released to critical acclaim in 2016.

#5 Greenwood’s Net Worth

Greenwood’s net worth was most recently quoted at $30 million, which is what you may expect from the lead guitarist of one of the world’s biggest rock bands and quite a sizable chunk of change, even when compared to some of his peers in the industry. For comparison, the Radiohead guitarist’s net worth is equal to that of Rage Against the Machine guitarist, Tom Morello, and more than Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr, whose net worth is just over a mere $10 million.