Daniel Robert Elfman born May 29, is an American composer, singer, songwriter, record producer and actor. He first became well known as the singer-songwriter for the new wave band Oingo Boingo in the early s,  and has since garnered international recognition for writing over feature film scores ,  as well as compositions for television, stage productions, and the concert hall. In his early school days, Elfman exhibited an aptitude for science with almost no interest in music, and was even rejected from elementary school orchestra "for having no propensity for music. While Elfman was never officially a student at CalArts , an instructor in the Indonesian music department encouraged him to attend classes and perform music there for two years. After returning to Los Angeles from Africa in the early s, Elfman was asked by his brother Richard to serve as musical director of his street theatre performance art troupe The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo. Elfman was tasked with adapting and arranging s and s jazz and big band music by artists such as Cab Calloway , Duke Ellington , Django Reinhardt and Josephine Baker for the ensemble, which consisted of up to 15 performers swapping 30 instruments. The Mystic Knights performed on the street and in nightclubs throughout Los Angeles until Richard left in to pursue filmmaking. Elfman composed the songs and his first score for the film, and appeared as the character Satan , who performs a reworked version of Calloway's " Minnie the Moocher " with ensemble members playing backup as henchmen. Before the release of Forbidden Zone , Elfman had taken over The Mystic Knights as lead singer-songwriter in , paring the group down to eight players,  shortening the name to Oingo Boingo , and recording and touring as a ska -influenced new wave band.
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Here are a selection of facts about some of his most cherished scores. Born in Los Angeles in , Danny Elfman originally had no intentions of being a composer. This where it all began for Danny Elfman. Directed by Anthony Page, the film - based on the Joanne Greenberg novel of the same name - saw a special cameo from The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, featuring Elfman, who appear as extras in the movie. Much like that other great collaboration between composer and director, Spielberg and Williams, Danny Elfman has been Tim Burton's partner in crime for more than three decades - with only a brief falling out eight years in. Pee-Wee's Big Adventure was the director's feature debut.