When it comes to game music, Yoko Shimomura is one of the biggest and brightest stars. Shimomura has created countless amazing tracks for games like Street Fighter II, Super Mario RPG, LIVE A LIVE, Kingdom Hearts, Mario & Luigi, and so many others.

In a new interview with Square Enix (and Undertale’s Toby Fox!), Shimomura opens up about how she got started down her path to creating game music. It turns out hearing the Super Mario Bros. theme was a very pivotal moment in Shimomura’s life, as it helped steer her towards game music composition!

Before I joined the industry, I never thought I would end up composing music… Actually, I didn’t even know composing game music was a job.

When I first played “Super Mario Bros.”, hearing the music made me realize: “Someone out there wrote this… So there’s gotta be a job for it, right?”. That’s when I first started paying attention to game music. However, as a piano major in university, my only studies were about playing classical music, nothing about composing songs like that, so I felt “There’s no way I could write something like this…”

I had a friend majoring in music composition who didn’t play video games at all, so I made them listen to Super Mario’s music and asked what they thought. They said it was great and very catchy. Next I asked if they thought I could succeed at a job making game music… Their response was, “No way, this song is so well-thought out! It’d be tough… Absolutely no way.” (laughs).

[Yoko Shimomura]

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