Throughout the Nintendo Life Video Game Music Festival we're speaking to a range of composers and musicians for a mixture of in-depth interviews and shorter, sharper (and perhaps a little goofier) Q&As where we ask just ten rapid-fire personal questions; we're calling these shorter features 'Quick Beats'.
Today we're talking to Harumi Fujita, a former Capcom composer whose work includes classic arcade games such as Final Fight, Bionic Commando, and Pulstar, and a host of 8-bit Nintendo titles including Mega Man 3, Strider, Gargoyle's Quest, and — an absolute personal favourite — Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers. She's also contributing to the upcoming (and long-awaited) Windjammers 2.
We asked her ten rapid-fire questions about her career, musical tastes and more...
What was the first song or album you remember buying?
I heard The Beatles' "Let It Be" over the PA system during lunch in junior high school—it blew my mind and I bought the album.
What was the last music you listened to?
"Haru o Tsugeru" by Kujira, a Vocalo-P musician. [Loosely, "Heralding the Arrival of Spring”. Vocalo-P stands for Vocaloid producer, musicians who write songs with voice synthesizer software like Vocaloid and post it to tube sites such as Niconico] I listened to it because my daughter likes it and made me. It's a really pleasant song.
What was the very first video game you wrote music for, and how do you feel listening back now?
I think it was Mad Crasher, which I wrote for SNK [an isometric arcade shooter published in 1984]. It's a little embarrassing to listen to now, but I guess it was the best I could do back then.
Which piece of yours are you most proud of?
The first thing that comes to mind is Pulstar on the Neo Geo, but I'm really proud of my recent work on Windjammers 2. It's still waiting to be published, though.
Which piece by someone else do you wish you had written?
I wish I had done one of the Mario games. Maybe Mario Party.
What do you listen to while you’re driving?
I listened to the Doobie Brothers while driving on a recent trip.
Do you have a musical hero?
That would have to be Joe Hisaishi. I love all of his Ghibli music.
Which decade had the best music?
Ocarina, harp or bongos — which magical instrument do you take on an epic adventure?
If your house were on fire and you only had time to grab one keepsake before you flee to safety with your family, what would you take?
The computer I'm using now.
Many thanks to Harumi Fujita for speaking with us. Follow her on Twitter @soundfujita.
Be sure to check out our other Quick Beats interviews with the likes of Austin Wintory, Yuzo Koshiro, Darren Korb, Jake Kaufman, Lena Raine, Manami Matsumae, David Wise and more, and be sure to read more interviews and features that have been part of the Nintendo Life VGM Fest.