My favorite musician in Japanese video game music composer Nobuo Uematsu. I first heard his music in 1997 while playing Final Fantasy VII. It was my first role playing game (RPG). I was instantly drawn to the style of gameplay; the immersive world, characters, and story; and to the music. I remember distinctly getting up from a play session to get a snack and hearing the music apart from the game and realizing how much I liked just the music. I began importing CDs of his and now boast quite a sizable collection. My son’s middle name is Nobuo. In 2005, shortly after my son’s birth, my wife and I attended a concert of Mr. Uematsu’s in Chicago and presented him with a picture of our son. In the summer of 2009, I took my daughter and son to see a concert of Mr. Uematsu’s in Seattle. After the show, Nobuo had a chance to meet little Nobuo. Mr. Uematsu informed us that he still has the picture hanging in his studio in Japan.
Mr. Uematsu still composes music for games. He is currently working on Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XIV. His most recent release, however, was a ten song collection of original children’s songs he wrote. It is available on US iTunes in both Japanese and English. My kids love it. I think it is some of his finest work. I read an interview he gave during the recording sessions and he talked about how he was rediscovering the joy of making music. After hearing the music myself, I agree that he did find that joy, and it’s wonderful to hear.
While I truly enjoy all ten songs, my favorite is the opening track, “Here Comes Conga Boy” I have heard that the inspiration for the song is a young boy who lives near Mr. Uematsu and (that’s right) plays conga drums. An animated video for Conga Boy was created, it’s fun.