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Grant Kirkhope

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Grant Kirkhope
Kirkhope in 2024
Kirkhope in 2024
Background information
Born (1962-07-10) July 10, 1962 (age 62)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Occupation(s)Composer, voice actor
Years active1995–present
Websitewww.grantkirkhope.com Edit this at Wikidata

Grant Kirkhope (born July 10, 1962) is a Scottish composer and voice actor for video games and film. Some of his notable works include GoldenEye 007, Banjo-Kazooie, Donkey Kong 64, and Perfect Dark, among many others. He has won an Ivor Novello Award for Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope and a World Soundtrack Award for The King's Daughter as well as being nominated for various BAFTA, ASCAP, and IFMCA awards.

Early life and education[edit]

Kirkhope was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, where his mother, Margaret Kirkhope, worked as a music hall dancer. Kirkhope's father, Alexander Kirkhope, was works manager of Redpath Brown steel works and was an avid music fan and exposed him to early influences such as Frank Sinatra and Glenn Miller. Kirkhope taught himself to play guitar at age 11 and is classically trained in the trumpet.[1][2] Kirkhope was brought up in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire from the age of five, and attended King James's School. Kirkhope played in various bands after leaving the Royal Northern College of Music, including Zoot and the Roots along with the saxophonist Snake Davis. Kirkhope also spent many years as part of "the Big Bad Horns" which were part of UK rock band Little Angels.[1] Kirkhope joined Rare in October 1995,[1][3] he played for two bands called Syar and Maineeaxe where he played the guitar and already knew Robin Beanland, another Rare composer.


Kirkhope in 2016

Kirkhope is an Ivor Novello Awards and World Soundtrack Awards winning, BAFTA, ASCAP and IFMCA-nominated composer who has created the soundtrack for various video games.[4] Kirkhope's score for Viva Piñata was nominated by BAFTA in the Original Score category in its 2007 awards.[5]

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning was nominated for Best Score for a Video Game or Interactive Media by the International Film Music Critics Association[6] and in the Cue Awards 2012 for Best Overall Score, Best Video Game Score and Grant was also nominated for Best Break Out Composer.[7]

Kirkhope was nominated in the 2015 ASCAP Composer’s Choice Awards for his work on “Civilization: Beyond Earth”[8] and also won the Best Original Score for a Video Game or Interactive Media 2015 from the International Film Music Critics Association for the same score.[9] Civilization: Beyond Earth also won Best Score: Video Game at the Cue Awards 2015.[10] He was nominated in the 2016 ASCAP Composer’s Choice Awards for his work on Civilization: Beyond Earth – Rising Tide and was also nominated for Best Original Score for a Video Game or Interactive Media 2016 from the International Film Music Critics Association for the same score.[6] Civilization: Beyond Earth – Rising Tide was also nominated for Best Score: Video Game at the Cue Awards 2016.[10]

He won the award for Best Score at the Silicon Beach Film Festival for the score to the feature film Shadows directed by Michael Matteo Rossi in 2020. The score to the animated short The Wrong Rock was nominated for Original Score - Short Film (animation) at the Hollywood Media in Music Awards in 2021. The score to the feature film The King's Daughter won the People's Vote Award at the World Soundtrack Awards in 2022. The score for Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope was nominated for Score - Video Game and the score for 'The King's Daughter was nominated for Score - Fantasy Film at the Hollywood Music and Media Awards in 2022.

Kirkhope won an Ivor Novello Award for his score for Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope in 2023 and was nominated for Best Video Game Score at the World Soundtrack Awards for the same score in 2023.

Kirkhope was also involved in casting the voice actors for the Viva Piñata cartoon.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Kirkhope moved to the United States in 2008 to work on Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and became a naturalized United States citizen in March 2017. As of 2012, he and his family reside in southern California.[1]



Year Title Notes
1996 Killer Instinct 2/Gold Performed live guitar and trumpet
Donkey Kong Land 2 Conversion of David Wise's Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest soundtrack
1997 GoldenEye 007 With Graeme Norgate and Robin Beanland
Blast Corps Performed live guitar
1998 Banjo-Kazooie
1999 Donkey Kong 64[12]
2000 Banjo-Tooie[13]
Perfect Dark With Graeme Norgate and David Clynick[14]
2002 Star Fox Adventures Performed live guitar
2003 Grabbed by the Ghoulies
2005 Conker: Live and Reloaded Performed live guitar
2006 Viva Piñata With Steve Burke
2008 Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts With Robin Beanland and David Clynick
2012 Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning With Mark Cromer
Fart Cat!
CityVille 2
2013 Desktop Dungeons With Danny Baranowsky
Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse Remake of the original game's soundtrack by Shigenori Kamiya, along with original compositions
2014 Puzzle Charms
Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z
The Enchanted Cave 2
Civilization: Beyond Earth With Geoff Knorr, Michael Curran and Griffin Cohen
2015 Civilization: Beyond Earth - Rising Tide With Geoff Knorr and Griffin Cohen
Crypt of the NecroDancer Special thanks
Rare Replay
2016 Ghostbusters
2017 Dropzone
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Also scored Donkey Kong Adventure DLC
Yooka-Laylee With David Wise and Steve Burke[15]
A Hat in Time Guest composer[16]
2019 Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair With David Wise, Dan Murdoch and Matt Griffin[17]
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate "Spiral Mountain" arrangement,[18] with various others.
Interstellar Space: Genesis With Ryan McQuinn[19]
Cadence of Hyrule Special thanks
2020 World of Warcraft: Shadowlands With Neal Acree, David Arkenstone, Jason Hayes, Glenn Stafford and Jake Lefkowitz
Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning With Mark Cromer
2021 Minecraft Dungeons: Hidden Depths With Peter Hont and Rostislav Trifonov
2022 Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope With Gareth Coker and Yoko Shimomura[20]
TBA Lobodestroyo Guest composer
Star Racer[21]
N/A Hex Heroes [22]


Year Title Notes
2015 We Sit. We Drink. No Guns. Short film
2017 Mulva Lends a Hand
How to Apply for a Sexual Position
Heavy Flow
Killer Charm
2018 Roadmap Jerusalem
Hammer Jackson
The Wrong Rock
2021 The Handler
Bringing Back Goldeneye
2022 Shadows
The King's Daughter With John Coda and Joseph Metcalfe
2023 The Super Mario Bros. Movie Composer of the DK Rap from Donkey Kong 64 (uncredited)
TBA The Charisma Killers
Murder Syndicate

Voice acting[edit]

Year Title Role(s)
1998 Banjo-Kazooie Mumbo Jumbo, Jinjo, The Jinjonator[23]
1999 Donkey Kong 64 Donkey Kong[23][12][13]
2000 Banjo-Tooie Mumbo Jumbo, Jamjars, King Jingaling, Jinjo[23]
2003 Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge Mumbo Jumbo, Jinjo
Grabbed by the Ghoulies Cursed Mummy, Zombie Pirates
Donkey Kong Country GBA Donkey Kong
Donkey Konga
Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour
Mario Kart: Double Dash
2004 Mario vs. Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong Country 2 GBA
2005 Donkey Kong Jungle Fever
Mario Kart Arcade GP
Donkey Kong Country 3 GBA
2006 Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis
Donkey Kong Banana Kingdom
Viva Piñata Barkbark, Cocoadile, Elephanilla, Rashberry
2007 Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 Donkey Kong
2008 Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise Barkbark, Cocoadile, Elephanilla, Rashberry
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts Jamjars
2009 Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again! Donkey Kong
2010 Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem!
2013 Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move
Mario Kart Arcade GP DX
2017 Macbat 64 Monkey[24]
Yooka-Laylee Crazy Kirkhope
2019 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Mumbo Jumbo, Jinjo
2021 Terrain of Magical Expertise Captain Gast


  1. ^ a b c d Wojnar, Zak (11 April 2017). "From GoldenEye To Yooka-Laylee: Grant Kirkhope Reflects On His Career". Game Informer. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  2. ^ Chris Greening. "Game Music :: Interview with Grant Kirkhope (May 2010)". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  3. ^ Grant Kirkhope [@grantkirkhope] (15 October 2019). "Today's the day I started at Rare in 1995" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  4. ^ "Grant Kirkhope | LinkedIn". www.linkedin.com. Archived from the original on 9 January 2016. Retrieved 20 July 2022.
  5. ^ "2007 Games Original Score | BAFTA Awards". awards.bafta.org. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Knorr, Cohen, Curran, Kirkhope receive IFMCA Award for Civilization: Beyond Earth | IFMCA: International Film Music Critics Association". filmmusiccritics.org. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  7. ^ "2012 Cue Award Nominees". THE CUE AWARDS. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  8. ^ "Vote for the 2015 ASCAP Composers' Choice Awards". www.ascap.com. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  9. ^ "2014 IFMCA Awards". IFMCA: International Film Music Critics Association. 20 February 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  10. ^ a b "THE CUE AWARDS". THE CUE AWARDS. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  11. ^ "Interview with Grant Kirkhope". rare-extreme.com. Archived from the original on 19 October 2007. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  12. ^ a b "Donkey Kong 64 Video Game Music Compositions". Grant Kirkhope. Archived from the original on 19 September 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
  13. ^ a b "Grant Kirkhope. Video Game Composer, Banjo Kazooie Video Games Music Compositions". Grantkirkhope.com. Archived from the original on 31 July 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  14. ^ "Perfect Dark Dual CD Soundtrack". Video Game Music db. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  15. ^ admin (March 2020). "Yooka-Laylee and Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair Soundtracks Released". Playtonic Games. Archived from the original on 11 August 2020. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  16. ^ Acosta, J. "A Timeless Conclusion With the Man Behind A Hat in Time's Amazing Score". Talk Amongst Yourselves. Archived from the original on 24 October 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  17. ^ "NEW GAME: Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair". Playtonic Games. Archived from the original on 7 June 2019. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  18. ^ @grantkirkhope (11 June 2019). "Surprise!!!! Banjo-Kazooie are coming to Super #SmashBrosUltimate, and yes I wrote the music in the reveal and it's…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  19. ^ "Interstellar Space: Genesis Soundtrack". Praxis Games. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  20. ^ Valentine, Rebekah (29 June 2022). "Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope's Score Combines the Powers of a Rockstar Trio of Composers". IGN. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  21. ^ Sheehan, Gavin (23 November 2023). "New Retro Combat Racing Title Star Racer Announced". Bleeding Cool. Archived from the original on 19 February 2024.
  22. ^ Schulenberg, Thomas (30 March 2014). "Hex Heroes is a five-player real-time strategy game for Wii U". Joystiq. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  23. ^ a b c "Grant Kirkhope (visual voices guide)". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved 15 March 2021. A green check mark indicates that a role has been confirmed using a screenshot (or collage of screenshots) of a title's list of voice actors and their respective characters found in its opening and/or closing credits and/or other reliable sources of information.
  24. ^ Whitaker, Jed (22 March 2017). "Review: Macbat 64". Destructoid. Retrieved 13 April 2017.

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