Grant Kirkhope

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Grant Kirkhope
Grant Kirkhope.png
Background information
Birth name Grant Kirkhope
Born (1962-07-10) 10 July 1962 (age 54)
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Genres Video game music
Occupation(s) Composer
Instruments Keyboards, guitar, trumpet
Years active 1995–present

Grant Kirkhope (born 10 July 1962) is a British BAFTA, ASCAP, and IFMCA nominated composer.


When Kirkhope joined Rare, due to being the "new boy", he was assigned to convert the music of Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest for Donkey Kong Land 2, he finished the conversion in December of the same year. He was later asked by Graeme Norgate to finish composing the music for GoldenEye 007 so that Norgate could focus on Blast Corps. Norgate taught Kirkhope how to get music and sound effects into the Nintendo 64. His work on the game eventually reached Tim Stamper and Gregg Mayles, who reassigned him to compose for Project Dream with David Wise, who left the project shortly after to work on Diddy Kong Racing.[1] On 14 July 2008, Kirkhope stated in his MySpace blog that he was resigning from Rare to become a freelancer composer.

Big Huge Games was acquired by 38 Studios in May 2009, the company founded by Curt Schilling. Kirkhope went on to compose both the music and sound effects for Big Huge Games's million selling role-playing game Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, which was released in February 2012.[2] On 24 May 2012, 38 Studios announced that it would be laying-off its entire staff, including Kirkhope and the employees of Big Huge Games, due to the effects of the financial downturn.[3] In June 2012, Grant Kirkhope played at several festivals with fellow members of the reunited band Little Angels.

In August 2012, he moved to Los Angeles, California to further pursue his music career. In June 2013, Kirkhope was signed to the prestigious Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency in Los Angeles.[citation needed] In 2013, Kirkhope appeared as a guest on the webseries, Game Grumps, where he talked about his work at Rare.[4] In January 2016, the album Big Bad Bosses was released with Kirkhope guest starring on one of the tracks with a rap about himself. In April 2016, Kirkhope appeared on Super Beard Bros for the two-part finale of "Super Banjo Bros" where he talked about his work on Banjo-Kazooie and some fun trivia about the game and his part in its development.

Several of Kirkhope's compositions are included in the Classic FM Hall of Fame.[5] At EGX Rezzed 2015, it was confirmed by the development team at Playtonic Games that Kirkhope will be involved with co-producing the soundtrack for their new 3D platforming video game, Yooka-Laylee.[citation needed]


Title Year System Notes
Killer Instinct 2/Gold 1996 Arcade, Nintendo 64 Live guitar and trumpet
Donkey Kong Land 2 Game Boy Conversion of David Wise's Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest soundtrack
GoldenEye 007 1997 Nintendo 64 With Graeme Norgate and Robin Beanland
Project Dream Cancelled SNES, Nintendo 64 Revamped into Banjo-Kazooie
Banjo-Kazooie 1998 Nintendo 64
Donkey Kong 64[6] 1999 Voiced Donkey Kong. After Rare was sold to Microsoft, Nintendo recycled DK's voice clips provided by Kirkhope in games such as Mario vs. Donkey Kong
Banjo-Tooie 2000
Perfect Dark With David Clynick and Graeme Norgate[7]
Star Fox Adventures 2002 GameCube Live guitar
Grabbed by the Ghoulies 2003 Xbox
Viva Piñata 2006 Xbox 360, Windows With Steve Burke
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts 2008 Xbox 360 With Robin Beanland and David Clynick
Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning 2012 Xbox 360, Windows, PlayStation 3 With Mark Cromer
Fart Cat! iOS
CityVille 2 Zynga, Facebook
Desktop Dungeons 2013 Windows, OS X With Danny Baranowsky
Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse Windows, Xbox 360/Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation 3/PlayStation Network Remastering of the original game's soundtrack by Shigenori Kamiya,
along with original compositions.
Puzzle Charms 2014 Zynga, Facebook
Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Civilization: Beyond Earth Windows With Geoff Knorr, Michael Curran and Griffin Cohen
The Enchanted Cave 2 Mobile
Civilization: Beyond Earth - Rising Tide 2015 Windows With Geoff Knorr and Griffin Cohen
Hex Heroes[8] 2016 Wii U, Linux, OS X, Windows
Ghostbusters Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
Yooka-Laylee 2017 Windows, OS X, Linux, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Wii U With David Wise and Steve Burke
A Hat in Time Windows, OS X With Pascal Michael Stiefel
Lobodestroyo TBA Multiple Platforms With Cooper Goodwin

Kirkhope also voiced several characters in the games he has worked on, such as Mumbo Jumbo, Bottles, Jamjars and the Jinjos in the Banjo-Kazooie series, and Donkey Kong in Donkey Kong 64.[9][10][11] Kirkhope was also involved in choosing which voices by the team at 4Kids would be used in the Viva Pinata cartoon.[12]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • In 2004, Kirkhope was nominated for "Best Interactive Score" at the 2nd Annual Game Audio Network Guild Awards Ceremony for Grabbed by the Ghoulies, as well as "Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition" at the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences awards Ceremony for the same game.
  • In 2007, Kirkhope was nominated for "Best Original Score" at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards for Viva Piñata.
  • In 2012, Kirkhope was nominated for "Best Original Score" at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, "Outstanding Achievement – Western Composer" at Square Enix Music's Annual Game Music Awards for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and CityVille 2.[13]
  • In 2013, Kirkhope was nominated for "Best Original Score for a Video Game or Interactive Media" by Movie Music UK and International Film Music Critics Association for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Kirkhope was also nominated for "Best Original Score" at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards for Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse.
  • In 2014, Kirkhope was nominated for "Outstanding Achievement – Western Composer" at the Annual Game Music Online Awards for Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Desktop Dungeons.
  • In 2015, Kirkhope won the award for "Best Video Game Score" from Movie Music UK for Civilization: Beyond Earth.
  • In 2015, Kirkhope was nominated for "Video Game Score of the Year" by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers for Civilization: Beyond Earth
  • In 2015, Kirkhope won the award for "Best Original Score for a Video Game or Interactive Media" from the International Film Music Critics Association for Civilization: Beyond Earth.
  • In 2015, Kirkhope won the award for "Best Score - Video Game" with The Cue Awards from Tracksounds for Civilization: Beyond Earth.


  1. ^ "Grant Kirkhope.Dream Music Compositions". Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning launching February 7, 2012". Joystiq. 16 August 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  3. ^ "38 Studios Lays Off Entire Staff – IGN". 24 May 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  4. ^ Ponce, Tony (2013-03-31). "Ex-Rare composer reaffirms dream to make Banjo 3". Destructoid. Retrieved 2016-02-03. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Donkey Kong 64 Video Game Music Compositions". Grant Kirkhope. Archived from the original on 18 September 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2010. 
  7. ^ "Perfect Dark Dual CD Soundtrack". 
  8. ^ Schulenberg, Thomas (30 March 2014). "Hex Heroes is a five-player real-time strategy game for Wii U". Joystiq. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "Grant Kirkhope. Video Game Composer, Banjo Kazooie Video Games Music Compositions". Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "Grant Kirkhope. Video Game Composer. Donkey Kong 64 video game music compositions". Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "Grant Kirkhope Interview Part 2 – DK Rap featured". Nintendo 14 September 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  12. ^ "Interview with Grant Kirkhope". Archived from the original on 19 October 2007. Retrieved 31 May 2016. 
  13. ^ "Game Music :: Video Game Music News". Retrieved 13 May 2013. 

External links[edit]