Grant Kirkhope

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Grant Kirkhope
Grant Kirkhope.png
Background information
Born (1962-07-10) 10 July 1962 (age 58)
Edinburgh, Scotland
OriginKnaresborough, North Yorkshire, England
InstrumentsKeyboards, guitar, trumpet
Years active1995–present Edit this at Wikidata

Grant Kirkhope (born 10 July 1962) is a British video game composer who is best known for his work at Rare, working on games such as Banjo-Kazooie, Donkey Kong 64, GoldenEye 007, and Perfect Dark, among many others. Kirkhope has been nominated for various BAFTA, ASCAP, and IFMCA awards for his contributions to video game music.

Early life and education[edit]

Kirkhope was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on 10 July 1962, where his mother worked as a music hall dancer. Kirkhope's father 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] 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. Kirkhope joined Rare in October 1995,[2] he played for two bands called Syar and Maineeaxe where he played the guitar and already knew Robin Beanland, another Rare composer.


Kirkhope is a BAFTA, ASCAP and IFMCA-nominated composer who has created the soundtrack for various video games.[3] Kirkhope's score for Viva Piñata was nominated by BAFTA in the Original Score category in its 2007 awards.[4]

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning was nominated for Best Score for a Video Game or Interactive Media by the International Film Music Critics Association[5] and in the Cue Awards 2012 for Best Overall Score, Best Video Game Score and Grant was also nominated for Best Break Out Composer.[6]

Kirkhope was nominated in the 2015 ASCAP Composer’s Choice Awards for his work on “Civilization: Beyond Earth”[7] 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.[8] Civilization: Beyond Earth also won Best Score: Video Game at the Cue Awards 2015.[9] 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.[5] Civilization: Beyond Earth – Rising Tide was also nominated for Best Score: Video Game at the Cue Awards 2016.[9]



Company Title Year Notes
with Rare Killer Instinct 2/Gold 1996 Performed live guitar and trumpet
Donkey Kong Land 2 Conversion of David Wise's Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest soundtrack
Project Dream Cancelled Revamped into Banjo-Kazooie
GoldenEye 007 1997 With Graeme Norgate and Robin Beanland
Banjo-Kazooie 1998
Donkey Kong 64[10] 1999
Perfect Dark 2000 With Norgate and David Clynick[11]
Banjo-Tooie [12]
Star Fox Adventures 2002 Performed live guitar
Grabbed by the Ghoulies 2003
Viva Piñata 2006 With Steve Burke
Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise 2008
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts With Beanland and Clynick
Freelancer Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning 2012 With Mark Cromer
Fart Cat!
CityVille 2[13]
Desktop Dungeons 2013 With Danny Baranowsky
Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse Remake of the original game's soundtrack by Shigenori Kamiya, along with original compositions
Puzzle Charms 2014
Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z
Civilization: Beyond Earth With Geoff Knorr, Michael Curran and Griffin Cohen
The Enchanted Cave 2
Civilization: Beyond Earth - Rising Tide 2015 With Geoff Knorr and Griffin Cohen
Ghostbusters 2016
Dropzone 2017
Yooka-Laylee With David Wise and Steve Burke[14]
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
A Hat in Time Guest composer[15]
Tangledeep Windows, OS X, Linux
Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair 2019 With David Wise, Dan Murdoch and Matt Griffin[16]
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate "Spiral Mountain" arrangement[17]
Interstellar Space: Genesis With Ryan McQuinn[18]
Hex Heroes TBA [19]
Lobodestroyo Guest composer


Title Year Notes
We Sit. We Drink. No Guns. 2015 Short film
Mulva Lends a Hand 2017
How to Apply for a Sexual Position
Heavy Flow
Killer Charm
Roadmap Jerusalem 2018
Hammer Jackson
The Wrong Rock
Shadows 2020
The King's Daughter TBA With John Coda and Joseph Metcalfe

Voice acting[edit]

Year Title Role
1998 Banjo-Kazooie Mumbo Jumbo, Jinjo, Captain Blubber, Gruntlings, Flower Urns, The Jinjonator
1999 Donkey Kong 64 Donkey Kong[10][12]
2000 Banjo-Tooie Mumbo Jumbo, Jamjars, Jinjo, Captain Blubber, King Jingaling
2003 Grabbed by the Ghoulies Cursed Mummy, Zombie Pirates
Donkey Kong Country Donkey Kong
Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour
Mario Kart: Double Dash
2004 Mario vs. Donkey Kong
Mario Golf: Advance Tour
Donkey Kong Country 2
2006 Viva Piñata Barkbark, Cocoadile, Elephanilla, Rashberry
2017 Macbat 64 Monkey [20]

Kirkhope was also involved in casting the voice actors for the Viva Piñata cartoon.[21]


  • Banjo-Kazooie Final Battle Theme – with FamilyJules (2019)[22]


  1. ^ Chris Greening. "Game Music :: Interview with Grant Kirkhope (May 2010)". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "2007 Games Original Score | BAFTA Awards". Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Knorr, Cohen, Curran, Kirkhope receive IFMCA Award for Civilization: Beyond Earth | IFMCA: International Film Music Critics Association". Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  6. ^ "2012 Cue Award Nominees". THE CUE AWARDS. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  7. ^ "Vote for the 2015 ASCAP Composers' Choice Awards". Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  8. ^ "2014 IFMCA Awards". IFMCA: International Film Music Critics Association. 20 February 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  9. ^ a b "THE CUE AWARDS". THE CUE AWARDS. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Donkey Kong 64 Video Game Music Compositions". Grant Kirkhope. Archived from the original on 18 September 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
  11. ^ "Perfect Dark Dual CD Soundtrack".
  12. ^ a b "Grant Kirkhope. Video Game Composer, Banjo Kazooie Video Games Music Compositions". Archived from the original on 31 July 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  13. ^
  14. ^ admin (March 2020). "Yooka-Laylee and Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair Soundtracks Released". Playtonic Games. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  15. ^ Acosta, J. "A Timeless Conclusion With the Man Behind A Hat in Time's Amazing Score". Talk Amongst Yourselves. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  16. ^ "NEW GAME: Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair". Playtonic Games. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  17. ^ Grant Kirkhope on Twitter: "Surprise!!!! Banjo-Kazooie are coming to Super #SmashBrosUltimate, and yes I wrote the music in the reveal and it’s going to be in the game!!!!!" Date: 11 June 2019. Twitter.
  18. ^ "Interstellar Space: Genesis Soundtrack". Praxis Games. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  19. ^ Schulenberg, Thomas (30 March 2014). "Hex Heroes is a five-player real-time strategy game for Wii U". Joystiq. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  20. ^ Whitaker, Jed (22 March 2017). "Review: Macbat 64". Destructoid. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  21. ^ "Interview with Grant Kirkhope". Archived from the original on 19 October 2007. Retrieved 31 May 2016.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  22. ^ "Video: Banjo Kazooie Final Battle metal remix". YouTube. Retrieved 19 March 2019.

External links[edit]