Exclusive Interview with Nobuo Uematsu

Nobuo Uematsu (center)

By William Kustiono

On October 6, 2013, AsianInNY did an exclusive interview with the Legendary Music Composer of Final Fantasy, Nobuo Uematsu. Nobuo Uematsu has served almost his entire life composing music for Final Fantasy. He has spent 24 years in synthesizing and composing the music for Final Fantasy. His latest project was Final Fantasy XIV in 2010. Nobuo made an appearance at the “Distant World 2013: Boston” as the special guest. He even did a meet and greets session with his fans.

Our interview with Nobuo was held backstage of the Boston Symphony Hall. Nobuo dons his usual Japanese style clothing allowing him to be recognizable even from afar. We began the interview asking Nobuo of his background. He remembered how difficult it was to search for a job in the early years. He knew he wanted to become a composer was willing to accept all kinds of job. At the time, the gaming market was not as good as today. Today, in this moment, he is working at Squaresoft as a music composer for games. Squaresoft is a Japanese video game company founded in 1983 by Masashi Miyamoto; the company responsible for producing the Final Fantasy series.

Nobuo has many musical inspirations to help him compose songs. He explains that every time he listen to an old music, he always get an inspiration. For the Final Fantasy series, he writes down melodies and that is his main focus. Final Fantasy melodies are very popular among RPG (Role Playing Game) fans because the melodies portray the main theme of each Final Fantasy series. He further explains that after finding the musical inspiration, he instantly composes the music right away.

Nobuo shared one of his recording experiences, a session that was very hilarious. At the recording studio, while directing the orchestra, one of the musicians missed some notes and tried to cover up his mistake. However, Nobuo noticed, and the musician kept insisting that he was playing the correct notes. Nobuo decided to save his “image,” but secretly re-arranged the music after the session.

Before the end of our interview, we asked Nobuo a specific question, one about the bestselling music in the history of Final Fantasy series. The famed song “One Winged Angel” is famously played by the “Black Mages”, a Japanese instrumental rock band formed in 2002 by Nobuo Uematsu. The song is played when the hero clashes with the villain in Final Fantasy 7. Nobuo explains that this particular song is one of his favorites. When he composed the music, he gave his best effort to create a perfect background song depicting the fight between good and evil. He is grateful and happy that the song is appreciated among the gamers and the Final Fantasy fans.

The interview concluded, and Nobuo headed for the Distant World concert. He was super excited to meet with fans and hoped that he can continue composing songs for future Final Fantasy series.

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