Grant Kirkhope

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Grant Kirkhope
Grant Kirkhope.png
Background information
Born (1962-07-10) 10 July 1962 (age 56)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Origin Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, England
Occupation(s) Composer
Instruments Keyboards, guitar, trumpet
Years active 1995–present

Grant Kirkhope (born 10 July 1962) is a Scottish video game composer. Kirkhope has been nominated for various BAFTA, ASCAP, and IFMCA awards for his contributions to video game music.

Early life and education

Kirkhope was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, 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 5, 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. At the age of 33, he was employed by Rare. Before joining Rare, in October 1995, he played for two bands called Syar and Maineeaxe where he played the guitar and already knew Robin Beanland, another Rare composer. Kirkhope's music featuring an electric guitar is played on an Ernie Ball/Musicman EVH given to him by Eddie Van Halen. Kirkhope's skills on guitar can be heard on Killer Instinct Gold, Perfect Dark, Star Fox Adventures and Grabbed by the Ghoulies.


Kirkhope is a BAFTA, ASCAP and IFMCA nominated British composer who has created the soundtrack for video games that have sold in excess of 30 million copies.[citation needed] Kirkhope’s score for Viva Piñata was nominated by BAFTA in the Original Score category in its 2007 awards.[2]

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning was nominated for Best Score for a Video Game or Interactive Media by the International Film Music Critics Association[3] and in the Cue Awards 2012 for Best Overall Score, Best Video Game Score and Grant was also nominated for Best Break Out Composer.[4]

He was nominated in the 2015 ASCAP Composer’s Choice Awards for his work on “Civilization: Beyond Earth”[5] 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.[6] Civilization: Beyond Earth also won Best Score: Video Game at the Cue Awards 2015.[7] 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.[3] Civilization: Beyond Earth – Rising Tide was also nominated for Best Score: Video Game at the Cue Awards 2016.[7]



Company Title Year Platform(s) Notes
with Rare Killer Instinct 2/Gold 1996 Arcade, Nintendo 64 Performed live guitar and trumpet
Donkey Kong Land 2 Game Boy Conversion of David Wise's Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest soundtrack
Project Dream Cancelled Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo 64 Revamped into Banjo-Kazooie
GoldenEye 007 1997 Nintendo 64 With Graeme Norgate and Robin Beanland
Banjo-Kazooie 1998
Donkey Kong 64[8] 1999
Perfect Dark 2000 With Norgate and David Clynick[9]
Banjo-Tooie [10]
Star Fox Adventures 2002 Nintendo GameCube Performed live guitar
Grabbed by the Ghoulies 2003 Xbox
Viva Piñata 2006 Xbox 360, Windows With Steve Burke.
Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise 2008 Xbox 360
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts With Beanland and Clynick
Freelancer Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning 2012 Xbox 360, Windows, PlayStation 3 With Mark Cromer
Fart Cat! iOS
CityVille 2 Browser
Desktop Dungeons 2013 Windows, OS X With Danny Baranowsky
Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse Xbox 360, Windows, PlayStation 3 Remake of the original game's soundtrack by Shigenori Kamiya, along with original compositions
Puzzle Charms 2014 Browser
Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Civilization: Beyond Earth Windows With Geoff Knorr, Michael Curran and Griffin Cohen
The Enchanted Cave 2 iOS, Android, Windows
Civilization: Beyond Earth - Rising Tide 2015 Windows With Geoff Knorr and Griffin Cohen
Ghostbusters 2016 Xbox One, Windows, PlayStation 4
Dropzone 2017 Windows
Macbat 64 Windows Did voice acting[11]
Yooka-Laylee Xbox One, Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch With David Wise and Steve Burke
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Nintendo Switch
A Hat in Time Xbox One, Windows, OS X, PlayStation 4 Guest composer[12]
Tangledeep Windows, OS X, Linux Guest composer
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle: Donkey Kong Adventure 2018 Nintendo Switch
Hex Heroes[13] Wii U, Windows, OS X, Linux
Lobodestroyo TBA With Cooper Goodwin

Voice acting

Year Title Platform(s) Role
1998 Banjo-Kazooie Nintendo 64 Mumbo Jumbo, Bottles, and the Jinjos
1999 Donkey Kong 64 Donkey Kong[8][10]
2000 Banjo-Tooie Mumbo-Jumbo, Bottles, Jamjars, and the Jinjos
2003 Grabbed by the Ghoulies Xbox Cursed Mummy and Zombie Pirate enemies
2006 Viva Piñata Xbox 360 Barkbark, Cocoadile, Elephanilla, and the Rashberry piñatas

Kirkhope was also involved in choosing which voices by the team at 4Kids would be used in the Viva Piñata cartoon.[14]


  1. ^ Chris Greening. "Game Music :: Interview with Grant Kirkhope (May 2010)". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  2. ^ "2007 Games Original Score | BAFTA Awards". Retrieved 2017-09-06.
  3. ^ a b "Knorr, Cohen, Curran, Kirkhope receive IFMCA Award for Civilization: Beyond Earth | IFMCA: International Film Music Critics Association". Retrieved 2017-09-06.
  4. ^ "2012 Cue Award Nominees". THE CUE AWARDS. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  5. ^ "Vote for the 2015 ASCAP Composers' Choice Awards". Retrieved 2018-05-26.
  6. ^ "2014 IFMCA Awards". IFMCA: International Film Music Critics Association. 2015-02-20. Retrieved 2018-05-26.
  7. ^ a b "THE CUE AWARDS". THE CUE AWARDS. Retrieved 2017-09-06.
  8. ^ a b "Donkey Kong 64 Video Game Music Compositions". Grant Kirkhope. Archived from the original on 18 September 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
  9. ^ "Perfect Dark Dual CD Soundtrack".
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ Whitaker, Jed (2017-03-22). "Review: Macbat 64". Destructoid. Retrieved 2017-04-13.
  12. ^ Acosta, J. "A Timeless Conclusion With the Man Behind A Hat in Time's Amazing Score". Talk Amongst Yourselves. Retrieved 2017-10-10.
  13. ^ Schulenberg, Thomas (30 March 2014). "Hex Heroes is a five-player real-time strategy game for Wii U". Joystiq. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  14. ^ "Interview with Grant Kirkhope". Archived from the original on 19 October 2007. Retrieved 31 May 2016.

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