Preface: Ok, I’m a composer. Learning about other composers is really interesting to me, reading about their lives and how they got started is a good way to look back on my own journey, seeing how they looked at things and how they got good, hopefully you can have fun learning about them like I have. Don’t expect me to go into music theory mode, since I’m more of a hector than an eliwood. But I hope you guys like this.
You know what game series has good music? Persona. Why? Cause Shoji Meguro is a goddamn wild card when it comes to compositions. One day he could feel full on electronic metal, one day he could be Hip-Hop Jazz fusion, or sometimes he just does stuff that kicks ass. Now when I was reading up about this guy, I was honestly quite interested in how he does his music, since most of the guitar work in his tracks are done by him, yet growing up he wanted to get into Formula 1 racing, and majored in engineering. It’s pretty neat but let’s start at the beginning. Shoji Meguro was born in June 4, 1971 in Tokyo. He was born around tech constantly, so he was naturally interested in electrical musical instruments, most notably a small electric organ that he was encouraged by his mom ‘cause she was like “yeah that’s pretty dope”. He got some lessons and took a liking to classical composers like Beethoven and Tchaikovsky. He also thought J-Pop was shit so there ya go. He started to gain more musicianship by playing his own versions of tv and film that he watched.(Which i will def say from personal experience works. Thanks Mortal Kombat.) Later on in high school, Shoji joined a Brass Band and picked up the trombone, got his own computer in which he played a bunch of games and learned some programming. He didn’t own any consoles so he was purely PC master Race.
Shoji’s Musical influences were quite varied during his high school as he started to listen to more mainstream stuff, eventually warming up to J-Pop and listening to jazz fusion, liking artists such as Herb Alpert, Casiopea, and T-Square. Using their sounds to inspire his works,. Shoji also created his own band playing the synthesizer and guitar which is neat as hell.
What I like about Shoji is that he always has this amazing ability to masterfully convey mood through his pieces. His use of instrumentation and musicianship is seen quite well, like for example Persona 5’s use of light and dark in its musical tone, I can’t really explain this better than how 8-bit Music Theory did on his explanation on how Shoji does it, but in short. He inverses the regular dark mood in music using modes, and makes it sound more heroic. ALSO THIS FUCKING DUDE, HE PLAYS HIS STUFF LIVE ON STAGE, HE EVEN PLAYED WITH JUN SENOUE AND DID A DUET OF SONIC AND PERSONA SONGS ONE OF HIS MOST RESPECTED GAME COMPOSERS IS GODDAMN TAKENOBU MITSUYOSHI WHOS ONE OF *THE BEST* IN MY OPINION, (Don’t worry kids i will have a field day talking about him)
But if you look deeper, if you ever have played SMT 3: Nocturne (Featuring Dante from the devil may cry series) He takes the idea of what a world after the end sounds like and hits it like getting a weakness hit and on a boss and you’re like *Anime girl orgasm noises* His use of sound design shines through so hard playing this game. Especially when you hear ANOTHER GOD REJECTED. Shoji’s Guitar work is kino as heck if you take away anything from me, this would be it because if you hear his work once, you can see why it’s in a good portion of Atlus games. If you would want to emulate him, I’d suggest learning heavy guitar licks, listening to some 80’s J-pop, abusing Microsoft sam noises and acquiring a taste for jazz fusion. Shoji Meguro makes some of the best music in games due to his ability to adapt and his knowledge of tech. If anything I hope you do check out the music of the games he worked on, I’ll leave some links if you’re interested. If you liked me talking about this stuff great! And if you didn’t, that’s cool too.
K i love u byeeeee