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Taro Bando

Kenta Nagata Instruments: Piano
Joined Nintendo: 1996
Company Role: Composer
Game Works: Mario Kart 64, 1080° Snowboarding, Wind Waker


Note: This biography was written exclusively for Square Enix Music Online by Chris and is under copyright.

Kenta Nagata has been a composer at Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development since 1996. He has brought elements of instrumental popular music to the company with several landmark contributions and is also known for producing memorable melodies. He debuted the company by scoring Mario Kart 64. While the game had some incidental music, the exciting themes for the race tracks — ranging from the humorous "Moo Moo Farm" to the euphoric "Rainbow Road" — is what the score was remembered for. It received a Japanese, domestic, and 'best of' soundtrack release as well as a club remix album. Nagata subsequently scored the stylish sports game 1080° Snowboarding; with a dynamic mix of rock, techno, and hip-hop, it was popular with mainstream audiences and suited the image of the game.

Nagata subsequently joined Toru Minegishi and Hajime Wakai to score Pokémon Stadium, the series' first instalment on a non-handheld. He subsequently assisted Kazumi Totaka to produce some tracks for Mario Artist: Talent Studio for the Nintendo 64DD. He went on to produce the field background music for Animal Crossing; the music was carefully adapted to be dynamic with the game's setting, for instance changing according to time of day. Nagata subsequently joined Wakai, Minegishi, and Koji Kondo to score the GameCube's The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. As the lead composer of the game, Nagata's role was integral to defining the rustic and nautical sound, resulting in compositions such as Dragon Roost Island, The Great Sea, and Windfall Island, as well as the memorable themes for Aryll, Medli, and and Makar. He made a guest appearance at the concert Mario & Zelda Big Band Live, where his music from the game was performed.

Nagata subsequently returned to the Mario Kart franchise for Double Dash!! He took a backseat while newbie Shinobu Tanaka produced most themes, though his fingerprints were still present despite the different character overall. He subsequently produced additional music for the compilation The Legend of Zelda Collector's Edition and, on behalf of the enhanced DS port Super Mario 64 DS, produced some new music for the new events and mini-games while Kondo's score was otherwise reprised. In 2005, he produced the catchy and light-hearted background music for DS' Big Brain Academy, regarded as well done despite not being intended for stand-alone listening. Continuing a line of games for the portable console, he recently scored The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, mixing new compositions with plenty of arrangements from The Wind Waker to represent the series' return to the seas.

List of Game Projects

Year Game / Role Console
1996 Mario Kart 64
Nintendo 64
1998 1080° Snowboarding
Nintendo 64
1999 Pokémon Stadium
Composition with Hajime Wakai, Toru Minegishi
Nintendo 64
2000 Mario Artist: Talent Studio (Nintendo EAD)
Composition with Kazumi Totaka, Toru Minegishi
Nintendo 64DD
2001 Animal Crossing / Animal Forest e+
Composition with Kazumi Totaka, Toru Minegishi, Shinobu Tanaka
Nintendo 64
2002 The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
Composition with Toru Minegishi, Hajime Wakai, Koji Kondo
2003 Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Composition with Shinobu Tanaka
2003 The Legend of Zelda Collector's Edition
2004 Super Mario 64 DS
Composition with reprises by Koji Kondo
2005 Big Brain Academy
2007 The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
Composition with Toru Minegishi, Koji Kondo

List of Covered Albums

Album Title Catalog No.
1080° Snowboarding Original Soundtrack PCCG-00454
Mario Kart 64 Original Soundtrack (Japan) PCCG-00419
Mario Kart 64 Greatest Hits (US) Promotional
Mario Kart 64 Race Tracks (US) 2100-Fall97
Mario Kart 64 on Club Circuit TKCA-71301
Mario & Zelda Big Band Live TKCA-71301
Mario & Zelda Big Band Live DVD Promotional
Nintendo 64 Trilogy (US) 2020-Fall97
Nintendo Sound History Series - Zelda the Music SCDC-00395
Nintendo Sound Selection Vol. 1: Peach Healing Music CN-P004
Nintendo Sound Selection Vol. 2: Koopa Loud Music CN-P018
Nintendo Sound Selection Vol. 3: Luigi B-Side Music CN-P020
Pokémon Gotta Catch the Sound Original Soundtrack 3591666
Zelda Sound Collection, The Legend of Promotional
Zelda The Wind Waker Original Soundtrack, The Legend of SCDC-00250/1