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. Nagata debuted the company by scoring Mario Kart 64. The exciting themes for the title's race tracks ranging from the humorous "Moo Moo Farm" to the euphoric "Rainbow Road" continue to inspire nostalgia. It received a Japanese, domestic, and 'best of' soundtrack release as well as a club remix album. In 1998, Nagata scored the stylish sports game 1080° Snowboarding. The score featured an innovative mix of rock, techno, and hip-hop that was popular with mainstream audiences and suited the mainstream image of the game.
Nagata subsequently assisted with the scores for Pokémon Stadium and Mario Artist: Talent Studio for the Nintendo 64. He went on to produce the field background music for Animal Crossing. He added interactivity to the title by ensuring the music adapted to the game's setting, for instance changing according to time of day. In 2002, he led the score for the GameCube's The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. He created rustic and nautical themes for the game's setting and also offered memorable themes for the major characters while co-composers handled most battle, dungeon, and event music. Music from the game was subsequently performed at Mario & Zelda Big Band Live, where Nagata also made a guest appearance, and the First Symphonic Game Music Concert in Leipzig.
Nagata later 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. Following these projects, he created additional music for two adaptations. He produced new compositions and main theme remixes for the compilation The Legend of Zelda Collector's Edition. On behalf of the enhanced DS port Super Mario 64 DS, he also made some new music for the new events and mini-games while otherwise reprising Kondo's score. In 2005, he produced the catchy and light-hearted background music for DS' Big Brain Academy. The music is especially remembered for its childish vocal theme that was later commemorated in the Touch! Generations Soundtracks.
Nagata recently marked the Zelda series' return to the seas by scoring The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. He mixed new compositions with plenty of arrangements from The Wind Waker to represent the series' return to the seas. He was also responsible for the music of Link's Crossbow Training but principally reprised Twilight Princess compositions. After his music was reprised on Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Nagata has been confirmed as one of the composers of Wii Music. Directed by Kazumi Totaka and Hajime Wakai, he contributed many of the themes to the game. He added diversity of the score with his extensive experience scoring varied Nintendo projects and took a leading role with the guitar-based tracks. Nagata has evidently become one of the most popular and reputable composers at Nintendo.
List of Game Projects
List of Covered Albums