Shiho Fujii Profile
|Also Known As:
藤井 志帆 (ふじい しほ)
|Date of Birth:
New Super Mario Bros. U, City Folk, Skyward Sword
|Nintendo EAD||Game Developer||2007 –||Composer|
Shiho Fujii is a relative newcomer to Nintendo EAD, best known for her work on the New Super Mario Bros. titles. Growing up in the 1980s in Japan, Fujii learned to play the piano and listened to a wide range of music from a young age. Also an avid gamer, she played Nintendo classics such as Super Mario Bros. as a child and found their soundtracks especially endearing. Going on to attend a music college, she learned how to compose a wide range of music and also developed a fascination with the connection between music and visuals. Upon graduating, Fujii decided it would be exciting to compose for video games and successfully applied to her first choice, Nintendo Entertainment Development and Analysis. In her debut role, the aspiring artist learned about the creative and technical aspects of game sound creation for 2007’s Wii Fit. Alongside sound director Toru Minegishi and fellow newcomer Manaka Takaoka (née Tominaga), she created soft, unobtrusive music to encourage players to continue exercising.
In 2008, Fujii composed a large portion of the soundtrack for Animal Crossing: City Folk under the supervision of Kazumi Totaka. Throughout the process, she carefully studied the gameplay and visuals to produce fitting, adaptive compositions. The role also put her versatility to the test, as she was asked to compose in a wide range of genres. She subsequently wrote a third of the soundtrack for New Super Mario Bros. Wii under the lead of Kenta Nagata. Taking charge of many of the stage themes, she captured the upbeat mood and retro tone of the game while exploring a wide range of genres. For example, whereas her desert theme was filled with Arabian-influenced tonalities, the underwater music was written as an ethereal waltz. For the castle theme, she blended original passages with references to Super Mario World’s equivalent into a large-scale, gothic-influenced orchestration. The final track was so well-received that it was featured in concert Press Start: Symphony of Games 2010.
Having impressed her colleagues with her diverse offerings, Fujii took central roles on two major projects. She handled a large portion of the background music for The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword alongside Hajime Wakai. She captured the grand-scale of the game with deeper, vaster tracks than her previous offerings, for example the overworld theme for Skyloft. Her dungeon music also added to the atmosphere of the locations, while her themes for the boss battles were often large-scale, full-orchestral affairs. Fujii was also delighted to return to New Super Mario Bros. U, this time in the lead role. Throughout the soundtrack, she took more lavish approaches to the composition and implementation, while still maintaining the humble tone of the series. Many of her tracks shifted from dated midi sounds in favour of focusing on sonorous solo instrument leads, while the climactic pieces on the score also took an orchestral approach. As one of the rising stars of Nintendo EAD, Fujii will no doubt lead other major scores in the future.
© Biography by Chris Greening (April 2013). Last updated on April 7, 2013. Do not republish without formal permission.
Posted on April 7, 2013 by Chris Greening. Last modified on March 21, 2014.