Quick Beats: the composer of Sonic Mania on Portuguese rap and his musical hero

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Image: SEGA

Throughout the Nintendo Life Video Game Music Festival, we chat with an array of songwriters and musicians for a mix of in-depth interviews and shorter, more precise (and maybe a little more awkward) Q&A where we let’s just ask ten quick personal questions; we call these shorter features ‘Quick Beats’.

We spoke to today’s interviewee at the start of VGM Fest where he talked about Sonic, Streets of Rage and music on PS1. Today, however, Tee Lopes returns to answer 10 quick questions regular readers should already know.

So let’s start by discovering the very first record that this ascending legend of the composition bought …


Nintendo Life: What’s the first song or album you remember buying?

Tee Lopes: “Suspeitos do costume” from “Mind Da Gap”. Portuguese rap. I got it at the airport just before I got on the plane to come and live in the States in 2002. It was the first album I bought with my own money.

What’s the last music you listened to?

Super Street Fighter II Turbo (3DO) – Ken Theme. This is the best version of this song, and I won’t be told otherwise.

What was the very first video game you wrote music for, and how do you feel listening to it now?

It was this little mobile puzzle game called “To throw”, around 2008. I just heard it again after about 11 years. I’ll give it a C +.

Which room are you most proud of?

I love all my kids the same, but boy “Light, camera, action” was accepted to Smash University.

What someone else’s piece would you have liked to write?

“Grandia Theme” by Noriyuki Iwadare. This is the song that I make everyone listen to. This is how I choose my friends.

What do you listen to while driving?

I’m a brand new driver so for now mainly my wife.

Do you have a musical hero?

Jun Senoue bought me sushi once. Hero.

What decade had the best music?

I think everyone agrees it was in the 80’s. It started cool and it never stopped.

Ocarina, harp or bongos, which magical instrument are you taking on an epic adventure?

Am I an elf, an angel or a monkey?

If your house was on fire and you only had time to take one memory before you ran off to safety with your family, what would you take?

My clunky, angular office tower, without a doubt. It is my life support.


Our thanks to Tee for tolerating our buffoonery. Don’t forget to check out our other Quick Beats interviews with Yuzo Koshiro, Darren Korb, Ippo Yamada, Jake Kaufman, Lena Raine, Manami Matsumae, David Wise, and more, and keep an eye out for more music-focused interviews and reporting over the last week of the Nintendo Life VGM Festival.


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