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Square Enix interviews renowned composer Masashi Hamauzu

By: Jeff de Leon on 11/15/2023 4:27:07 PM

Square Enix interviews renowned composer Masashi Hamauzu

Composer Masashi Hamauzu took a break while attending the Los Angeles stop of the Distant Worlds concert series to share details about his composing process and his professional history with the Final Fantasy brand.

Now, if you’re a Final Fantasy fan, there’s a good chance you already know Hamauzu’s name and why he’s such a beloved part of the Final Fantasy experience. But even if his name isn’t familiar to you, you’ve likely heard and appreciated his musical compositions since his body of work includes fan-favorite titles like Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy VII Remake, and the upcoming Rebirth.

In the interview, Hamauzu shares a lot of insightful facts about his long career from how he began work for Square Enix (SquareSoft at the time) as a chorus member in Final Fantasy VII to whether he feels any added pressure from Final Fantasy’s passionate fanbase.

“Honestly, no, not so much,” Hamauzu admitted. “Once I start making something, all I can think about is the world of the project on hand, so I don't really think about my surroundings.”

He later adds to his response while discussing his work on Final Fantasy VII Remake and Rebirth and the pressures of creating new music for such a treasured part of gaming history.

“You know, I’ve composed music for various media, including anime or movies, but I don’t feel any pressure at all from the fact that a title is well known. It’s all the same. It comes down to whether the work feels fulfilling.”

Masashi Hamauzu composed "Jessie's Theme" in Final Fantasy VII Remake.

Some of his responses are surprising, like when he was asked about other composers he admires. Hamauzu was very candid.

“I’m trying to be completely honest these days, so the answer is, there are none…I don’t really listen to much music.” He then elaborates further on why listening to music sometimes impedes his process. “I don't know why, but I stopped listening to a lot of music after entering my twenties. I’m easily influenced by anything I hear, so I get overloaded just going through my daily life.”

The full interview can be read on the Square Enix site and is a special treat for any who recognizes Final Fantasy’s well-earned reputation for having some of the most epic music in modern gaming. And you won’t have to wait too long to hear Masashi Hamauzu’s next round of masterpieces when Final Fantasy VII Rebirth releases on February 29, 2024.