Not so long ago I got the chance to do a Q and A interview with the lovely artist and author Susan Calloway (Calloway is very well-known among “Final Fantasy” fans, thanks to the “Distant Worlds” concert albums and her work with Nobuo Uematsu on “Final Fantasy XIV“). So we talked about everything from “Final Fantasy”, Calloway´s upcoming plans for the future to thoughts on performing live via E3, Dreamhack and Video Games live.

Jonas TGG
I just have to say as a new fan of your music, I really love your songs. So keep the good work up! However, as a Gamer I´m somewhat curious to find out if you´re a Hardcore Gamer yourself? (as you make music based on games). I would also like to ask which aspects is it that comes into play when you decide which video game songs you should make or cover? And which game (s) are your favorites? (old as new).

Calloway
Hi Jonas! First, thanks for the kind words! I am actually NOT a gamer. I have come to appreciate Final Fantasy, however, as the music is really beautiful and it has been an honor to perform and record so many of the songs from this franchise. At this point I have only released one song from Final Fantasy, “Answers,” as I am the original singer for it… it just felt appropriate. I may do a few others, but my main passion is writing my own music. I am in the studio working on a new CD… hoping to be out this fall.

final fantasy xiv a realm reborn

Calloway and Nobuo Uematsu made the main theme song “Answers” for “Final Fantasy XIV” and “A Realm Reborn” together.

Jonas TGG
How did you get auditioned for making music to Final Fantasy? Was personal interest or did they contact you?

Calloway
They contacted me. I had worked with Arnie Roth on a few projects and he recommended me to Nobuo. And the rest is history!

Jonas TGG
What was the experience to switch from your music, to work with music for a game like? I mean, did it feel very different from anything that you have done in the past?

Calloway
Yes, totally! It was especially cool to perform in front of a big orchestra. I am used to playing with a rock band so it was really different. But it has been such a privilege to work with so many incredible musicians. That is the best part for me.

nobuo uematsu

Nobuo Uematsu has made most of the music for the Final Fantasy series.

Jonas TGG
It must have been quite a journey to be working beside Nobuo Uematsu while working with Final fantasy. So, throughout that time what was it like to work with Uematsu?

Calloway
Nobuo is awesome. He is super down to Earth and has a great sense of humor. What I really appreciate about him is that he always wants me to put my style into his songs. He really respects me as an artist and wants to collaborate. This makes the production process really creative and fun. He is really amazing.

Jonas TGG
Which is your favorite track (s) among the songs that you have taken part off in Final Fantasy? And why?

Calloway
“Answers!” Because it was the first song I got to sing IN the game. And because it was written for my voice, which was an honor. It has been my biggest connection to the fans, too, so it will always be the most special song to me.

Jonas TGG
Do you intend to keep on working in the games industry if you keep on getting new job opportunities?

Calloway
Sure! I would love to. But I also have some other things in the works too for my own music… I’m even working on a book right now, too!

final fantasy xv

Calloway would love to get some more job opportunities in the video game industry. And she´s open to voice acting requests as well.

Jonas TGG
Do you think that making music for games a good way to spread your name further as a music artist? And did it help you? And is it something you would advise other music artists to do?

Calloway
Yes, I think it helps but I think it depends on what type of artist you are. I am really blessed that Final Fantasy fans have accepted me like they have. My voice is a big part of my artistry, so in this scenario, it creates a great pathway to my own music. The biggest thing is to know yourself as an artist and what you are trying to do… commit to being excellent, create something that will inspire people. My music is very faith driven and inspirational… so because of the nature of Final Fantasy and the storyline, it is a logical path for the listener.

Jonas TGG
Would you consider giving voice acting in games a try if you got the chance to do so?

Calloway
Yes! I have been talking with my agent about that – we shall see what pans out!

Jonas TGG
Do you have any favorite artist you would like to do a singing duet with?

Calloway
I would love to sing with Chris Martin of Coldplay – I just love his voice.

chris martin coldplay

Calloway would love to work with Chris Martin from Coldplay. So let’s hope that her wish becomes true.

Jonas TGG
What are you currently working on?

Calloway
A new CD and a book… and also a few more Final Fantasy singles… to be announced soon!

Jonas TGG
Do you have any plans to play live at events such as Dreamhack, E3 or PAX?

Calloway
I would love to. I’m working with a new manager and we are devising a plan this spring! So stay tuned!

e3

Will we see Calloway at E3, PAX or Dreamhack this year? Maybe, maybe not.

Jonas TGG
Do you get a lot of song requests from fans? If so, which song (s) are the most requested ones?

Calloway
“Answers” is the biggest one… but Final Fantasy fans really love the Final Fantasy songs… which I understand. “Dragonsong” has become a close second… along with “Melodies of Life,” “Distant Worlds,” and of course “Eyes on Me” is a big favorite.

Jonas TGG
Besides Final Fantasy, is there any other game IP that you would love to do music for?

Calloway
Kingdom Hearts would be cool. I really like the music in that game… I would love to write a song for them, not just sing it!

video games live logo

MegaDriver “might” play at some VGL events this year (most likely in Brasil).

Jonas TGG
What´s your thoughts on Video Games Live? And would you like to jam together with VGL at some time?

Calloway
It would be cool! Live shows are the best and I would always take the stage if I was allowed to! I love what I do and I so appreciate the fans. Again, the friendships I have built with them is what makes all this worthwhile.

Credit:
Robin Ek – Editor

tgg author avatar jonas ek
Jonas “O.J” Ek
The Gaming Ground
Twitter: @TheGamingGround

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