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Soyo Oka

Soyo Oka
Also known as DJ Alice
Born (1964-04-09) April 9, 1964
Nishinomiya, Hyōgo, Japan
Occupation(s) Musician, composer, performer
Instruments Piano
Years active 1987 - present

Soyo Oka (岡 素世 Oka Soyo, born April 9, 1964) (also known as DJ Alice) is a Japanese composer, musician, and author, formerly employed by Nintendo. She is best recognized for her video game soundtracks during the 1980s and 1990s.


  • Biography 1
  • Musical style 2
  • Game soundtracks 3
    • Derivative 3.1
  • Other 4
  • Bibliography 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Oka was born in Nishinomiya, Hyogo, Japan. She first started learning to play the piano in 1970 when she was 4 years old, and started composing music nearly a decade later in 1979, when she was 15.

Oka attended the Osaka College of Music in Osaka, majoring in Composition. During her time as a student, she began studying the music of Koji Kondo, and started composing music for video games, feeling that composing video game music would be a promising career. She was later hired by Nintendo as an inhouse composer in 1987, and had the opportunity to work on a game score with Koji Kondo (whom she still holds in high esteem to this day.)

Having left Nintendo in 1995, she has worked and continues to work as a freelance musician, composing scores for video games, television, radio, software, websites, and CD-ROMs in Japan. She has also released numerous sample libraries and books, and performs on piano for various events and projects. Companies she has worked for include Sony, Mitsubishi, Seiko, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Yamaha, and Toshiba.

In 2005, Oka composed "Shinkirou (Mirage)", one of the ending themes for the anime Desert Punk. It was also released on the "Destiny of the Desert" CD single in the same year.

Musical style

A large amount of Oka's game music is fairly liberal and distinctly jazz based, often making use of irregular time signatures and uneven phrase lengths. More commonly heard are musical traits such as syncopation, changes in tonality (modulations) and a wide selection of modern jazz chords and voicings, of which are perhaps the largest staple of her music. Considering the limited sound capabilities of the NES and SNES consoles she composed for (particularly in terms of polyphony), this was quite an accomplishment. However, even though much of her music has a modern sound, the majority of her work retains consonance and is thematic, and frequently utilises melodic lines and hooks.

The majority of her work shows clear influence taken from the music of Koji Kondo, and as a result, occasionally her soundtracks are confused for having been written by him (particularly Super Mario Kart). Additionally, she has cited Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Debussy, Stravinsky, John Williams, Lyle Mays, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Queen, and Chick Corea as some of her musical influences.

Game soundtracks




  • (1998) すぐわかる楽譜とコード
  • (1998) キーボードコード基礎ブック (曲が弾きたい!)
  • (2000) 曲が弾きたい!キーボード・コード基礎ブック―コードの構成が必ずわかる!
  • (2001) かんたん講座 ぱそこんで音楽しよう! (自由現代社)
  • (2003) かんたん講座 ぱそこんで音楽しよう!聴く!作る!etc...
  • (2005) 曲が弾きたい!キーボードコード基礎ブック (曲が弾きたい!)
  • (2007) 入門から実践まで 知りたい!弾きたい!キーボード シンセサイザーの基礎がゼロからわかる
  • (2008) モティーフ作りからアレンジまで ポピュラーピアノ作曲術


  • Neo Cosmic Industries (2000). "RocketBaby's Interview with Soyo Oka". Accessed May 14, 2006.
  • Square Enix Music (2011). "Interview with Soyo Oka (March 2011)". Accessed April 9, 2011.
  • JCAA. "Composer profile for Soyo Oka". Accessed October 6, 2007. (Japanese)
  1. ^ a b c d "業務実績". Soyo Oka. 3 January 2007. Archived from the original on 19 June 2008. Retrieved 3 October 2010. 

External links

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