Hideki Naganuma

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Hideki naganuma.jpg
Hideki Naganuma
Place of birth: Otaru, Hokkaido prefecture, Japan
Date of birth: 1972-05-16 (age 52)
Employment history:
Wave Master (?? – 2003)
Sega (?? – 2008[2])
Role(s): Composer, Musician

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Hideki Naganuma (長沼 英樹) is a former musician for Sega best known for his work in the Jet Set Radio series and Sonic Rush. He joined the company in 1998 and has remained employed there until early 2009. Outside of Sega he also remixed Captain Straydum's "Fuusen Gum" for the first ending theme of the 2006 anime series Gintama, though he went uncredited. His music is broadly defined as J-Pop, but can be quite hard to categorize. He is skilled at mixing Japanese techno, funk, soul, and hip-hop elements to create a unique and vivid sound.

Additional work was created under the name skankfunk (reminiscent of SkankFunk, the filename for the song Funk to the Top in Ollie King), including a few tracks of the soundtrack for the anime Air Gear (a series akin to Jet Set Radio in premise as well as musical style) and a remix of "Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree" for the DVD Dance no Chikara. He used this name due to being part of Sega at the time. This name was reused for Naganuma's Sega contributions post-employment to the Yakuza and Super Monkey Ball series.

When he was five years old, he started to play the electronic organ under the influence of an older sister. At fourteen years old, he became interested in western music and started to compose original songs. It was then Naganuma decided that he must have a job in the music business. He graduated from Kiyota High school in Sapporo.

His influences include Prince, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Donald Fagen, Norman Cook, Ennio Morricone, Chick Corea, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Hitoshi Matsumoto and Satoru Sayama. Naganuma's favorite video games are Gran Turismo, Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, Virtua Fighter, and The Legend of Zelda; his hobbies are music, movies, collecting CDs and DVDs, fighting sports, tennis and traveling.

Some of the equipment he uses includes Digital Performer, MOTU2408, Sound Designer II, Peak, Roland JV-1080, KORG Trinity, AKAI S3200XL, CLAVIA Nord Rack2 and YAMAHA O3D.

Early life

At the age of 5, Hideki Naganuma began learning the electone organ, following in the footsteps of his sister[3]. Because he learned this particular instrument, he was encouraged to improvise and compose during his education, rather than closely follow the prepared sheet music, which would have happened had he learned classical piano[3]. Naganuma's electone studies continued and he peaked at grade 4 electone[3], the 4th highest possible grade.

His older brother and sister introduced him to Western music in middle school, especially music by black artists like Stevie Wonder and Prince, who both composed and performed their own music[3][4]. He took a part-time job to raise money for some music equipment with which he could learn to sequence music[3]. He worked as a bartender and DJ at Blue Note Tokyo[3], a famous bar in Aoyama, where he was exposed to jazz and fusion music[5][6]


Before Sega

At 15 years old, Hideki Naganuma publicly debuted his original composition "My Girl" at an idol contest named the Nice Guy Contest[3]. Naganuma began sending various tapes to auditions and radio programs, landing him a spot as a guest on multiple episodes of HBC Radio's show "Poppun Oukoku"[3] This show was connected to Yamaha, and he was able to participate in Yamaha's annual "Teens Music Festival" 2 years in a row[3]. He made it to nationals in the second year, singing and dancing at Nakano Sun Plaza[3]. A director from Epic/Sony liked one of his songs and got in contact to arrange an artist contract in Tokyo[3] with a J-Pop[6] record company.

Now roughly 20 years old Naganuma, he spent 5 writing and recording songs in a studio for his eventual artist debut while keeping his part-time job[3]. However, he never made his debut[5], as his ambitions began to change, now wanting to become a film composer. He decided to aim lower and work on video games before building up to becoming a film composer[5][3]. He submitted a demo tape to Sega Enterprises, in part because he saw an ad that the company was recruiting sound creators[3], and also because his the console he played on at the time was the Sega Saturn[5][7].

Digital Media/Wave Master (1998-2003)

Hideki Naganuma joined Sega in 1998 and was assigned to the Digital Media Department. During his first year, he was mentored by Kenichi Tokoi, who he worked with on Hip Jog Jog[8], and who taught Naganuma how to use the digital audio workstation Digital Performer[9][10][11][12]. He has since called Tokoi his "favorite game music composer"[13]. Naganuma's first game as lead composer was the Dreamcast (and later PC) port of Sega Rally 2. This game's soundtrack has a different feel from most of his works that came after, as he aimed for something closer to film music with a sense of speed[5] as well as jazz and fusion[14][15][16]. He would later take more inspiration from up-tempo dance music and Eurobeat remixes from the 80's[5]. The game was developed by Sega Software R&D Dept. 6, and Naganuma would primarily work with this developer (renamed Smilebit in 2000) in the ensuing years. This includes Jet Set Radio, which also saw him working with Sega Rally 2's Tomonori Sawada again.

For JSR, not only did Naganuma compose more than half of the game's original music, heavily inspired by the game' distinct visual style, but was also responsible for picking out the game's music taken from outside artists[17], like Guitar Vader and Deavid Soul. Jet Set Radio Original Sound Tracks would be the first commercial CD to feature Naganuma's music. This game garnered Naganuma international exposure, but didn't sell as well in Japan[3].

Naganuma would then return for the sequel Jet Set Radio Future, which also included remixes by other artists of many of the songs he composed for the first game.The most well-known new song from JSRF became "The Concept of Love". He wasn't originally sure if it was a good song or not, but it was well-received by Smilebit staff and he was flooded with positive messages after E3, which changed his mindset, valuing other people's opinions as the benchmark for if his songs were good or not[18][19]

In the years since, Naganuma has considered Jet Set Radio and Jet Set Radio Future to be his greatest accomplishments[20] created with a driven group of people in their mid-twenties[20][21][22].

Transfer to Amusement Vision/NE R&D (2003-2008)

In 2003, Naganuma moved from Wave Master to Amusement Vision[23], around the same time that many developers of Smilebit were transferred there, with their project Ollie King releasing under the Amusement Vision brand[24]. Ollie King would be released with music mainly comprising 70's surf music and early 00's digital rock[23], and its soundtrack, Ollie King Original Soundtrack, would be the first album only containing music by Hideki Naganuma. 2003 was also the year Yuri Fukuda joined Amusement Vision as a new employee, and Naganuma would work with her on all his future games developed by Amusement Vision's direct successor New Entertainment R&D Dept..

However, Naganuma would also work with other developers in 2005. Most famously, he created most of the music in Sonic Rush. A different composer was initially slated for the game, but sound director Teruhiko Nakagawa thought Naganuma would make for an interesting choice[20]. As Naganuma had wanted to work on a Sonic game for some time, and realizing the opportunity may not come again, he managed to fit it into his busy schedule[20].

Beginning with Yakuza in 2005, Hideki Naganuma's main work at Sega on the Yakuza franchise, creating sound effects and editing voice clips for cutscenes[25]. However, Naganuma was in fact still composing music, but secretly doing so for projects outside of Sega, typically anime such as ‘’Air Gear’’, and under the name ‘’’Skankfunk’’’, borrowed from the filename to his ‘’Ollie King’’ song “Funk to the Top”.

Left Sega (2008-present)

Hideki Naganuma is the composer of games like Jet Set Radio, JSRF, Ollie King & Sonic Rush. When those games were first released, only some Sega fans knew his existence. He started Twitter in 2010. By the late 2010s, he became popular on Twitter worldwide. What happened to him?→

Hideki Naganuma[26]

Hideki Naganuma left Sega in 2008. Since he has reminded his Twitter followers of this every year. He has stated that he left Sega to work with various other companies choosing[27][28]. He asked for full-time positions at Prope[29][30] and Nintendo[31][32], but was not accepted by either and remained a freelance musician. Naganuma has also said it was Sega policy to not continue working former employees[33], although he did occasionally contribute to the Yakuza games on PSP and Super Monkey Ball 3D using the Skankfunk alias, possibly now used to infiltrate Sega products instead of non-Sega products.

Hideki Naganuma was announced to be contributing to the soundtrack for Streets of Rage 4[34], but dropped out as he would not retain the copyright to his work[35][36].

Some of his more famous works unrelated to Sega include "LUV CAN SAVE U", a song for Konami's beatmania IIDX 20 tricoro[37], "AIN'T NOTHING LIKE A FUNKY BEAT", a song for Lethal League Blaze, and some songs for the Jet Set Radio-inspired games Hover: Revolt Of Gamers and Bomb Rush Cyberfunk.

Production history



  • Yakuza (2005) — Audio sweetening (Audio post production for the movie scenes) and voice editing.
  • Yakuza 5 (2012) (as skankfunk)

Song credits

Main article: Hideki Naganuma/Song credits.

Sega Rally 2 (Dreamcast Version)

  • Drive Me Mad — Music & Arrangement, Keyboards & Programming
  • Slippin' — Music & Arrangement, Keyboards & Programming
  • King of Island — Music & Arrangement, Keyboards & Programming
  • Evolution — Music & Arrangement, Keyboards & Programming
  • Till You See the Dawn — Music & Arrangement, Keyboards & Programming
  • Ratio 9:11 — Music & Arrangement
  • Drive Me Mad for Select — Music & Arrangement
  • Groove Rally #1 — Music & Arrangement
  • Groove Rally #2 — Music & Arrangement
  • Groove Rally #3 — Music & Arrangement
  • Groove Rally #4 — Music & Arrangement
  • Take It Tricky — Music & Arrangement [NOTE: Unused]
  • After All — Music & Arrangement [NOTE: Unused]

Atsumare! Guru Guru Onsen

  • Theme of Guru Guru Onsen — Music & Arrangement
  • Theme of Oni — Music & Arrangement
  • Theme of Girl — Music & Arrangement
  • Theme of Nakai-san — Music & Arrangement

JRA PAT for Dreamcast

  • Ebb & Flow — Music & Arrangement

Jet Set Radio

  • Let Mom Sleep — Music & Arrangement
  • Humming the Bassline — Music & Arrangement
  • That's Enough — Music & Arrangement
  • Sneakman — Music & Arrangement
  • Sweet Soul Brother — Music & Arrangement
  • Rock It On — Music & Arrangement
  • Moody's Shuffle — Music & Arrangement
  • Grace & Glory — Music & Arrangement
  • Jet Set Medley — Music & Arrangement
  • Jet Set Groove #1 — Music & Arrangement
  • Jet Set Groove #2 — Music & Arrangement

Jet Set Radio Future

  • The Concept of Love — Music & Arrangement, Produced by
  • Fly Like a Butterfly — Music & Arrangement, Produced by
  • Funky Dealer — Music & Arrangement, Produced by
  • Shape Da Future — Music & Arrangement, Produced by
  • Teknopathetic — Music & Arrangement, Produced by
  • Oldies But Happies — Music & Arrangement, Produced by
  • Like It Like This Like That — Music & Arrangement, Produced by
  • I Love Love You JSRF version — Remixed by
  • Humming the Bassline (D.S. Remix) — Music
  • Rock It On (D.S. Remix) — Music
  • Sneakman (Toronto Mix) — Music
  • Let Mom Sleep (No Sleep Remix) — Music
  • That's Enough (B.B. Rights Mix) — Music
  • Sweet Soul Brother (B.B. Rights Mix) — Music
  • Grace & Glory (B.B.M.H. Mix) — Music
  • Jet Set Medley Future — Music & Arrangement, Produced by
  • Jet Set Station #2 — Music & Arrangement, Produced by
  • Jet Set Groove #3 — Music & Arrangement, Produced by
  • Jet Set Groove #4 — Music & Arrangement, Produced by

J. League Pro Soccer Club o Tsukurou! 3

  • Get It to Win It — Music & Arrangement

Ollie King

  • Boarder 70 — Music & Arrangement, Mixed & Produced by
  • Let It Go — Music & Arrangement, Mixed & Produced by
  • Too Fast — Music & Arrangement, Mixed & Produced by
  • Funk to the Top — Music & Arrangement, Mixed & Produced by
  • Brother Goes Away — Music & Arrangement, Mixed & Produced by
  • Teknopathetic [e-Pop 'n' Disco 80's Mix] — Music & Arrangement, Remixed & Produced by
  • The Concept of Love [The Concept of Passion Mix] — Music & Arrangement, Remixed & Produced by
  • Boarder 70 [Somethin' Jazzy for Your Mind Mix] — Music & Arrangement, Remixed & Produced by
  • Ollie Groove #1 — Music & Arrangement, Mixed & Produced by
  • Ollie Groove #2 — Music & Arrangement, Mixed & Produced by

Sonic Rush

  • A New Day (Title Edit) — Music & Arrangement
  • What U Need is Remix — Music & Arrangement
  • Right There, Right On — Music & Arrangement
  • Right There, Right On (Blazy Mix) — Music
  • Leaf Storm - Invincible — Music & Arrangement
  • Groove Rush #1 — Music & Arrangement
  • Ska Cha Cha — Music & Arrangement
  • Ska Cha Cha (Blazy Mix) — Music
  • Night Carnival - Invincible — Music & Arrangement
  • Ethno Circus — Music & Arrangement
  • Ethno Circus (Blazy Mix) — Music
  • Mirage Road - Invincible — Music & Arrangement
  • Metal Scratchin' — Music & Arrangement
  • Metal Scratchin' (Part 2) — Music & Arrangement
  • Groove Rush #3 — Music & Arrangement
  • Back 2 Back — Music & Arrangement
  • Back 2 Back (Blazy Mix) — Music
  • Water Palace - Invincible — Music & Arrangement
  • Jeh Jeh Rocket — Music & Arrangement
  • Jeh Jeh Rocket (Blazy Mix) — Music
  • Huge Crisis - Invincible — Music & Arrangement
  • Groove Rush #6 — Music & Arrangement [NOTE: Also known as "It's a New Record!"]
  • Get Edgy — Music & Arrangement
  • Get Edgy (Blazy Mix) — Music
  • Altitude Limit - Invincible — Music & Arrangement
  • A New Day (Intermission) — Music & Arrangement
  • A New Day — Music & Arrangement
  • What U Need — Music & Arrangement
  • What U Need (Blazy Mix) — Music
  • Dead Line - Invincible — Music & Arrangement
  • Vela-Nova — Music & Arrangement
  • Vela-Nova (Part 2) — Music & Arrangement
  • Groove Rush #2 — Music & Arrangement
  • Bomber Barbara — Music & Arrangement
  • Bomber Barbara (Part 2) — Music & Arrangement
  • Groove Rush #4 — Music & Arrangement
  • Raisin' Me Up (Prologue) — Music & Arrangement
  • Medley Rush #1 — Music & Arrangement
  • Groove Rush #8 — Music & Arrangement [NOTE: Also known as "The Extra Zone"]
  • Wrapped in Black — Music & Arrangement
  • Wrapped in Black (Part 2) — Music & Arrangement
  • Groove Rush #5 — Music & Arrangement
  • Raisin' Me Up — Music & Arrangement
  • Medley Rush #2 — Music & Arrangement
  • A New Day (PSG Title Edit) — Music
  • What U Need is PSG — Music
  • Groove Rush #1 PSG — Music
  • Groove Rush #2 PSG — Music

Sega Rally 2006

  • Boosted — Music & Arrangement

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz

  • Southpole (Winter Banana Pretz Mix) — Music (with Chiho Kobayashi) & Arrangement

Kurohyou: Ryu ga Gotoku Shinshou

  • Digitalized — Music & Arrangement
  • Your Knife Feels Good — Music & Arrangement
  • The Naked Panther — Music & Arrangement
  • So Unusual — Music & Arrangement

Super Monkey Ball 3D

  • Rockin' Commander — Music & Arrangement
  • Freak 2 Nite — Music & Arrangement
  • Mama Frog — Music & Arrangement
  • Monkey Selector — Music & Arrangement
  • Solidness — Music & Arrangement
  • Palty Palty — Music & Arrangement [NOTE: Trailer theme]

Kurohyou 2: Ryu ga Gotoku Ashura Hen

  • Panther in the Storm — Music & Arrangement
  • Epic 80 — Music & Arrangement
  • Neo-Frantic — Music & Arrangement
  • The Electrizer — Music & Arrangement
  • Lust 4 Power — Music & Arrangement

Yakuza 5

  • Vendor Pop — Music & Arrangement

Magazine articles

Main article: Hideki Naganuma/Magazine articles.


Some or all of the following content should be mirrored on Sega Retro (or Retro CDN).


Main article: Photos of Hideki Naganuma

External links


  1. http://www.amusementvision.com/column/heard_27.html (Wayback Machine)
  2. @Hideki_Naganuma on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2022-12-07 13:21)
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PngFE9mUEj8
  4. @Hideki_Naganuma on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2021-04-10 15:25)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 http://sonic.sega.jp/SonicChannelOld/creators/004/index.html (Wayback Machine: 2016-03-08 14:36)
  6. 6.0 6.1 @Hideki_Naganuma on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2022-01-09 16:03)
  7. @Hideki_Naganuma on Twitter (archive.today)
  8. @Hideki_Naganuma on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2020-10-19 20:47)
  9. @Hideki_Naganuma on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2020-10-19 20:35)
  10. @Hideki_Naganuma on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2020-10-19 19:43)
  11. https://archive.ph/jOZHqhttps://twitter.com/Hideki_Naganuma/status/1568720595885658112
  12. @Hideki_Naganuma on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2020-09-12 16:20)
  13. @Hideki_Naganuma on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2020-10-19 20:03)
  14. @Hideki_Naganuma on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2022-01-09 16:05)
  15. @Hideki_Naganuma on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2020-10-19 20:09)
  16. @Hideki_Naganuma on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2020-10-19 20:24)
  17. Dreamcast Magazine, "2000-29 (2000-09-08,09-15)" (JP; 2000-08-25), page 149
  18. @Hideki_Naganuma on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2020-07-11 16:52)
  19. @Hideki_Naganuma on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2021-12-19 15:31)
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 http://sonic.sega.jp/SonicChannelOld/creators/004/002.html (Wayback Machine: 2023-12-08 17:50)
  21. @Hideki_Naganuma on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2020-10-19 19:51)
  22. @Hideki_Naganuma on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2020-12-16 16:35)
  23. 23.0 23.1 http://www.amusementvision.com/column/heard_27.html (Wayback Machine: 2003-12-02 16:40)
  24. @Hideki_Naganuma on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2020-10-19 20:34)
  25. @Hideki_Naganuma on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2020-10-19 20:17)
  26. @Hideki_Naganuma on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2022-02-03 15:52)
  27. @Hideki_Naganuma on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2020-10-19 20:43)
  28. @Hideki_Naganuma on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2020-10-19 19:57)
  29. @Hideki_Naganuma on Twitter (archive.today)
  30. @Hideki_Naganuma on Twitter (archive.today)
  31. @Hideki_Naganuma on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2020-09-24 15:28)
  32. @Hideki_Naganuma on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2021-08-31 15:07)
  33. @Hideki_Naganuma on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2020-10-19 20:38)
  34. @Dotemu on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2019-08-07 00:59)
  35. @Dotemu on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2020-03-20 14:53)
  36. @Hideki_Naganuma on Twitter (Wayback Machine: 2020-12-09 17:33)
  37. https://remywiki.com/LUV_CAN_SAVE_U
  38. File:SKUIKSM_Saturn_JP_SSEnding.pdf
  39. File:OllieKingOriginalSoundtrack CD JP Inlay.jpg
  40. File:SROGR CD JP booklet.pdf, page 2
  41. File:LGATVGDUSAAB Music JP inlay back.jpg