--How did you feel when you were approached to work on the Kingdom Hearts series?
Shimomura: I was like, "Whaaaaaat?! I get to compose music for a Disney project?! Really?! Me?!" Yes, as you can see, I don't really have much self-confidence. [Laughs] I was struck by a great sense of insecurity by this request. But I tried my best to create the score with the image of Disney's worlds in my mind.
--"Dearly Beloved" from Kingdom hearts has become quite an iconic tune. How did you come up with this particular piece of music?
Shimomura: Actually, this tune was originally written for a certain event in the game, and I created it instantly, intuitively...and there were no thoughts running through my mind while I was at it. But eventually, the tune was [cut from the game]. And when I was asked to compose something for the title music (they said it could be a temporary song; just give us anything), I proposed "Dearly Beloved." The next thing you know, this tune was chosen to be the title music! Quite a reversal of fortune! (laughs)
--Was it intimidating to work with Disney franchises that already had such recognizable music?
Shimomura: In the beginning I struggled a lot; all I could do was grope around. But one day, suddenly everything came together, like, "Oh! I see it now!" Luckily, I had never received any 'no-good' remarks from Disney. I was very happy.