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"Music has [power] that can change something in people and the world."
― Keiki Kobayashi[2]

Keiki Kobayashi (小林啓樹 Kobayashi Keiki) is a Japanese musician. He joined Namco in 1999 and worked there for 15 years before leaving to do freelance work. He is well-known for being one of the most prominent composers in the Ace Combat franchise.


Early life

Kobayashi was born on June 26, 1974 in Higashikurume, Tokyo.[1] He was a fan of music since before he was in kindergarten, and would sing along with his older siblings, particularly his sister while she played the organ.[3] He also learned how to sing through watching television. He believes this environment is what helped foster his love for music, and stated on his website, "In my high school days, I was always with Music from morning till night, even I rode a motorbike! Looking back now, it was too dangerous but I rode a motorbike while listening to music wearing headphones. At that time, Music was so much a part of me."[sic][2]

Following his graduation from high school, Kobayashi attended the Toho College of Music, learning composition and also performing in the choir.[3][2] He graduated from Toho in 1997,[1] and joined Namco two years later.[2]

Working for Bandai Namco

Kobayashi posing with ZERO OST

Kobayashi posing with a copy of the Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War Original Soundtrack and Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War Original Soundtrack

Kobayashi is credited for numerous games while working for Bandai Namco. In the Ace Combat franchise, his major work has been on the Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies Original Soundtrack, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War Original Soundtrack, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War Original Soundtrack, Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation Original Soundtrack, and Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Original Soundtrack.

Kobayashi also worked on the soundtracks for various Tekken, THE iDOLM@STER, Ridge Racer, and Soulcalibur games.[2]

His final works as an employee of Bandai Namco included Mach Storm, Ace Combat Infinity, and Aces at Operation: "Digital Hollywood".


"I felt that I wanted to compose music for a wider variety of projects, outside the boundaries of the company. I think you can expect to see my name associated with games from companies other than Namco Bandai [sic] from here on. Of course, I would also like to continue working on future Ace Combat titles as well."
― Keiki Kobayashi, on his reasoning for going freelance[3]

In 2014, Kobayashi officially announced that he would be departing from Bandai Namco. He founded cakeprojects, a producing company under which he would be publishing his future works.[2] Since then, he has worked on games such as Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.[4]

In December 2015, it was revealed that Kobayashi was being hired as the Sound Director for Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.[5][6] In 2017, Ryo Watanabe became the new Sound Director for the game, but Kobayashi maintained the lead composer position.[7]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Keiki Kobayashi. Facebook. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Published August 1, 2014. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Keiki Kobayashi Interview: Ace Combat Mastermind Goes Freelance. VGMO -Video Game Music Online-. Published November 11, 2014. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  4. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  5. PS4「エースコンバット7」シリーズのナンバリングが復活、発売日は未定。従来スタッフも多数が開発に参加. ■■速報@保管庫(Alt)■■. Published December 9, 2015. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  6. 『エースコンバット7』開発陣インタビュー完全版! 「3つの軸を追求します」. Famitsu. Published December 17, 2015. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  7. File:Ace Combat 7 Skies Unknown - Paris Games Week VR Trailer (Official).
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