Kenji Kawai is a Japanese musician who has been professionally involved with music for several decades. Kawai originally wanted to be an engineer, but ended up picking up a guitar, and once he found school for nuclear engineering too tough for him, he quit and focused on music. He later attended a music school, but still wasn't doing good in class. Kenji started to write his own music, which inspired him to start a band with his friends, who entered and won a music contest. The band was then about to be signed to a label before Kenji decided to quit to pursue his own solo career.
When in school, western music such as French pops was popular, as well as the Beatles, though Kenji preferred French music. Some of his influences include Raymond Lefebvre, Francis Lai, and Burt Bacharach. He also likes listening to movie soundtracks as well, and likes as he puts it "warm" music. As a result, he didn't have a lot in common with other musicians at the time. Kawai says to write music for media, he talks to the directors and producers to work out a common theme.
In the world of video games, Kenji is probably best known for scoring the soundtracks to the Sansara Naga series.
Kawai currently resides in Shinagawa, and spends most of his days in the studio.
Kenji doesn't remember how he did the music for the NES, as it has been over 20 years. It is believed he sent compositions on some type of media such as MIDI, sheet music, or audio cassettes to the developers, who had their programmers/audio team convert his compositions into the game. All of the game's he worked on for the NES were only released in Japan.