This month, we’re talking to a talented young composer who just might end up writing one of the songs for your favorite video game of 2035. So click over to Loketo’s profile and take a listen as you find out a bit more about one of our community’s more active members!

Let’s start by getting a quick idea of who you are.

I’m Loketo, I was born in Arizona but have spent most of my life in Virginia. I’m half Filipino and half Mexican, my mom’s a musician, and right now I play cello and hope to also learn piano or guitar.

What’s your history with music? What does music mean to you?

When I was little, I’d go on our old junky iMac and play around with loops on GarageBand. The songs were pretty much what you’d expect from a 6-year-old, but it really helped start my love of music. My mom would also sometimes teach me scales on the piano, but we didn’t really go much further. Then in elementary school my mom put me in the school choir, and the choir teacher put me in the state choir. And I started playing the cello in middle school.

Then generally, music doesn’t just shape my mood, it’s also part of my most distant memories. There are songs that can cheer me up, songs that have helped me through rough times, songs I listen to when thinking about things I miss. Music can definitely make me nostalgic, and it’s the one universal thing that can have a special place in everyone’s heart.

When did you start composing?

I made a few pieces when I was in 7th grade, but it wasn’t until 8th grade that I really started composing. Pretty much every day when I’d get home, I’d open my computer to make a new piece or check out the notifications on things I’d already written.

What are your key influences or references? Do you see yourself as having a certain style?

My main reference is actually Nintendo music. I’d make pieces inspired by Mario or Zelda, and that really helped me grow. But my biggest influence is my mom. She’s made music, performed live, even in front of a massive crowd. She still can play so many instruments, and she’s a real inspiration to me.

Still, I don’t think I have a certain style. I do love having a catchy rhythm in my songs, whether it comes from drums, bass or accompaniment.

How long ago did you discover Flat? How did you find our platform?

I had a school account years ago, but then I moved and that email was deleted (I managed to retrieve my songs first, though!). Then one day my orchestra teacher gave us an assignment to compose our own song, and I didn’t want to write the notes on paper. I looked online for free music notation software, and found Flat again!

Who’s your favorite composer on Flat?

Probably TJ Bruce, he was my first collaborator here and his songs are just amazing. I’ve followed as his songs have gotten better and better, and he’s even dedicating one to me!

Is there a particular piece that you’re most proud of?

I’d have to say Pine Springs, because it’s probably my most atmospheric (and laggy) song. After so long, I still feel it’s the piece that holds up the most.

Tell us a bit about your creative process.

Usually when I get a song idea, I’m never at my computer. If I can, I’ll record a voice memo of me humming the song and save it for later. But I almost always forget the idea before I can hum it! For the ones I do save, I add all the instruments that I think are needed, and I write down what I hummed. I expand from there, and eventually have a new piece!

How do you see music as part of your future? What’s your biggest dream as a musician?

I’m still figuring out my future, but I hope music is part of it. Even if I don’t do it as a career, I’ll never lose the part of me that loves music.

And I’d say that my biggest dream is for my music to be used in an AAA game. People spend hours playing a video game, it’s not like a movie. Most of the time they’re playing, they’re listening to music – it builds atmosphere, sets the mood, helps the player feel immersed in the world. That intensity is why I’d love for my music to make it into a game.

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to start composing? Are there things you’d have liked to know when you first started?

Always publish your completed works. There are so many people who were once in your position, and they can give you great advice. Even if you just get one like or comment, that’s still someone out there who recognizes your work.

For me, and it’s still something I struggle with, I wish I’d have better understood that when you’re composing, everything has to really work together. You can’t just write a melody and a bass, you need to add harmony, chords, etc., that’s what makes your music feel alive. Oh, and don’t forget about transitions. It can be very jarring to hear a bad transition.

A favorite memory with Flat, and anything else you’d like to share with the community?

I loved writing On the River Bank for Professor P’s 2023 composition competition. It’s one of my best pieces, even if I didn’t win.

And all I’d say is, keep it up everybody, your works are amazing!