Musicians and gamers have a lot more in common than you might think. Besides a mutual disdain for the rugged jock-types growing up, the two are all about living and breathing their respective art form. And on very special occasions, musicians will indulge their inner gamer and produce wonderful nods to their favourite games that both parties are sure to love.
Here are five times musicians nerded out to one of the biggest and most musically focused video game franchises of all time, The Legend of Zelda.
BadBadNotGood: Title Theme / Saria’s Song / Song of Storms
BadBadNotGood is a jazz / hip-hop / improvisational trio from Toronto, Canada made up of Matt Tavares on keys, Alex Sowinski on drums, and Chester Stone Hansen on bass. On the group’s 2011 E.P., they dropped a 9-minute jazz medley comprised of the best jams from Ocarina of Time. Packed with wonderful bass lines and drum fills to compliment the iconic melodies, BadBadNotGood’s medley breathes so much new life into these already vibrant tunes.
Lindsey Stirling: Zelda Medley (Violin)
YouTube superstar Lindsey Stirling is the closest thing to a household name the video game music genre has, and it’s no small wonder why. Her violin-centric medley of music from across the Zelda series is sweeping, creative, and insanely fun. Plus, it’s hard not to love her as she dances adorably across the screen while soloing in Link’s blue tunic.
“It’s dangerous to go alone, take this violin!”
Joe Pleiman (Not System Of A Down): Zelda
This song was kind of a big deal for gamers perusing the internet in the early and mid-2000s, and for the better part of its existence, it was wrongly associated with the metal band, System Of A Down. Turns out a musician named Joe Pleiman wrote and sung the track in 1998 on his band’s album Rabbit Joint.
System Of A Down only became affiliated with the song because when it circulated on the early 2000s music downloading site, Napster, the MP3 file was for some reason titled “SOAD – ZELDA,” which many assumed to be an abbreviation of System Of A Down.
Zedd: The Legend of Zelda (Original Mix)
When DJ / producer Zedd performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon during 2013’s video game week, the musician behind the chart-topper “Clarity” proved that all genres of music could get in on the fun of Zelda. The mix starts in familiar, club music territory before gradually becoming an outright blast of Zelda nostalgia. Pull out your 3DS’ and wave them in the air!
Symphony of the Goddesses: Triforce Heroes (Live on Stephen Colbert)
The acclaimed Symphony of the Goddesses has been on the road for a few years now, but their performance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last October was a major milestone. Much like Zedd’s performance on Fallon, the beautiful medley’s debut on Stephen Colbert pushed the music of Zelda in front of a mainstream audience – if only for one night – putting a smile on every gamer’s face and, hopefully, enticing newcomers to be inspired by the worlds of music and games.