I’m Niels van der Leest (born in Enschede on October 22, 1976). I studied classical percussion on the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
During and after getting my Masters degree I played in some of the best orchestras in Holland and was a player in the successful percussion groups Circle Percussion (taiko) and AbSurdo (samba).
After some years of performing as a professional percussionist I decided to listen to my urge to write down my musical ideas instead of only playing the notes someone else wrote. My biggest dream being: writing the music to a computer game.
My love for the medium games started when he played Final Fantasy VII, which was accompanied by music of the Japanese composer Nobuo Uematsu.
I started working on fulfilling my dreams and started to remix game tracks and arranging game music for my percussion students. The arrangements were played with lots of fun, the performances lead to enthusiastic reactions and as more requests for “my” music started coming in I finally started writing original music.
After winning the publics prize in the Interface SoundGame Contest with 46,4% of the votes my destiny was set: I was going to make this my career!
In the course of the years I have worked on a lot of award winning games, commissioned works, tracks for commercials and sing-a-song writers and, let’s not forget, my very own album.
Besides composing and doing sound design for games I now also teach “Game Audio” on the conservatorium of Haarlem in The Netherlands, sharing my knowledge and teaching young aspiring composers and sound designers how they can enter the fabulous world of Game Audio.