Born in Edinburgh, Scotland on the 10th of July, 1962, Grant Kirkhope moved to England at the age of five. He later attended the The Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, majoring in trumpet. He spent the following ten years playing in various bands until he joined Rare in October 1995.
His first role at Rare was to convert the music from Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy Kong's Quest into Gameboy music for Donkey Kong Land 2. This lead to his work on Goldeneye 007 along with fellow composers Graeme Norgate and Robin Beanland created music and sound for the title.
Kirkhope then flew solo on Banjo-Kazooie, creating all of the music and sound for the title. Kirkhope's work on the Nintendo 64 concluded with Donkey Kong 64 and working alongside Norgate and David Clynick on Perfect Dark as well as Banjo-Tooie.
Following Rare's acquisition by Microsoft, the company focussed their efforts on the Xbox, and Kirkhope created the score for 2003's Grabbed by the Ghoulies, along with Steve Burke wrote the score for 2006's Viva Piñata and flew solo on the sequel Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise in 2008.
Kirkhope worked alongside composer Mark Cromer on the RPG Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. His career at Big Huge Games unfortunately came to a close due to the their parent company 38 Games laying off all their staff and becoming bankrupt1.
In August 2012 Kirkhope announced he received an offer of employment from Spark Unlimited. He has also signed up to the idea of making a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie with artist Steven Hurst. Interest is being gauged on Twitter on the account @MingyJongo