|Born||December 1, 1979|
|Genres||Electronic (techno, big beat, electro-funk, dubstep)|
|Musician, sound designer, game designer|
Simon Viklund (born Simon Wiklund, December 1, 1979) is a Swedish freelance video game composer, music producer, sound designer and game designer, who was first known for his work on the 2008 game Bionic Commando Rearmed, in which he was a creative director and composer. He is best known for his work in the Payday series as a composer and the voice of the character Bain.
In 2000, Viklund joined his friend Ulf Andersson's company, Grin, and composed music for many of the company's games such as Bionic Commando: Rearmed. He composed the music for the game and was also the creative director. In 2009, the company went bankrupt and Ulf Andersson and his brother founded Overkill Software. He is working at 10 Chambers Collective, another company founded by Ulf Andersson.
Simon Wiklund was born in Stockholm on December 1, 1979. His parents were musicians and he learned to play the piano, guitar, bass guitar, drums and to sing at a young age. As a teenager he sang in the local church choir, and was briefly a singer in a band established by his friends in high school. He studied arts in high school, but later became more interested in music. Wiklund was later influenced by the British band The Prodigy, and he began to write music in the late 90s with the help of a computer program called FastTracker 2. None of his music was released at the time, because he was personally unsatisfied with his creations.
He joined Grin in 2000 and acted as a composer and sound engineer on the company's first project, Ballistics. Viklund worked on all of Grin's games, including: Bandits: Phoenix Rising (2002), Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter (2006) and its sequel (2007), Bionic Commando Rearmed (2008), Wanted: Weapons of Fate (2009), Bionic Commando (2009) and Terminator Salvation (2009). Aside from Grin's projects, he also worked on Triotech Amusement's Wasteland Racers 2071 (2006). In 2009, Grin went bankrupt, and Viklund began working as a freelancer. He was commissioned by Capcom for a number of games, including Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 (2009), Final Fight: Double Impact, (2010) and Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition (2011) in which he composed the music for. His later changed his surname to Viklund as foreigners abroad often mispronounced his name, as 'W' and 'V' are pronounced similarly in Swedish.
Viklund, along with the Andersson brothers and other Grin employees, founded Overkill Software in 2009. At Overkill, Viklund composed the soundtrack for the company's first game, Payday: The Heist, drawing inspiration from the 1995 crime film Heat. He also voiced Bain, the main narrator and contract broker in the game. On August 18, 2015, Viklund left Overkill to focus on his solo music projects. However, he continued to voice Bain and produce music in Payday 2 as a freelancer. In 2016, he joined Ulf Andersson's new company, 10 Chambers Collective as a game designer and composer, while also continuing to work on his freelance projects.
Viklund's compositions are primarily based on elements of electronic music genres such as techno, big beat, electro-funk, or dubstep, but some have been based on rock, industrial music and rap. In 2008, Viklund's music was labelled by Swedish magazaine Nöjesguiden as "chip house" music, while Viklund considered his music to be from a variety of inspirations, ultimately becoming "8-bit-inspired dance music". His songs are usually between 120 and 133 BPM.(Beats Per Minute) He writes his songs by first writing down a melody that comes to mind, then determines the chord sequence with an acoustic guitar, then composes the song on the computer.
The music for his first two projects, Ballistics, and Bandits: Phoenix Rising, were made with FastTracker 2, while the tracks for Bionic Commando series and Payday: The Heist, were made with Jeskola Buzz. In 2013, for Payday 2, he moved on to using Ableton Live, supplemented with a Native Instruments Komplete keyboard and the reFX Nexus 2 Synthesizer plug-in. In addition, he also uses Focusrite Forte external sound cards, AKG Acoustics K 701 headphones, Genelec studio monitors, and Røde or Georg Neuman microphones.