Chipzel has spent a decade making incredible music with Game Boys

Chipzel at Blip Fest in 2011.

When Niamh Houston was around four years old, she and her sister received a Game Boy and a copy of Super Mario Land for Christmas. Along with the game and handheld, they also had a tiny speaker that plugged into the Game Boy’s headphone jack, amplifying the sound. For Houston, her earliest memories aren’t of collecting coins in the game or exploring the Mushroom Kingdom. “I remember the music the most,” she says. “It was really raw and beautiful, and unlike anything else that you’d hear.”

That little speaker would have a big impact on her. Today, Houston is better known by her stage name Chipzel; she’s one of the most iconic performers in the chiptune scene, where musicians make new songs using old video game hardware. Today she travels…

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