Mike Shinoda

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Mike Shinoda
Mike Shinoda World Expo 2008.jpg
Mike Shinoda at World Expo 2008
Born Michael Kenji Shinoda
(1977-02-11) February 11, 1977 (age 37)[1]
Agoura Hills, California, United States
Occupation Rapper, singer-songwriter, musician, producer, graphic designer, visual artist, manager, Film composer, conductor and record producer
Years active 1994–present
Spouse(s) Anna Hillinger (m. 2003)
  • Otis Akio Shinoda
Musical career
Genres Rap metal, rap rock, hip hop, nu metal, alternative rock, alternative metal
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bass guitar, keyboard, piano, sampler, turntables, organ, theremin, synthesizer
Labels Machine Shop/Warner Bros.
Associated acts
Signature Mike Shinoda Signature.png

Michael Kenji "Mike" Shinoda (born February 11, 1977)[1] is an American musician, record producer, and artist. He co-founded Linkin Park in 1996 and is presently the band's rhythm guitarist, songwriter, keyboardist, and co-vocalist. Shinoda later created a hip hop-driven side project, Fort Minor, in 2003. He served as a producer for tracks and albums by Lupe Fiasco, Styles of Beyond, and The X-Ecutioners. He is also the co-founder of Machine Shop Recordings, a California-based record label. Outside of music, Shinoda is an artist and graphic designer. He has painted several pieces of artwork, some of which have been featured in the Japanese American National Museum.

Life and career[edit]

Early life[edit]

Shinoda was born and raised in the Los Angeles suburb of Agoura Hills.[1] His father is Japanese-American, descendant of the Kumaichiro Shinoda floral company family, and his mother is European.[2][3] He has a younger brother, Jason. He was raised as a liberal Protestant.[4] Shinoda mother encouraged him to take classical piano lessons when he was six. By 13, he expressed the desire to move toward playing jazz, blues, and even hip-hop.[5] He later added the guitar and rap-style vocals to his repertoire during his middle school and high school years.

Shinoda attended Agoura High School with Linkin Park bandmates Brad Delson and Rob Bourdon. The trio formed the band Xero, and began to make a more serious attempt to pursue a career in the music industry. After graduating high school, Shinoda enrolled in the Art Center College of Design of Pasadena to study graphic design and illustration.[1] He attended classes with DJ and turntablist Joseph Hahn. While studying at the Art Center College of Design, he experienced a form of identity crisis. Years later, in an interview he said:

Shinoda graduate in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts in Illustration and obtained a job as a graphic designer.[1] With his background as a graphic artist. He designed the cover-art for Styles of Beyond's debut album, 2000 Fold in 1999.[7]

Linkin Park[edit]

Mike Shinoda performing with Linkin Park at Rock im Park, 2014.
Main article: Linkin Park

Shinoda founded Linkin Park with Rob Bourdan and Brad Delson in 1996. They eventually brought in turntablist John Hahn, bassist Dave Farrell, and vocalist Mark Wakefield. The earliest incarnation of the band was called Xero, and originally produced and recorded music in Shinoda's bedroom.[8] When the band was unable to find a record deal, Wakefield and Farrell left the band to pursue other musical interests. The band later recruited Chester Bennington and successfully landed a record Deal with Warner Bros Records. Linkin Park's first studio album, Hybrid Theory went on to become a breakthrough success and helped the band attain international success.[8]

Shinoda is closely involved in the technical aspects of the band's recordings, and over the subsequent releases that role continued to expand. Shinoda, with guitarist Brad Delson, engineered and produced the band's Hybrid Theory EP, and performed similar roles in the recording of Hybrid Theory. He has contributed to the instrumental and lyrical composition on most songs of Linkin Park's songs. Though Bennington primarily serves as Linkin Park's lead vocalist, he occasionally shares the role with Shinoda. Bennington has a higher pitched and emotional style of singing,[9] whereas Shinoda has a baritone hiphop-style delivery.[10] He draws inspiration for his music from early hip-hop acts, such as B.D.P., Public Enemy, N.W.A., and Juice Crew.[11] Shinoda organized and oversaw the band's first remix album Reanimation in 2002, contributing his own production of remixes that he made in his home studio for "Crawling" and "Pushing Me Away". Shinoda collaborated with graffiti artist DELTA, graphic designer Frank Maddocks, and band-mate Joe Hahn to prepare Renaimation's artwork. By the release of the Jay-Z and Linkin Park collaborative mashup EP, entitled Collision Course in 2004, Shinoda's involvement in the creation of the albums continued to grow. He produced and mixed the album, which won a Grammy Award for "best rap / song collaboration" in 2006.[12]

The band released their next album, Minutes to Midnight, on May 14, 2007. On this album, Shinoda shared a production credit with longtime producer Rick Rubin, overseeing the musical evolution of the band's sound. This album was also the first time that Shinoda, best known for his rapping, sang a featured vocal. Mike sang in the songs "In Between" and the B-side song, "No Roads Left", as well as rapping and singing in the songs "Bleed It Out" and "Hands Held High". Despite the rarity of Shinoda-fronted singing tracks, music magazine Hit Parader ranked Mike at number 72 of the Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time.[13] Mike and Rick Rubin again shared a production credit for Linkin Park's fourth album, A Thousand Suns, which was released on September 14, 2010. Then, Linkin Park released their fifth album Living Things on June 26, 2012. Recharged, which is a remix album consisting remixes of original songs from Living Things, was released on October 29, 2013. In 2014, Shinoda worked with Delson to produce the band's sixth studio album.[14]

Fort Minor[edit]

Main article: Fort Minor

In 2003, Shinoda formed a side project called Fort Minor, which he used as an avenue to further showcase his hip-hop background. He explained the origin of the project's name in an interview stating,[15]

Fort Minor's debut album, titled The Rising Tied, was released on November 22, 2005. The album featured musical collaborations from Styles of Beyond, Lupe Fiasco, Common, Black Thought of The Roots, John Legend, Holly Brook, Jonah Matranga, and Celph Titled. Jay-Z also served as the album's executive producer. The rising Tied was positively received by critics. The album's most successful single, "Where'd You Go" , peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.[16] Other songs like, "Petrified" and "Remember the Name" gained popularity when they were used as the soundtrack for NBA Overtime on TNT.[17]

Art and painting[edit]

Shinoda has had a hand in most artistic facets of Linkin Park's imagery, including album artwork, band merchandise, web design, and on-stage production art.[18] He has also worked on several art projects throughout his career.

In 2003, he did a collaborative "remix" shoe for DC Shoes, remixing the "Clientele". He reworked the colors and materials for the shoe, and additionally designed all the packaging and print advertisements.[19] The following year, he also designed a customizable Kid Robot "Munny" doll for a charity auction.[20] Later in 2008, Shinoda partnered with DC Shoes again on a second DC Remix Series project. The new collaboration featured a "great juxtaposition of Shinoda's unique influences: accomplished artist versus recording-breaking musician, American upbringing versus Japanese heritage."[21] The MS/DC limited edition remix has two different versions – Xander and Pride. Roughly 2000 pairs of the limited edition shoes were made available for purchase when the sneaker was released on August 1, 2008.

In 2004, Shinoda created a series of ten paintings which became the basis of the Fort Minor debut album, The Rising Tied. That series became the backbone for the packaging of the album, and was featured in Shinoda's first public art show "Diamonds Spades Hearts & Clubs".[22] In addition to the ten Fort Minor pieces, the show also featured thirteen more original works and five collaborative pieces. “Diamonds Spades Hearts & Clubs” opened at Gallery 1988 on Sunday, November 19, 2006.[23] Later that year, Shinoda founded a college scholarship at Art Center College of Design to benefit future illustration and graphic design students. Named the Michael K. Shinoda Endowed Scholarship, it is awarded based on financial need and merit. The scholarship was awarded for the first time in 2006.[24] The scholarship fund is made possible through the sale of his original artwork on his website, art shows and his DC Shoes projects.[22][25]

On July 11, 2008, Shinoda's second public art show "Glorious Excess (BORN)" premiered at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. The show included nine new pieces, with an exclusive signing on opening night. The show served as part one of the "Glorious Excess" two-part series, with the second installment "Glorious Excess (DIES)" due at JANM at August 22, 2009. Shinoda commented on the inspiration behind the Glorious Excess series, stating, "It Got to a point where the pervasiveness of 'celebrity news' concerned me. It seemed like it has jumped out of its niche into places where it doesn't belong. I would be watching the news, and thinking, 'of all the things going on in the world right now, why are they covering so-and-so's breakup?' It didn't make sense to me. Add to that the fact that I'm supposed to somehow 'belong' to that celebrity group—and I really don't feel like I do in a lot of ways—and you can see how the topic started to become really interesting to me. The Glorious Excess (BORN) show was my way of diving into those topics, trying to find answers. It follows a central 'celebrity' character, who is filthy rich, slightly violent, and famous without any particular skill or talent."[26]

Other musical activities[edit]

Shinoda has also served as a music producer for several other artists and groups. In 2002, Shinoda and Joe Hahn collaborated with the X-Ecutioners to produce and perform on their single "It's Goin' Down".[27] Later in 2002, Shinoda and Brad Delson established their own record label, Machine Shop Recordings.[28] He helped produce Lupe Fiasco's 2006 release, Food & Liquor.[29] He extensively worked with Styles of Beyond between 2009 and 2012 to help produce Reseda Beach, which also features his instrumental and vocal contribution.[30] In addition music, Shinoda scored the MTV VMA's in 2005 and also worked with Ramin Djawadi to score the video game, Medal of Honor: Warfighter.[31] In 2011, he collaborated with Joseph Trapanese to compose the score for the American release of The Raid: Redemption.[32]

In 2004, he released a remixed single and animated music video of Depeche Mode 1989 single, "Enjoy the Silence". In 2005, Shinoda hosted the Rock Phenomenon mixtape/remix CD with DJ Vlad and Roc Raida. The CD is the first (and to date, only) in DJ Vlad's Rock Phenomenon series (which itself is a spin-off of Vlad's Rap Phenomenon mixtape series), and features a mashup of Linkin Park's "Papercut", and David Banner's "Like a Pimp (Remix)".[33] For the 2006 Grammy awards, Shinoda and Brad Delson assembled the mashup track of Numb/Encore and "Yesterday" by The Beatles to be performed live by rapper Jay-Z, Linkin Park and former Beatles singer Paul McCartney.[34] Shinoda teamed up with former band mate Mark Wakefield to record and release a single, "Barack Your World", in October 2008.[35]

Personal life[edit]

Shinoda is a third generation Japanese American.[36][37] His father and aunt were forced to live in an Japanese Interment Camp during World War II.[38][39] He has been married to author Anna Shinoda (née Hillinger) since 2003. According to her blog,[40] they have two children.[41]

Shinoda was awarded with the Japanese American National Museum’s Award of Excellence in 2006.[33] In 2009, Shinoda received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters (L.H.D) from Art Center College Of Design.[33] EWP honored Shinoda with a Visionary Award and dinner in 2010.[33] He has also expressed an interest in politics. Shinoda started writing articles for The Big Issue in September 2012 and was the publication's US election correspondent.[42]


With Linkin Park
As Fort Minor
Other appearances
Year Movie Role Director Notes
2014 The Distortion of Sound Himself Jacob Rosenberg -


  1. ^ a b c d e Apar, Corey. "Mike Shinoda: Biography". allmusic. 
  2. ^ "Linkin Park's 818th Battalion: Mike's Not Russian". Linkinparks818th.blogspot.com. July 24, 2011. Retrieved December 7, 2011. 
  3. ^ Kimpel, Dan (2006). How they made it: true stories of how music's biggest stars went from start to stardom. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 978-0-634-07642-8. Retrieved September 27, 2010. 
  4. ^ McKeon, Therese. "Linkin Park: One Step Closer". Shout Web. ShoutWeb.com. Retrieved August 8, 2012. 
  5. ^ Scaggs, Austin (March 26, 2003). "The Mellower Half of Linkin Park". The Linkin Park Times. 
  6. ^ "Getting Back to His Roots, April 2006". Mike Shinoda Clan. April 28, 2006. Retrieved December 7, 2011. 
  7. ^ Stanton, Swihart (2014). "2000 Fold - Styles of Beyond / Credits / AllMusic". All Music Guide. Retrieved 2014-10-18. 
  8. ^ a b Rolling Stone Magazine, Linkin Park – Biography (March 14, 2002), The Linkin Park Times; retrieved on June 24, 2007.
  9. ^ Apar, Corey, Chester Bennington Biography, mtv.com, Retrieved on June 27, 2007.
  10. ^ Robinson, Bill (2013-07-29). "Linkin Park: Hi-Tech Rockers With a Good Rap". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2014-10-18. 
  11. ^ Tang, Melisa (2005). "Interviews - Mike Shinoda". The Situation. Retrieved 2014-10-12. 
  12. ^ "U2 dominates Grammy night". CBC News. February 9, 2006. 
  13. ^ "Hit Parader's Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time". HearYa. December 4, 2006. 
  14. ^ Joe, Bosso (2014-03-18). "Brad Delson talks Linkin Park's upcoming, guitar-heavy new album". Music Radar. Retrieved 2014-06-18. 
  15. ^ a b Seaver, Morley (2005). "Mike Shinoda (Linkin Park, Fort Minor) interview". antimusic.com. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  16. ^ "Billboard Hot 100: Week of June 10, 2006". Billboard. Retrieved May 4, 2010. 
  17. ^ August, Tara (2006-04-24). "TNT Teams with Linkin Park Frontman to Promote NBA Playoffs with Hot New Crossover". Turner Sports. Archived from the original on 2006-09-13. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  18. ^ Davis, Todd (2005-11-06). "Fort Minor: Remember The Name" [Fresh Art/21 Questions: Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park]. HipHopDX. Retrieved 2014-10-18. 
  19. ^ "LINKIN PARK’S MIKE SHINODA TO OPEN ART EXHIBITION". TransWorld Motocross. 2008-05-28. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  20. ^ "Mike Shinoda's MUNNY". Machine Shop Recordings. November 7, 2005. 
  21. ^ "About". DC Shoes: Mike Shinoda. Retrieved October 3, 2008. 
  22. ^ a b Mike Shinoda, [1]. Retrieved December 17, 2007.
  23. ^ Moss, Corey (2006-11-16). "Mike Shinoda Hosts Art Show, Says Linkin Park LP Gets Rick Rubin Excited". MTV. Retrieved 2014-10-18. 
  24. ^ "Linkin Park rapper and artist Michael K. Shinoda partners with DC Shoes" (Press release). Art Center College of Design. September 29, 2004. Archived from the original on March 3, 2005. Retrieved December 17, 2007. 
  25. ^ "Mike Shinoda". BandMerch Store. Archived from the original on October 24, 2007. Retrieved December 17, 2007. 
  26. ^ "The Excesses of Mike Shinoda". Rafu Shimpo. 2008-08-10. Archived from the original on 2008-08-13. Retrieved 2014-10-18. 
  27. ^ DJ Robotek RA Reviews: X-ecutioners - Built from Scratch on Sony (Album) Resident Advisor Retrieved July 31, 2014
  28. ^ Linkin Park Offer No Warning From Their Machine Shop MTV August 20, 2004.
  29. ^ "Lupe Fiasco Rolls With Jay-Z, Shinoda". Billboard. 2006-03-13. Retrieved 2014-10-18. 
  30. ^ Meara, Paul (2012-11-25). "Ryu Of Styles Of Beyond Explains Long Delays Of "Reseda Beach," Mike Shinoda's Involvement". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2014-10-18. 
  31. ^ Makuch, Eddie (2012-08-03). "Linkin Park frontman composed Medal of Honor Warfighter score". Gamespot. Retrieved 2014-10-18. 
  32. ^ Bowar, Chad (2012-03-21). "Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda Unleashes Digital Release of ‘The Raid: Redemption’ Soundtrack Read More: Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda Unleashes Digital Release of ‘The Raid: Redemption’ Soundtrack /". Loudwire. Retrieved 2014-10-18. 
  33. ^ a b c d "For Superfans Only « Mike Shinoda's Blog". Mikeshinoda.com. Retrieved December 7, 2011. 
  34. ^ Rytlewski, Evan (2013-02-12). "Jay-Z and Linkin Park’s Collision Course was at once a cash-in and a labor of love". A.V. Club. Retrieved 2014-10-18. 
  35. ^ Appleford, Steve (2008-11-07). "Linkin Park Hit the Studio in L.A.: “We Have a Ton of Material”". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2014-10-18. 
  36. ^ Jensen, Todd Aaron (2010). On Gratitude: Sheryl Crow, Jeff Bridges, Alicia Keys, Daryl Hall, Ray Bradbury, Anna Kendrick, B.B. King, Elmore Leonard, Deepak Chopra, and 42 More Celebrities Share What They're Most Thankful For. F+W Media, Inc. p. 224. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  37. ^ Marcello (February 1, 2012). "Creative Spotlight: Episode #93 – Mike Shinoda Interview". japancinema.net. Retrieved October 27, 2012. 
  38. ^ Lim, Cathy (April 28, 2006). "Getting Back to His Roots". The Rafu Shimpo. 
  39. ^ "Outside the Park". The Star (Malaysia). December 23, 2005. Archived from the original on 2008-05-11. Retrieved October 27, 2012. 
  40. ^ "The Kids ~ Linkin Lady". Linkinlady.net. Retrieved 2014-08-09. 
  41. ^ Shinoda, Anna (2012-05-29). "Learning Not to Drown Update and Other Stuff". annashinoda.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2014-10-18. 
  42. ^ Shinoda, Mike (September 10, 2012). "Mike Shindoa and Music For Relief: 'Let's power the world'". The Big Issue. Retrieved September 23, 2012. 

External links[edit]