Michael Kenji Shinoda (born February 11, 1977), professionally known as Mike Shinoda, is the emcee, singer, pianist, second guitarist, one of the original founders of Xero, which later became Hybrid Theory in 1998 and Linkin Park in 2000, and also founded his side project Fort Minor. He grew up in Agoura Hills, nearby Los Angeles, California.
Mike is thought by many to be the most versatile member of Linkin Park. Some of his numerous talents include rapping, playing the piano and guitar, producing, and art design. Shinoda was born to a Japanese father. Mike got into music at a young age, when he was taught how to play the piano. After years of classical training, Mike eventually began to produce and create his own loops using a keyboard he had purchased. Combining bands such as The Smashing Pumpkins and Rage Against The Machine with Wu-Tang Clan vocals, Shinoda started to lay down the genre-blending style that would later become the cornerstone of Linkin Park's sound.
While attending Agoura High School with his junior high chum Brad Delson, Mike and Brad met drummer Rob Bourdon through a mutual friend in a local band named Karma. Rob was soon asked to be the drummer for their new band, Xero. When Brad and Mike went to separate colleges they met two people who were also asked to join their band, turntablist Joseph Hahn and bassist Dave Farrell. Mike recruited Hahn from Pasadena's Art College of Design they both attended, and Brad met Phoenix at UCLA. Mike's main plan for Xero was to create a sound without categorizational boundaries that seamlessly blended several styles of music, including rock, hip-hop, and electronica. This was much like what he had done on his own at a younger age with his keyboard, yet on a larger scale. Mike was a fan of bands from many different categories of music, including Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, N.W.A, and more.
Mike has also shown he can excel outside of Linkin Park, becoming very active in helping underground hip-hop artists get recognition. On the Linkin Park remix album Reanimation, which Shinoda produced, many of the guest stars chosen to remix Hybrid Theory tracks were those of the underground hip-hop scene. Shinoda also released a solo hip-hop effort under the moniker of Fort Minor in 2005, where he gave the opportunity to many up-and-coming musicians to get their shot at having their voices heard on a mainstream stage. His artistic skills played a large part in the development of that album's cover, cd and promotional art, and in 2006 Mike put his skills on display through his first art show in Los Angeles titled Diamonds, Spades, Hearts & Clubs.
The success of that show would later lead to Mike holding two more art shows in 2008-2009: "Glorious Excess: Born" and "Glorious Excess: Dies", both of which were held at the Japanese American National Museum. In 2010, Mike Shinoda helped contribute enemy and character artwork to Linkin Park's first ever iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch game "8-Bit Rebellion!". Mike is constantly creating music and artwork in his spare time.
Mike has a B.A in Illustration, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA.
- 1998 - Art direction and design for the promotional materials and album 2000 Fold by Styles of Beyond
- 1999 - Art direction, illustration, and design for Hybrid Theory (band) website and fan materials, and The Underground Tapes by Saukrates
- 2000 - Art direction, illustration, and design Linkin Park album and promotional materials, and collaboration on album cover for Hybrid Theory
- 2002 - Art direction, illustration, and design for Reanimation album cover, album and promotional materials
- 2003 - Art direction for Meteora, with co-installation with Delta and Joseph Hahn. Art direction for Live in Texas. Identity Art and creative direction for Machine Shop Recordings and Machine Shop Marketing. Art direction and design for Megadef by Styles of Beyond
- 2004 - DC Shoe Clientele Remix: design of shoe, shoebox art, insole and promo materials
- 2005 - Art direction, illustration, and design for Fort Minor album and promo materials for The Rising Tied, and for the MTV VMA score in 2005
- 2006 - Art exhibit Diamonds, Spades, Hearts & Clubs
- 2007 - Participation and organization for charity art book "The Revolution Unseen" for distribution at Projekt Revolution.
- 2008 - Art exhibit Glorious Excess: Born
- 2009 - Art exhibit Glorious Excess: Dies, artwork for "Stories of the Lost" by Zii
- 2010 - Character design, art direction for 8-Bit Rebellion!
- 2011 - Design of two t-shirts, one bearing the words "Not Alone" and the other featuring an origami butterfly. Proceeds go toward Japan Earthquake relief.
He produced The Rising Tied, the only debut album under the monkier name of Fort Minor, and also tracks from Lupe Fiasco and Styles of Beyond, as well as the collaborative mash-up EP Collision Course with Jay-Z (who was also Shinoda's executive producer for The Rising Tied and We Major).
Bourdon assisted on the drums with Shinoda to remix Depeche Mode's classic hit "Enjoy the Silence" in 2004.
Other Musical Activities
- In 2002, Mike Shinoda and Brad Delson from Linkin Park, and Rakaa from the Dilated Peoples were premiered at The Wake Up Show, as Shinoda and Rakaa freestyle while it was being aired on radio in the past. Mike Shinoda & Rakaa Freestyle at The Wake Up Show
- In 2005, Mike hosted the Rock Phenomenon mixtape CD with DJ Vlad and former X-Ecutioners turntablist 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 mash-up of Linkin Park's "Papercut", and David Banner's "Like a Pimp (Remix)". The mixtape was re-released on July 10, 2007, with new artwork.
- For the 2006 Grammy awards, Shinoda and Delson assembled the mashup track of Numb/Encore and "Yesterday" by The Beatles to be performed live by Jay-Z, Linkin Park and Paul McCartney.
- Mike was an honorary parade marshall in Los Angeles Nisei Week, 2005.
- Mike was awarded the Japanese American National Museum’s Award of Excellence in 2006.
- Mike and Joseph Trapanese worked together to create a new score for the American release of the 2011 film, The Raid: Redemption.
Mike started writing articles for The Big Issue in September 2012 and will act as publication's US election correspondent.
- Studio Albums
|2000||Linkin Park||Studio Finals 5/7/00||AGM|
|2002||The X-Ecutioners||Built from Scratch||Loud Records, Sony BMG|
|2005||Fort Minor||The Rising Tied||Machine Shop, Warner Bros.|
|2006||Lupe Fiasco||Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor||1st & 15th Entertainment, Atlantic|
|2007||Linkin Park||Minutes to Midnight||Machine Shop, Warner Bros.|
|2010||Cypress Hill||Rise Up||Priority|
|Linkin Park||8-Bit Rebellion!||Machine Shop|
|A Thousand Suns||Machine Shop, Warner Bros.|
|Styles of Beyond||Reseda Beach||Dirty Version Records|
|2014||Linkin Park||The Hunting Party||Machine Shop, Warner Bros.|
- Remix albums
|2002||Linkin Park||Reanimation||Warner Bros.|
|2006||DJ Vlad & Roc Raida||Rock Phenomenon||Altered Ego|
|2009||Julien-K|| Death to Digital
Death to Digital X
|2013||Linkin Park||Recharged||Machine Shop, Warner Bros.|
|1999||Xero||Xero Sampler Tape||Mix Media|
|Hybrid Theory||Hybrid Theory (8-track CD)|
|Hybrid Theory (2-track CD)|
|2000||Hybrid Theory Demos|
|Hybrid Theory (Linkin Park - Demos from 02-2000)|
|Linkin Park||Hybrid Theory (6-track CD)|
|Hybrid Theory Sampler Tape|
|2005||Fort Minor||We Major||Machine Shop|
|2007||Styles of Beyond||Razor Tag|
- Live albums
|2006||Fort Minor||Sessions @ AOL||Machine Shop|
|2007||Linkin Park Underground||LP Underground 7.0|
|2011||Linkin Park||A Thousand Suns+||Machine Shop, Warner Bros.|
- Extended plays
|1999||Hybrid Theory||Hybrid Theory EP||Mix Media|
|2001||Hybrid Theory EP (Re-issued)|
|2002||Linkin Park Underground||LP Underground 2.0||Machine Shop|
|2003||LP Underground 3.0|
|2004||Jay-Z & Linkin Park||Collision Course||Def Jam, Machine Shop, Roc-A-Fella, Warner Bros.|
|Linkin Park Underground||LP Underground 4.0||Machine Shop|
|2005||LP Underground 5.0|
|2006||Fort Minor||Militia EP||Machine Shop, Warner Bros.|
|Linkin Park Underground||LP Underground 6.0||Machine Shop|
|2008||Linkin Park||Live from SoHo||Warner Bros.|
|Songs from the Underground||Machine Shop, Warner Bros.|
|Linkin Park Underground||Sweet Hamster Like Jewels from America (LP Underground 8.0)||Warner Bros.|
|2009||LP Underground 9.0: Demos||Machine Shop|
|2010||A Decade Underground|
|LP Underground X: Demos|
|Linkin Park||2011 North American Tour EP||-|
|2011||A Thousand Suns: Puerta De Alcalá||Warner Bros.|
|iTunes Festival: London 2011|
|Linkin Park Underground||LP Underground 11||Machine Shop|
|2012||LP Underground 12|
|2013||LP Underground 13|
|2014||Linkin Park x Steve Aoki||A Light That Never Comes (Remixes)||Dim Mak, Warner Bros.|