Origin Los Angeles, California
Country United States
Years active 1996-present (with Linkin Park)
2004-present (with Fort Minor)
Genres Nu-Metal, Hip-Hop
Michael Kenji Shinoda (born February 11, 1977) is an American musician and record producer.
He's best known for his work in the nu metal band Linkin Park. He's also active in a hip hop side project known as Fort Minor.
Born to a Japanese American father  and a white American mother who also has some Native American blood, Mike Shinoda, or Michael Kenji Shinoda, was raised in the Los Angeles suburb of Agoura, where he resided for all of his pre-adult life. Contrarily to speculation by some fans, Mike Shinoda is not in any way Russian. This was stated on the Fort Minor MySpace profile.  Mike Shinoda has a younger brother named Jason Shinoda.
Mike's first exposure to the music business came during his middle and high school years, when he attended a concert featuring Anthrax and Public Enemy. After that, he began taking piano lessons, studying classical pianist techniques, and later moved on to jazz and hip-hop. It was during this formative period that he added the guitar and, eventually, rap-style vocals to his repertoire.
In his early teens, Shinoda's musical interests found a source of encouragement in friend Brad Delson, with whom he started to write and record songs with in a makeshift studio set up in his bedroom. Shinoda attended the Agoura High School with Linkin Park bandmate Brad Delson, as well as with members of the band Hoobastank. By the end of high school, percussion practitioner Bourdon had become involved in their musical ventures. The trio formed the band Xero, and began to make a more serious attempt to pursue a career in the music industry.
After high school, Shinoda enrolled in the Art Center College of Design to study graphic design and illustration. It was here that he made the acquaintance of DJ and turntablist Joseph Hahn, who, along with Delson's college-mate Dave "Phoenix" Farrell, was soon added to Xero's line-up. Shinoda eventually completed his college training with a degree in illustration, securing himself a job as a graphic designer right after graduation. With his experience and talent as a graphic artist, Shinoda has taken it upon himself in designing all of Linkin Park's artwork with Hahn, and has even designed the album cover for Styles of Beyond's debut album, 2000 Fold.
Just prior to his graduation, in the final year of his studies, the band (at this point called Hybrid Theory) brought in second vocalist Chester Bennington, replacing Mark Wakefield. Only one six-track EP would be released under the new name before legal issues forced them once again to change it - and thus it came to pass that Shinoda and his bandmates ultimately were to call themselves Lincoln Park. However, it was too expensive to buy the domain name lincolnpark.com, so it was ultimately changed to Linkin Park. Throughout 1999, Linkin Park continued to expand their following amongst L.A. club patrons. This growth in popularity made a record contract an even more urgent concern for the band, and Shinoda was forced to juggle his college finals with talent showcases for various major labels; while the former went well for him, the latter failed to accomplish any positive results until the year was nearly over. Several labels had passed on the privilege until, finally, Warner Brothers made the decision to add the young band to its long list of artists. The first fruits of this union surfaced in the Fall of 2000 as Hybrid Theory, sporting a cover designed by Shinoda himself; before long the album had found its way high into the charts, launching Linkin Park as one of the most popular exponents of the rap-metal crossgenre.
From the start Shinoda was closely involved in the technical aspects of the band's recordings, and over the subsequent releases that role continued to expand, with the singer tackling a fair amount of the production duties for the Hybrid Theory remix album Reanimation (2002). His musical role also evolved, and the sophomore release Meteora (2003) saw him assuming a more prominent role as a guitarist. By the release of the Linkin Park and Jay-Z 'mash-up' album Collision Course in 2004, he had his hands in every aspect of the release, from performing and producing to mixing and graphic design. Production and remix work for various other performers including The X-Ecutioners, Handsome Boy Modeling School and Depeche Mode was also undertaken from time to time.
In 2003, Shinoda launched his own record label with Delson as an imprint of Warner Brothers Records. The newly-formed Machine Shop Recordings would then go on to sign artists such as Styles of Beyond, Holly Brook, Simplistic and No Warning. (Simplistic and No Warning have since broken up.)
Mike is currently married to Anna Lovejoy and lives in Los Angeles, California.
Shinoda formed a side project named "Fort Minor" between 2004 and 2005. He explained the name of his project in a recent interview :
"Fort" represents the more aggressive side of the music. "Minor" can mean a few things: if you're talking about music theory, the minor key is darker. I wanted to name the album rather than having my name on the cover, because I want people to focus on the music, not me.
The debut album from Fort Minor, titled The Rising Tied, was released on November 22, 2005, and includes guest appearances from Styles of Beyond, Lupe Fiasco, Common, Black Thought of The Roots, John Legend, Holly Brook, Jonah Matranga and features Jay-Z (Shawn Carter) as an executive producer.
Shinoda has also produced albums for Lupe Fiasco and Styles of Beyond, as well as producing several of Linkin Park's albums, including Reanimation, Hybrid Theory EP and the collaborative EP with Jay-Z, Collision Course. He has also produced all of Linkin Park's Linkin Park Underground CDs.
MTV VMA scoring
Shinoda, alongside Lil Jon, was asked to score the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards. This was especially impressive as it was the first time in the show's history that artists were given the chance to score the show. Shinoda contributed five short tracks to the score: "100 Degrees," "Saturday," "Montreal," "Hype" and "Madison." They are all instrumental pieces. "100 Degrees" was eventually later made into a full song where Shinoda raps and can be found on the Fort Minor mixtape.
posted by wikipedia