Born to a Japanese father (Mike Shinoda) and an American mother (Shinoda), 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. (Unfortunately the rumor that Mike Shinoda is a distant descendant of composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is false.) Shinoda’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 piano 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 in a makeshift studio set up in his bedroom. Shinoda attended the Agoura High School with Linkin Park bandmates Brad Delson and Rob Bourdon, as well as with members of the bands Incubus and Hoobastank. By the end of high school, percussion practicioner 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 as a graphic artist, Shinoda ended up 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.
Edited by Flovk on 2 May 2010, 20:03
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