Mike Shinoda is primary songwriter, producer and co-lead vocalist of the Grammy-nominated alternative metal band Linkin Park, which he cofounded in 1996. Since its inception, he has overseen Linkin Park’s artwork and imagery, including art for the band’s albums, merchandise and online presence. Shinoda also oversees the band’s branding and marketing, including tours, album releases and collaborative projects. Linkin Park’s debut album, Hybrid Theory, was the best-selling album of 2001.
Offstage and out of the studio, Shinoda’s interests have ranged from gallery exhibitions to fashion design. He has designed a number of products—including several shoes for DC Shoes and a parka for 686, maker of fashionable outerwear—and also collaborated with Bamford Watch Department on a collectible luxury watch.
In 2005 he and his bandmates founded Music for Relief, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing aid to victims of natural disasters and the prevention of such disasters. Music for Relief has been active in recovery efforts for Hurricane Katrina, China’s Wenchuan earthquake, a cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe, earthquakes in Haiti and Japan in 2010 and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
In 2008 and 2009 the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles showcased a two-part solo exhibition of paintings by Shinoda, who is Japanese American—Glorious Excess (Born) and Glorious Excess (Dies)—with the proceeds from his artwork and merchandise going toward the Michael K. Shinoda Endowed Scholarship at ArtCenter, which he founded in 2004.
Shinoda, who is an investor in companies such as Sonos and Spotify, joined his band in cofounding Machine Shop, a music company turned venture capital firm that invests in tech startups. Fort Minor, his hip-hop side project, and Projekt Revolution, Linkin Park’s multigenre music festival, are some of his other endeavors.
A 1998 graduate of ArtCenter’s Illustration Department, Shinoda received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from ArtCenter in 2009.