RADIO.COM's self-proclaimed music geek Kevan Kenney, caught up with other fellow music geek Mike Shinoda, to talk about what’s next, uncovering up and coming artists, and staying forward thinking and current.
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For those who don’t know, Mike streams on Twitch five days a week. Every stream Mike makes “a brand new thing from scratch." It’s generally a song, and reveled that “as of the beginning of this year I started a new program where I’m basically producing fans’ songs.” Mike relies on his Twitch community to find “stuff they think is cool… the cream rises to the top and when I hear one of those things that I really enjoy, I contact that artist.”
Shinoda noted that he isn’t bound to a specific genre and has so far worked on songs, “that could have been off like a Beyoncé record to underground Hip Hop, to metal to hyper Pop,” well you get the deal. Mike’s main goal and role is to be “in charge of making it sound as good as I can.” Doing this, as Mike said, “keeps his tools really sharp.”
Switching up the conversation to up and coming artists, Kevan brought up Brevin Kim, an Alt/Indie duo that is relatively new to the music scene. Mike met the duo through Jacob Moore, the founder of music discovery outlet Pigeons and Planes. “I tend to find like a lot of great music on their site,” Mike shared, even having contributed a few written pieces of his own at one point or another.
His thoughts on new music, isn’t the only thing Mike is willing to share. He’s also willing and more than happy to help out and give advice to any serious unknown artist seeking it.
Recent worldwide events aside, as Kevan correctly noted, music and the rise of musicians isn’t what it used to be. In the past, live shows and word of mouth was crucial for musicians to have a chance to be heard by labels. These days, with the proper tools, artists can put together and entire album without ever leaving their living room. Leading to some of the newcomers having chart topping hits, though they’ve never actually publicly performed them.
Speaking to that thought and to those interested in music, Mike shared some advice, “think a few steps ahead.” You put out a song, great, well, “what if it hits… what if next thing is you need to get on tour and play shows.” Preparation is beyond necessary.
Mike then mentioned Tobe Nwigwe, as a prime example of preparation, explaining, “he raps, he sings, he’s very much a captivating performer.” Continuing on, “he has, I think its a room in his house, with like almost all white everything, and he’ll often wear all white too. And he does performances out of there all the time. You can tell he performs every single day, and he’s starting to blow up… like he’s so ready.” Additionally noting, “he has a lot of followers already, but like he hasn’t had a huge hit,” but when he inevitably does, Mike insists, “he’s so ready to be a star.”
According to Mike, for new artists “that’s kinda where to be.” As far as he’s concerned, currently his focus is research and development. We’ve already covered the research part, as for the development, that includes working on new songs, individually or for a collab. Choosing to release a song here and there, and if the time came for an album, Mike assured us he’s ready.
To tie things up in a cute little bow, Mike’s newest song “Happy Ending” is a perfect example of merging both research and development vibe he’s on.
He teamed up with iann dior and UPSAHL for the track, both of which are new artists, even though Mike admitted, “I can’t say I was early on the curve on iann,” adding “he blew up out of nowhere,” of course referring to his feature on 24KGoldn’s major hit “Mood.” While UPSAHL was a name that kept coming up throughout his various researching outlets. Listen to what that sounds like below.
Mike also shared a story or two about starting out and his time in Linkin Park. No but for real guys, there’s so much more, do yourself a favor and check out the entire interview above.