Michael Kenji Shinoda (/ʃɪˈnoʊdə/, born February 11, 1977) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, rapper, record producer and graphic designer. He co-founded Linkin Park in 1996 and is the band's rhythm guitarist, primary songwriter, keyboardist, producer, and lead vocalist. Shinoda later created a hip-hop-driven side project, Fort Minor, in 2004. He has also served as a producer for tracks and albums by Lupe Fiasco, Styles of Beyond and The X-Ecutioners. Born and raised in Agoura Hills, California, Shinoda formed Xero, which later became Linkin Park, with two of his high school friends: Brad Delson and Rob Bourdon in 1996, later joined by Joe Hahn, Dave Farrell and Mark Wakefield. Chester Bennington replaced Wakefield as the lead vocalist. The band later signed a record deal with Warner Bros Records. Shinoda is also the co-founder of Machine Shop Records, a California-based record label. Outside of music, Shinoda is an artist and graphic designer. He has painted several pieces of artwork, some of which have been featured in the Japanese American National Museum. On January 25, 2018, Shinoda released the Post Traumatic EP, which contained three songs about his own feelings at the aftermath of Chester Bennington's death on July 20, 2017. In March 2018, Shinoda announced through social media that he was working on a new solo album under the same name; the record was released on June 15, 2018.