Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda is teaming with the Grammys to become a mentor for up-and-coming artists. The emcee recently attended a press conference at the Conga Room in L.A. to announce his role in the new Centerstage project.
As part of his duties, Shinoda will also serve as curator for the Centerstage Powered By Grammy Amplifier program, where he will be heavily involved in selecting the three winning artists who will eventually have a recording session with a Grammy-winning producer. Artists can submit their tracks via SoundCloud and have them heard by a panel that includes Shinoda. The three winners will then get the recording session and hands-on experience with Grammy winners.
Shinoda told Rolling Stone that he is excited to be exposed to different styles of music. "If you follow me on Twitter or on Spotify, I’m always posting new things," he said. "If you go on there right now, you’ll see the variety of music that I’m into. But when it comes to this program, I don’t think it’ll be in any way limited to even that. It’s gonna be bigger than that. I’m looking forward to seeing artists whose style I might not be expected to like catch my ear."
Could an opening act for Linkin Park emerge from this type of process? "Sure," he said, sharing the story of the Polish DJ Czeslaw Sakowski, who won the right to be on album A Thousand Suns by winning the remix contest for "The Catalyst." "We put him on our record," Shinoda said. "That’s the kind of thing that could’ve turned out very badly. All the submissions could’ve sucked, the person could’ve been a nightmare, whatever. A lot of things can go wrong and you have to say in the name of experimenting and the name of innovation you’re gonna put your money where your mouth is and risk it."
Right now, after a heavy cycle of making music that saw three albums in five years and major tours for every album, Linkin Park are exploring other areas of innovation. "We’ve kind of added some areas of focus rather than just thinking about things like touring and records," he said. "We’ve kind of carved out some space for other projects because our interests have always been very broad, and by devoting some time to those things it stops any and all of us from feeling like we have this pent up desire to dive into other things. We got a handful of other things in the pipeline as well."