Starting production on a brand new track on Thursday, March 11, Shinoda started the live stream with a few reminders. He encouraged viewers to keep searching for new artists and songs to produce on the channel, as the excitement from the initial announcement for the #ShinodaProduceMe project had started to calm down. Wanting to keep the momentum of the project going, Shinoda then dedicated the rest of the stream to the production of the second and final new track of the week. The song was an, at the time, untitled track featuring vocals only from up and coming brother duo Brevin Kim, an artist Shinoda found thanks to Jacob Moore, founder of Pigeons and Planes. Commenting on the track he was sent, Shinoda believed that Brevin Kim originally had music with the vocal tracks that they didn’t like, prompting only the vocals to be sent to Shinoda, without chords or instruments.
“Excited to do this track today, it’s a different kind of track … we’re gonna get a little distorted, it’s like hip-hop, hyper-pop madness.”
After playing the original submission, Shinoda then started production by experimenting with different sounds to add to the track. He created a few tracks of drums, 808s, and electronic crashes, beats, and swells. He then added live guitar and, with some input from his Twitch chat and Brevin Kim, who were also watching the stream, Shinoda recorded a heavier sounding guitar track.
Following this initial production on Thursday, Shinoda then finished the track on Friday, March 12. While the song was previously untitled, on the second day’s live stream, a name had been given to the track, “Breath In Breathe Out.” Starting on day two of production, Shinoda had some notes about the song he wanted to go over before continuing with the track. Between the two production streams, he put in a few parts to improve the transitions between the verses, as well as changing the third drop after noticing all three of them were almost identical. He also noticed that the chord progression in the first verse did not come back again in the song, which is a good strategy when structuring a song, to bring back familiar pieces intermixed with new parts.
“… if you think about telling a story in a song … it’s important to bring themes back for the listener to kind of hang their hat on … you have to alternate between familiar and unfamiliar. The reason why a traditional song structure is verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus, in the most simple form … is because you get new, new, familiar, familiar … familiar doesn’t mean repeated. Like if your verse one was the exactly the same words and melody as verse two I think I’d get bored. That’s why verse two is same melody, but new words.”
Shinoda then filled in gaps he could hear in the song, searching for interesting effects to take up those spaces. He added swells to the chorus and paid special attention to the verses, especially the second verse. After adding more texture to the second verse, Shinoda ran a poll to see if viewers wanted to add more energy to the verse or keep it the way it is. The poll almost ended with a tie, with only a single vote more for adding more energy to the verse. After trying a few different things, Shinoda went back to one of the guitar tracks he recorded the day before, which seemed to work well with the rest of the song.
Brevin Kim is the professional name for brother duo, Bren and Cal, who got their start in 2015 before being signed to No Matter Records in 2018 courtesy of Jacob Moore. Originally from Boston, MA, their name is a reference to their roots, a blending of names from one half of the duo, Brendan, and the names of their parents, Kevin and Kim. Similar to the sound of 100 Gecs, Brevin Kim do not like to set limits to what they can create, melding genres into a distorted mix of sound and effect. The duo released their first album in 2018 titled Happy Tears, and their second album no less than three in 2020, which can be found on multiple streaming platforms including Spotify and Apple Music. They have also released an EP in collaboration with hip-hop artist Rapta called Bad Question, as well as an EP with Lil West titled Metallic Body Language. Official lyric and music videos for their songs can be found on their YouTube channel, including videos for their songs “i need water,” “Manzanita St.,” and “exhausted.”
If you weren’t able to see Brevin Kim’s track be produced live by Mike Shinoda, you can still watch the Twitch replay of the first day of production below! Make sure to check out both Brevin Kim’s music, as well as Shinoda’s previous production sessions. And stay tuned to Shinoda’s Twitch channel weekdays around 10 a.m. PT for more music production!
In addition, a few special announcements. The official music video for Mike Shinoda’s newest single, “Happy Endings” is out now, which you can watch here on Shinoda’s YouTube channel! Also, another #ShinodaProduceMe track has a release date. “Enough” by Kintsuku is set to drop on April 16 with an official music video on the way!