Meet Shinobi Ninja, a Brooklyn-based band known for their high-energy performances and electronic sound.

Photo Credit: Commons.wikimedia.org

Hip-hop, punk and rock have a love child and its name is Shinobi Ninja.

Breaking sound barriers with productions that embody various music genres like jazz, heavy metal and hip-hop, Shinobi Ninja’s genre ambiguity defies what it means to be pigeonholed in the music industry – they’ve created a lane of their own. BK Reader had the chance to chat with band member and Brooklyn native Duke Sims about the evolution of Shinobi Ninja and creating music with authenticity.

“When we were starting our band, we never took into consideration that we were joining some type of business. We were making music and just expressing ourselves,” says Sims.

“When we were starting our band, we never took into consideration that we were joining some type of business. We were making music and just expressing ourselves,” says Sims. “Our style is from all the things around us, all the music that came before us—we heard it and we’re just regurgitating it in our own style.”

Formed in 2008, band members include Duke Sims, singer, rapper and guitarist; Baby G, lead singer and rapper; Alien Lex on the bass; Terminator Dave on the drums; Maniac Mike aka Kid Shreddi on guitar; and DJ Axis Powers on the turntables.

Shinobi Ninja made their mark in 2010 when the band released “Shinobi Ninja Attacks,” a first of its kind video game album app that rewarded users with a soundtrack download after checking in via GPS at a live show. The project’s success spawned the album app generation, launching Shinobi Ninja’s internet presence, and garnering bookings with tours nation-wide and performances at various music festivals including Afropunk, Summerfest, SXSW and Warped Tour.

With their unique sound and business mantra, they’ve developed into a superior rock act with a following built from touring, recording, social networking and their understanding of the music industry. Before the band, each member had their respective careers in music.

Photo Credit: songkick.com

Duke Sims comes from a production and engineering background at Progressive Studios. Baby G was a professional dancer prior to joining the band who has worked with artists such as, Rihanna, Jason Derulo and Cassie. Twin brothers Kid Shreddi and Terminator Dave worked in a recording studio until they met Sims. Alien Lex worked as an engineer and DJ Axis built his rapport as a battle and club DJ several years prior. One night, the six members met in a studio called Progressive Music in Hell’s Kitchen one night and the rest is history.

Fast forward to 2018 and several studio albums later and the band is still making music with the same authentic sound. Their most recent release “Bless Up” has been quite popular among listeners of the niche variety of music.

In addition to creating intersectional music, the band continues to stay true to their grassroots following by continuing to support local venues and performing all across the borough. “One of my favorite places to perform is Brooklyn Bowl,” says Sims. “It’s always good vibes and good energy when we go there.” Brooklyn Bowl, a bowling alley restaurant venue, is a long time supporter of Shinobi Ninja and many other underground artists.

“It’s important for us to perform at a place like Brooklyn Bowl – especially being from Brooklyn – that’s the water that we drank,” says Sims. “So we gotta get that water, put it in a spray bottle and spray it on everyone.”

“It’s important for us to perform at a place like Brooklyn Bowl – especially being from Brooklyn – that’s the water that we drank,” says Sims. “So we gotta get that water, put it in a spray bottle and spray it on everyone.”

It’s clear that the legend of Shinobi Ninja is deeply rooted in the heart of Brooklyn, where they have developed a strong presence in the underground music scene as well as a loyal following. It is equally apparent that passion and dedication is what drives Shinobi Ninja to continue making the music that they love.

“When you’ve been a band for nine years, you’ve kind of done a cycle,” says Sims. “We really did a decade cycle, so moving into the next phase we just want to vibe with the people by spreading love and passion to everyone.”

Photo Credit: OcchiMagazine.com

For many artists in the industry, it is a constant struggle to hold a substantial level of relevance while still preserving one’s authentic sound. Shinobi Ninja has managed to stay afloat for almost ten years while also staying true to themselves, their listeners and each other as a band family.

This year, Shinobi Ninja is looking to revolutionize their sound while remaining close to their hip-hop and heavy metal upbringing. Under new management, Shinobi Ninja has big plans in the forthcoming year, so keep an eye out for new music, more live performances and hopefully some tour dates to come.

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Margot Elise

Margot is a contributing writer for BK Reader, a freelance photographer, and a knower of all things Brooklyn from the most millennial perspective ever. Born and raised in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn and now...

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