When I first saw Shinobi Ninja’s video What If Times I instantly fell in love with the group. As I started to watch more videos and listen to previous albums by the group I was amazed.
I know it sound stupid but it felt like I’ve been missing out in life. When a band (who is right under my nose over in Brooklyn) has been out for a few years playing some amazing music that you instantly love you kind of feel sad that no one invited you to the party. On the flip side there is a ton of music for me to listen to.
It’s hard for me to define Shinobi Ninja’s sound. They feel to me like 2 Skinnee J’s did back in the early 2000’s – a group so amazing they are difficult to pin down. So what do they sound like? They have this phenom rock/rap/hip-hop/funk awesomeness happening for them – but they are also soulful and have amazing singing voices.
It feels like if the Beastie Boys, Grouplove, and Citizen King formed a supergroup you would have Shinobi Ninja. You have one lead vocalist named Doobie Duke Sims whose sound can be described as if you threw Shifty Shellshock, Ad-Rock, and Christian Zucconi into a blender and out came just an amazing voice for singing and rapping. The other vocalist is Baby G – if Res and Butterfly Mecca formed like The Wonder Twins they would form into Baby G. Her voice is luscious and smooth. Her raps are solid, on-point, and wonderful.
I got together with Doobie Duke Sims to ask about the band and what they are currently up to…
RM: What are the origins of Shinobi Ninja? When the band came together what kind of music did you want to make – or did you always know you wanted to make a large amalgam of different genres thrown together?
DOOBIE DUKE SIMS: We joined forces a couple years after meeting at a studio in Hell’s Kitchen called Studio Forever. We wanted to make awesome music. (We) definetly did not know it would be some ground breaking or different music that hasn’t been heard before. (We) just wanted to rock.
RM: The band name is unique and great. Who came up with it and why did it stick?
DOOBIE DUKE SIMS: I came up with the Shinobi part from my love of the video game Shinobi. The guitar player and drummer’s mom’s house she designed was very Asian styled so we combined that with the ninja aspect and, BAM, Shinobi Ninja.
RM: Having a female rapper/singer and male rapper/singer really makes the band sound unlike any band out there – was this a conscious decision? What is the writing process like between Baby G and yourself?
DOOBIE DUKE SIMS: Me and Baby G both rap, sing, scream and whatever else noises we can make. There isn’t a lot of bands or groups out there with 2 singers let alone a male and female. Let alone doing all the styles we do. We gotta write for the both of us. Combo love!
RM: As a gamer I want to ask – how cool was it to have your own video game? Did you like the final product? Do you want a sequel?
DOOBIE DUKE SIMS: That was super cool. I had the iPhone app on my phone up until a couple months ago even though it hasn’t been available since 2013. That’s how cool it was. Yes! A sequel would be dope!!!
RM: Along with the great sound and phenom songs you seem to keep creative with your videos as well. Your song What If Times was shot entirely on a cell phone and it looks FANTASTIC. What was the decision to shoot on a cell phone? Did you try out test footage or jump right in? Was the editing easy? Did you love the end result?
DOOBIE DUKE SIMS: We didn’t own a camera. We had limited resources to create that video. The phone was the newest technology we had at the time. It had slow mo and you could attach a fish eye! It shot in 1080. We jumped right in. Baby G had the vision. Editing was easy and shooting was easy. It was a great and fun video. It’s touching the world and its changing our lives.
RM: Your new album Bless Up is due soon. How stoked are you?
DOOBIE DUKE SIMS: Officially it will be released on March 10th. 9 songs and 2 skits. We’ll be bringing the rock to SXSW. We want to tour for sure. We have more fans now than ever before and they want us to Bless them Up. So it’s time to Power Up!