Steve Aoki

Steve Aoki

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About Steve Aoki

Steve Aoki is the ultimate example of the 21st-century creative: He’s a DJ, producer, curator, and entrepreneur, and while his onstage antics are famously over the top—for years, an Aoki set wasn’t complete before a cake was launched into concertgoers’ faces—his business acumen is impeccable. His label Dim Mak, founded in 1996, is an independent powerhouse whose roster runs from indie rock to big-room house to trap—a selection as varied as Aoki’s own tastes. Born in Miami but raised in Los Angeles—his father is the late Rocky Aoki, founder of the Benihana restaurant chain—Aoki got his start throwing hardcore shows, but by the late 2000s, his focus shifted from bands like Bloc Party and Blood Brothers to putting out records by MSTRKRFT, The Bloody Beetroots, and other acts fond of mixing up dance music with sweaty mosh pits. Soon after, Aoki threw himself into production, collaborating with a who’s who of EDM heavy hitters: Armand Van Helden, NERVO, Afrojack, Tiësto, and more. His 2011 single “Turbulence,” with Laidback Luke, is typical of his no-holds-barred approach, combining buzz-saw trance riffs with incendiary outbursts from crunk mainstay Lil Jon. As EDM has evolved, so has Aoki’s sound: 2016’s “Back 2 U” balances peak-time energy with a trop-house twinkle, and 2017’s Steve Aoki Presents Kolony enlists 2 Chainz, Gucci Mane, Migos, and every other trapper of note on a glistening set of turn-up anthems. His guest-packed 2018 album, the third in his Neon Future series, only further showcases his range, in terms of both musical (country artists Lady Antebellum, pop-punks blink-182) and non-musical (scientist Bill Nye) collaborations. “I need diversity—not just in the world, as a human being, but musically,” he told Apple Music. “The more diverse I see things, the more colors are added to the palette, the more I can think outside my own box.”

Miami, FL, United States
November 30, 1977
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