Concert goers at a Steve Aoki show should be prepared to rock out to explosive EDM tracks, experience electrifying pyrotechnics, and possibly have the performer launch cake at their faces. The Dim Mak Records founder’s dessert throwing routine is now a signature part of his live performances, and Aoki fans have come to look forward to the chance of leaving the event with their clothes covered in icing.
Of course Aoki is not just known for caking his audiences. The 36-year-old California-bred producer is recognized as one of the top grossing DJs on the planet as well. In fact, Forbes named Aoki the world’s 5th highest paid disc jockey in 2014.
Besides spinning records at hot spots from Nevada to New Zealand, Aoki has also released the Grammy-nominated album Wonderland and his most recent LP Neon Future I which features appearances by Waka Flocka Flame, Machine Gun Kelly, and Kid Ink. A new 6-track club edition of New Future I is now available.
In a recent interview with AllHipHop.com, Steve Aoki was asked to participate in the feature series “This Or That.” The science fiction, comic book, and Bruce Lee fanatic had to make tough choices between sci-fi masterworks The Matrix and The Terminator, West Coast Hip Hop classics The Chronic and Eazy-Duz-It, and more.
As a DJ, I’m sure you keep your ear to the music scene. Are there any new artists you see on the rise that could make a big impact in the near future?
As far as DJs go, I would say keep an eye out for Botnek. These guys are more of the DJ’s DJ right now. All the DJs play their music. The music works really well. They're on Dim Mak, and I’m really backing them, and I'm trying to get them to start writing with other people.
There’s Keys N Krates out of Canada who are doing this live Trap. It’s a three-piece live show. It’s awesome. It’s really great Trap music. And there’s Autoerotique with huge club bangers. Those are the ones in the DJ world.
Are there any artists that you haven’t worked with yet that you would like to?
Yeah, there’s a lot. It’s really hard to say. I don’t like saying it, because I feel like I’m jinxing it. There are some really interesting collaborations that’s going to be coming out that might be post-Neon Future II. I really try to think of artists that don’t or haven’t worked in the dance space, because then you can try and create something brand new.
I remember when me and Kendrick Lamar were on tour together. I went to his studio bus, and we were just jamming out, vibing to certain tracks. That moment of finding something that both were able to vibe out to at the same time - there was a moment of clarity that started rising that you don’t necessarily feel when you work with someone that you automatically know what they’re gonna like.
If you weren’t in the music business, what profession do you think you would have pursued?
To follow the Neon Future, I would probably be in science in some form or fashion. Or at least raising money toward it. That’s one thing science needs - awareness and funding, so that we can actually better our lives for the future.
This or That: digital or vinyl?
Out of convenience, I’ll say digital.
The Matrix or The Terminator?
Star Trek or Star Trek: The Next Generation?
The Next Generation
Marvel or DC?
I’d have to go with Marvel.
George Orwell’s 1984 or Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World?
It’s been a while since I read both - Huxley.
Dr. Dre’s The Chronic or Eazy-E’s Eazy-Duz-It?
Eazy-E 100%. Eazy is my number one favorite from day one. He’s my favorite rapper of all time.
Better Daft Punk album: Homework or Random Access Memories?
Wilder party locale: Vegas or Ibiza?
Better Bruce Lee movie: Fist Of Fury or Enter The Dragon?
Enter The Dragon - classic.
Prefered cake flavor: Angel Food or Devil’s Food?