It’s no secret that Steve Aoki has become somewhat of a sensitive moniker in the EDM community. From allegations of pre-recorded sets to a general dislike of his approach to live performances (“caking”, champagne, and distractions from the music), many members of our scene have chosen to focus their scorn on his commercialization of the genre and insincerity in his role as an artist. Something that we rarely get a chance to witness, however, is the man behind the reputation.
While still in college, Steve founded Dim Mak Records in Los Angeles. What started as a small, local fan base quickly transformed into a global trend as he began to secure some of the most coveted spots at the world’s top festivals. Using the entrepreneurial business mentality passed down to him by his father, founder of Benihana restaurant chain Hiroaki Aoki, Steve has undoubtedly emerged as one of the most well-known, household DJs currently in the game.
Steve sat down in a recent interview with Katie Couric to discuss his rise to stardom, influences, and general perspective on the EDM scene. During the conversation, he explains his thoughts on Soundcloud‘s copyright rules, drug-use in the community, and his upcoming album “Neon Future 2“. If you tune in at around the 8-minute mark you’ll be able to catch the most heartfelt portion of the conversation where Steve explains his father’s pride of his accomplishments shortly before his passing in 2008, a segment which made even a jaded critic like myself earn newfound respect and admiration for Aoki’s work.
Check out the full video below, and skip ahead to 1:55 if you want to miss the video introduction and get straight to the questions. Be sure to stay until the end, where Steve schools Katie on some proper DJing techniques.