Sunday School #25: Steve Aoki

By: Forward Musiq

In the final Sunday School before Coor’s Light Circotic, we talk about the ambassador of electro and honorary Puerto Rican, Steve Aoki!

Steve Hiroyuki Aoki is a Miami native Japanese American DJ, producer and promoter. Aoki graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara and got B.A.s in Women’s Studies and Sociology. Aoki started his musical venture in college where he produced underground records and made underground parties out of his Biko room. He was also part of the bands This Machine Kills, Esperanza and The Fire Next Time. By this point in his early 20’s, Aoki built the now legendary record label Dim Mak, named after Aoki’s lifelong hero Bruce Lee.

At the beginning of his musical career, Aoki really focused more on creating events and producing. In 1996, Steve Aoki created Dim Mak, the most important electro/house label in North America, and has housed renowned electro artists like Boys Noize, Crookers, Felix Cartal, The Bloody Beetroots, Felix Cartal, Tiesto, Datsik among others. Aoki loves to inspire and work with any and all EDM artists to promote unity in electro and dance music. MANY of his collaborations and mixes include tracks with The Bloody Beetroots, Tiesto, Duck Sauce, Afrojack, Laidback Luke,, Knife Party, Angger Dimas among many others.

In 2008 the immense amount of hype created by Steve Aoki finally broke through with his first mix album, Pillowface and His Airplane Chronicles. Also that same year, Steve Aoki released and Essential Mix on BBC Radio 1, cementing his name as a relevant DJ, not just a promoter and producer.

Wonderland, Aokis second album, which is full of original Aoki productions, brought Steve Aoki’s popularity to the stratosphere, topping music charts all around North America. Steve even got to the second spot on DJ Mag’s top 10 DJs in America. In Wonderland Steve Aoki works with a BOATLOAD of musicians including LMFAO, Lovefoxxx, Lil Jon, (Zuper Blahq), Wynter Gordon, Rivers Cuomo, Chiddy Bang, Travis Barker and Big John Duncan (ex guitarist of punk band The Exploited).

Steve Aoki has become in America what Armin Van Buuren has been for Europe, the ambassador of EDM music and an entire genre. How Armin promoted tours, has many projects and works to unify trance all across the world, Aoki does the same with electro. He has a relentless work ethic and party spirit that has led him to be specially favored in the college scene. Steve Aoki performs about 250 shows a year and was added this year to the  Pollstar Top 100 North American Tours and is the highest grossing EDM artist in America in 2012. Steve Aoki has proven himself to be life blood of the electro and house surgency in North America today.


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