Profile: Steve Aoki
- Published: 01/12/2016
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Date of Birth: 30/11/1977
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, USA
Career: 1996 – present
Born in Miami, Florida, Steven Hiroyuki Aoki grew up in Newport Beach, California. He is of Japanese descent, the third child of Rocky Aoki and Chizuru Kobayashi. His father was a former wrestler who also founded the restaurant chain Benihana. At Newport Harbor High School, he played on the varsity badminton team and graduated in 1995.
Aoki attended the University of California, Santa Barbara and graduated with two B.A. degrees, one in feminist studies and the other in sociology. While in college, he produced do-it-yourself records and ran underground concerts out of his Biko room in the Santa Barbara Student Housing Cooperative, a section of residential property adjacent to UCSB. As a concert venue, the apartment became known as The Pickle Patch. By his early 20s, Aoki had built his own record label, which he named Dim Mak – a reference to his childhood hero, Bruce Lee.
His label has released music by other electro house artists such as MSTRKRFT, The Bloody Beetroots, Felix Cartal, and Mustard Pimp, as well as Bloc Party, The Kills, Klaxons, Infected Mushroom, Scanners, and Mystery Jets.
Aoki’s debut mix album, Pillowface and His Airplane Chronicles was released in January 2008. He had an Essential Mix that aired on BBC Radio 1 in August 2008 and again in October 2012. Aoki has also collaborated with many fellow producers and has released singles with The Bloody Beetroots, Armand Van Helden of Duck Sauce, Afrojack, and Tiesto.
In addition to producing, he is well known as a remixed, and has remixed many artists including Jackson 5, Drake, Kanye West, Eminem, Lil Wayne, Lenny Kravitz, and many more. One of his most notiable remixes is Drake’s song “Forever”. The song features Drake, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and Eminem. The track made it to the top of Hype Machine’s chart in December 2009.
Through relentless touring he gained huge support from fan and fellow artists alike. He is widely known for his stunts, such as, throwing cake at fans, spraying champagne bottles, and riding rafts on the dance floor.
Aoki’s first solo album, Wonderland, was released January 2012 and features guest vocalists and musicians LMFAO, will.i.am, Lil Jon, Chiddy Bang, Lovefoxxx of CSS, and others. A remix album was released shortly after. Aoki was nominated for Grammy Award for Best Dance/Electronica Album for Wonderland at the 2013 55th Annual Grammy Awards.
Aoki finished in 6th place in the 2013 America’s Best DJ competition-a vote and promotion to find out the country’s most popular DJ conducted by DJ Times magazine and Pioneer DJ.
2014 saw the release of a double album. The first part, Neon Future I, was released on September 30, 2014, and reached No. 1 on Dance/Electronic Albums in the United States. The second album, Neon Future II, peaked at No. 32 on the Billboard 200, No. 1 on Dance/Electronic Albums, and No. 4 on the Independent Albums chart.
2007 Best Party Rocker DJ by BPM Magazine
2007 Best DJ of the Year by Paper Magazine
2012 EDM Effect Woodie Award by MTVu
2014 two Guinness World Records (for the “longest crowd cheer,” and “most amount of glow sticks for thirty seconds.)
His childhood hero is Bruce Lee.
He plays over 300 shows a year.
Aoki co-owns a restaurant in Manhattan.