Aoki in 2014
|Birth name||Steven Hiroyuki Aoki|
November 30, 1977 |
Miami, Florida, U.S.
|Origin||Newport Beach, California, U.S.|
Steven Hiroyuki "Steve" Aoki (born November 30, 1977) is an American electro house musician, record producer, and music executive. In 2012, Pollstar designated Aoki as the highest grossing dance artist in North America from tours. He has collaborated with producers and vocalists such as will.i.am, Afrojack, LMFAO, Iggy Azalea, Lil Jon, and Laidback Luke, and is known for his remixes of artists such as Kid Cudi.
Aoki has released several Billboard-charting studio albums as well, notably Wonderland, which was nominated for Grammy Award for Best Dance/Electronica Album in 2013. The first part of Aoki's two-part album, 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, features artists such as Snoop Lion and Rivers Cuomo, and in Belgium it reached No. 93 on the Ultratop 200 Albums chart.
The 2015 horror film The Hive features tracks from the album Neon Future by Aoki, who created the soundtrack and also serves as an executive producer. Aoki is also the central character in the documentary I'll Sleep When I'm Dead. He is the founder of the Steve Aoki Charitable Fund, which raises money for global humanitarian relief organizations.
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 Music career
- 3 Appearances
- 4 Awards and nominations
- 5 Discography
- 6 Filmography
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 Further reading
- 10 External links
Early life and education
Steven Hiroyuki Aoki was born in Miami, Florida, and grew up in Newport Beach, California. He graduated from Newport Harbor High School in 1995, where he was a player on the varsity badminton team. He is the third child of Rocky Aoki and Chizuru Kobayashi. His Japanese father was a former wrestler who also founded the restaurant chain Benihana. He has two older siblings, sister Kana (who is sometimes called by her middle name "Grace"), and brother Kevin (owner of Doraku Sushi restaurant). He also has three half-siblings, all of whom are younger: half-brother Kyle and half-sisters Echo and Devon, a model and actress. As a child, Steve lived with his grandfather and grandmother, his mother, and his two older siblings.
Aoki attended the University of California, Santa Barbara and graduated with 2 BAs; one in Feminist Studies and the other in Sociology. In college, he produced do-it-yourself records and ran underground concerts out of his Biko room in the Santa Barbara Student Housing Cooperative, which was located in Isla Vista, a section of residential land 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.
1990s–2000s: Dim Mak Records and early releases
Aoki founded his own label, Dim Mak Records, in 1996. The 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, Whitey, and Mystery Jets. Aoki teamed up with Blake Miller of the LA-based band Moving Units to produce remixes. The duo of Miller and Aoki work under the moniker Weird Science. Aoki has also been in numerous bands, including This Machine Kills, which released an album on Ebullition Records, Esperanza, and The Fire Next Time.
In May 2006, Aoki became a board member for MC5 bassist Michael Davis' Music Is Revolution Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides music education support within public schools. 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 on August 2, 2008 and again on October 27, 2012. Aoki has collaborated with fellow producers and thus far[when?] has released singles with The Bloody Beetroots, Armand Van Helden of Duck Sauce, Afrojack, Laidback Luke, Tai, Chris Lake, Angger Dimas, Sidney Samson, and Tiesto. In his interviews, Twitter feed or from his YouTube channel he has shown teasers or has discussed doing future collaborations with Diplo, Knife Party, Datsik, Chris Lake, and more.
He has remixed many artists and bands, including Jackson 5, Drake, Kanye West, Eminem, Lil Wayne, Mike Posner, Girls Generation, All American Rejects, Refused, The Killers, Bassnectar, Lenny Kravitz, Bloc Party, Snoop Dogg, Robin Thicke, S.P.A., Kid Cudi, Fërnando Oviedo, Chester French, and Peaches. He remixed the track "When The Wind Blows" that features on the UK edition of The All-American Rejects' 2008 album When The World Comes Down. On November 10, 2009, Aoki released a remix for 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.
2010–12: International breakthrough
Through relentless touring he gained huge support from colleges. He is widely known for his acrobatic crowd surfing stunts, throwing cake at fans, spraying champagne bottles, and riding rafts on the dance floor. Performing an average of 250 shows a year, he has recently started touring with production via bus tours, like the spring 2012 Deadmeat Tour, when he headlined more than 55 cities in 60 dates across the United States and Canada. Many of the artists Aoki collaborates with make appearances on tour with him. He has played lesser-traveled regions – in 2009 he played a show in Beijing, China with Diplo at a night organised by promoters Split Works. In July 2012, Aoki was added to the Pollstar Top 100 North American Tours in their 2012 Mid Year Report. The list designated Aoki as the highest grossing dance artist in North America for the first half of the year.
|Steve Aoki LIVE at Ultra Music Festival 2013 Weekend 1: Main Stage|
|Steve Aoki & Laidback Luke ft. Lil Jon - Turbulence|
In March 2010 Aoki released "I'm in the House", a collaboration with Zuper Blahq—alter-ego of The Black Eyed Peas singer will.i.am. The song charted at No. 29 in the UK Singles Chart in its first week of release, and later entered the UK Dance Chart and the UK Indie Chart, peaking within the top five in each chart. The song was featured on an Episode of MTV's Jersey Shore, as well as in the feature film Piranha and the trailer for Think Like A Man. Producer-songwriter Lucas Secon confirmed in a May 2010 interview with HitQuarters that he and Rivers Cuomo had recently worked with Aoki on a single.
Aoki's first solo album, Wonderland, was released January 2012 and features guest vocalists and musicians LMFAO, Kid Cudi, Kay, Travis Barker, will.i.am aka Zuper Blahq, Wynter Gordon, Rivers Cuomo, Lil Jon, Chiddy Bang, Lovefoxxx of CSS, Big John Duncan (former guitarist of the punk band The Exploited), and others. A remix album was released shortly after. On December 11, 2012, Aoki released his first EP, It's the End of the World As We Know It, which includes three songs. Aoki was nominated for Grammy Award for Best Dance/Electronica Album for Wonderland at the 2013 55th Annual Grammy Awards.
2013: "A Light That Never Comes"
On October 11, 2013, Aoki collaborated with Linkin Park on the song "A Light That Never Comes" that was included on the remix album, Recharged, 18 days later. Several remixes of the song were added on the January 2014 digital download EP A Light That Never Comes (Remixes). "A Light That Never Comes" was used in films such as Expendables 3. 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.
From 2011 to 2014 he had a number of other tracks included in television shows, commercials, and film. This included "I'm In the House," used in the music festival documentary Electric Daisy Carnival in 2011, which in 2014 was used in a trailer for the comedy Think Like A Man Too as well. In 2012 his track "Beat Down," featuring Australian rapper Iggy Azalea, was used in a promo for the reality show Bad Girls All-Star Battle. From 2013 to 2014 his track "Boneless" was used in a number of commercials, with companies including Scion, Budweiser, and Sol Republic. His track "Get Me Outta Here" was used in a Scion commercial in 2014 as well, while "Free the Madness" was used in a 2014 Bud Light commercial. His track "Flight" in 2014 was used in a commercial for Sol Republic. Aoki's song "Back To Earth", featuring Fall Out Boy, was used in the 2014 film Step Up: All In, while his collaborative single "Freak" with Diplo and Deorro, featuring Steve Bays, was used in the 2014 film 22 Jump Street.
2014–15: Neon Future albums and film
The first part of Aoki's two-part album, Neon Future I, was released on Dim Mak Records and Ultra Records on September 30, 2014. In the United States it peaked at No. 32 on the Billboard 200, No. 1 on Dance/Electronic Albums, and No. 4 on the Independent Albums chart. In Belgium, it reached No. 68 on the Ultratop 200 Albums chart.
In May 2015, it was announced that Relativity Productions had acquired the rights to distribute the documentary I'll Sleep When I'm Dead in the United States. Filmed during the making of his Neon Future double album, the film is focused on Aoki and delves into his family history, lifestyle, music, and his business. It is co-produced by Matthew Weaver and David Gelb, who together had previously worked on the 2011 documentary Jiro Dreams Of Sushi. Among the executive producers are Ryan Kavanaugh and Tucker Tooley.
As with the first in the series, Aoki released a number of promo singles leading up to the release of Neon Future II. The second of those singles, "Darker Than Blood," came out on April 14, 2015, and features vocals from Linkin Park. According to Aoki, the song had been a work in progress since 2012 and Mike Shinoda rewrote Aoki's original lyrics to make them darker, because Shinoda thought Aoki's original lyrics were "too happy". Neon Future II was released on May 12, 2015 through Dim Mak. Among other artists, the second Neon Future featured Snoop Lion and Rivers Cuomo. It peaked at No. 2 on the US Dance/Electronic Albums chart, among other placements in the United States. In Belgium it reached No. 93 on the Ultratop 200 Albums chart.
The 2015 science fiction thriller film The Hive features tracks from the album Neon Future by Steve Aoki,' who created the soundtrack and also serves as an executive producer. Produced by Cary Granat of the Scream franchise, the film stars Gabriel Basso and Kathryn Prescott, and has been described as a "disgusting terror of a love story involving a virus that manifests itself as eye-bulging goo." The trailer debuted publicly through Nerdist.com on July 11, 2015.
Aoki has made a number of appearances in the media, notably in video games, television, and music videos. He was featured in the video games NBA 2K8 and NBA 2K9 as a special celebrity player, even though he admits to being terrible at basketball. He makes cameos in the videos for Cobra Starship's 2007 single "Send My Love to the Dancefloor, I'll See You in Hell (Hey Mister DJ)" and The Sounds' single "Tony the Beat". Aoki made a cameo appearance in rapper Kid Cudi's video "Just What I Am".
On January 2012, Steve Aoki released new tracks on Turntable.fm in conjunction with SOL REPUBLIC Headphones, making him the first established artist to fully orchestrate a listening session using the platform. Aoki appeared in an episode of The CW's new superhero series Arrow on March 20, 2013 at 8 pm EST. He was playing himself, spinning at the grand opening of Oliver Queen's fictional nightclub. He also appeared in an anti-fur ad for PETA, an organization he says he's supported since he was 14 years old. Aoki appeared on Never Mind the Buzzcocks in December 2014.
Awards and nominations
Aoki has won and been nominated for a number of industry awards, both in annual competitions and in magazine rankings. In 2007, he was named Best Party Rocker DJ by BPM Magazine, Best DJ of the Year by Paper Magazine, and Best Set of the Season at the Ibiza Awards. Several years later, in 2012, he was named #15 in the Top 100 DJs in DJ Magazine, and was named America's #2 Best DJ. Also in 2012, he won an EDM Effect Woodie Award by MTVu, and the following year he was nominated for his first Grammy.
Aoki finished in 6th place in the 2013 America's Best DJ competition conducted by DJ Times magazine, and finished in 8th place in 2013 and 10th place in 2014 for DJ Mag's Top 100 DJs competition. In 2014, Aoki was awarded two Guinness World Records, one for the "longest crowd cheer," and also for the "most amount of glow sticks for thirty seconds." Aoki performed at the 2015 Ultra Music Festival in Miami Beach on May 21. He also earned the Guinness record for "most traveled musician in one year," with 161 shows in 41 countries in 2014.
Since early in his career Aoki has been involved with various charities, and EDM.com named him No. 1 on their list of the eleven most charitable EDM producers. He is the founder of the Steve Aoki Charitable Fund, which raises money for global humanitarian relief organizations. Among the organization's fundraising methods are Aoki's touring events, "memorabilia auctions," and collaborations with other artists. In early 2015 he was named as Global Ambassador for the Best Buddies program, which is a non-profit devoted to young people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Also around that time MTV Latin America awarded Aoki the Chiuku Award for humanitarian work. He was presented with the award at the International Dance Music Awards.
|2007||DJ Awards||Steve Aoki||Best Set of the Season||Won|
|2008||Billboard Awards||Pillowface and His
|Best Mix Album of the Year||Won|
|2012||World Music Awards||Steve Aoki||World's Best EDM Artist||Nominated|
|2013||Grammy Awards||Wonderland||Best Dance/Electronica Album||Nominated|
|2015||MTV Latin America||Steve Aoki||Chiuku Award||Won|
|2013||Arrow – "The Huntress Returns"||Television episode||Himself (fictionalized version)|
|2014||The Distortion of Sound||Documentary||Himself|
|2015||I'll Sleep When I'm Dead||Feature documentary||Main subject|
|The Hive||Feature horror film||Executive producer, soundtrack creator|
|Robot Chicken – "Zeb and Kevin Erotic Hot Tub Canvas"||Television episode||Himself (voice)|
|Point Break||Action film||Himself (cameo)|
|2016||Hell's Kitchen – "6 Chefs Compete"||Television episode||Himself (dining room guest)|
|Why Him?||Feature film|
- Rennie, Andrew (January 27 – February 3, 2010). "A-okay Aoki". NOW Toronto. 29 (22). Retrieved September 28, 2014.
- Weiss, Sam (1 November 2012). "Five People Crushed by Crowd at Steve Aoki's Madrid Show". Complex. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
- Kid Millionaire. Dim Mak. Retrieved on January 7, 2012.
- "Dance Stars Bring in the Money Stateside". Retrieved July 16, 2012.
- Smith, Jay. "Pollstar's Mid-Year Charts & Figures". Retrieved July 16, 2012.
- "iTunes - Music - Neon Future I by Steve Aoki". itunes.apple.com. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
- "Steve Aoki – Chart History: Dance/Electronic Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
- Busch, Anita (May 11, 2015). "Relativity Nabs 'I'll Sleep When I'm Dead' Docu About Superstar DJ Steve Aoki". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2015-07-14.
- "Discografie Steve Aoki". ultratop.be (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
- Robinson, Will (2015). "Watch an exclusive trailer for Nerdist's first film The Hive". Entertainment Weekly.
- Hill, Kyle (July 11, 2015). "Start Screaming with the First Trailer for NERDIST PRESENTS: THE HIVE". Nerdist.com. Retrieved 2015-07-14.
- "Steve Aoki Charitable Fund". Creative Visions Foundation. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
- Osborn, By Alex. "Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 Release Date and Collaboration With DJ Steve Aoki Announced". IGN. Retrieved 2016-07-03.
- Aoki family tree from NY mag Nymag.com. Retrieved on July 9, 2008
- "Santa Barbara Student Housing Cooperative | we own it". sbcoop.org. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
- Pickle Patch Compilation |. Mostly.blueskiesabove.us (January 13, 2008). Retrieved on 2012-01-07.
- Daily Nexus 2008[dead link]
- "The Look Right Now | Steve Aoki profile". web.archive.org. Archived from the original on August 20, 2008. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
- "The DNA Life | Blog: Steve Aoki x Dim Mak | How It All Started". blog.thednalife.net. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
- Interview: Steve Aoki (November 2012)
- "About". shop.dimmak.com. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
- "Steve Aoki Bio, Music, News & Shows". Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- "Meet the Board". Music Is Revolution Foundation. Retrieved February 10, 2011.
- "The Manifesto". Music Is Revolution Foundation. Retrieved February 10, 2011.
- Steve Aoki's debut mix album profile Retrieved on July 9, 2008
- BBC. "BBC - Radio 1 - Essential Mix - Tracklisting". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
- BBC Radio 1 – BBC Radio 1's Essential Mix, Steve Aoki. Bbc.co.uk (October 27, 2012). Retrieved on 2013-08-25.
- Twitter / Steve Aoki: Just finished my remix for. Twitter.com (November 10, 2009). Retrieved on 2012-01-07.
- "Steve Aoki Tour Reviews". showscoop.
-  (http). spli-t.com (2009). Retrieved on 2012-15-08
- "iTunes - Music - I'm In the House (feat. Zuper Blahq) - Single by Steve Aoki". itunes.apple.com. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
- "Interview With Lucas Secon". HitQuarters. May 17, 2010. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
- "Album Review: Steve Aoki – It's the End of the World As We Know It EP". Consequence of Sound. 21 December 2012.
- "A Light That Never Comes (Feat. Steve Aoki)". Xbox Music. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
- "Hear Linkin Park and Steve Aoki's 'A Light That Never Comes' on Facebook | SPIN | Newswire". SPIN. 2013-09-12. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
- "Linkin Park post info about LP Recharge and upcoming album". Facebook. Linkin Park. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
- "A LIGHT THAT NEVER COMES (Remixes) EP"Linkinpark.com Retrieved July 2, 2014.
- "Steve Aoki – Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
- "Steve Aoki – Chart History: Independent Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
- iTunes - Music - Neon Future II by Steve Aoki iTunes
- Spitznagel, Eric (June 27, 2014). "36 Hours With Steve Aoki: 'I'm Really Bad At Taking Directions'". Billboard. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
- "Steve Aoki Announces "Neon Future" Release Dates, Madison Square Garden Live Date | Do Androids Dance". doandroidsdance.com. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
- Depland, Michael (November 7, 2012). "New Video: Kid Cudi Featuring King Chip, 'Just What I Am' (NSFW)". MTV Music. MTV Networks. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
- "Steve Aoki Drops Two New Tracks in SOL REPUBLIC's Turntable.fm Room...LIVE". SOL Republic. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
- "Steve Aoki Unveils New Music Using Turntable.fm". hypebot. Retrieved January 11, 2012.
- Benanti, Sam. "Steve Aoki to make 'Arrow' Cameo". DJZ.com. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- Kayla Newcomer,"EDM Superstar Steve Aoiki Raves About Animal Rights," Global Animal Foundation, June 27, 2014.
- "Upcoming". Retrieved December 7, 2014.
- Aoki performed at the 2015 Ultra Music Festival in Miami Beach on May 21st. "Steve Aoki Holds Two Guinness World Records". Do Androids Dance. January 5, 2014. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
- "Steve Aoki Holds Two Guinness World Records". Do Androids Dance. January 5, 2014. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
- Dinh, James (October 2, 2014). "Think Steve Aoki's Neon Future is too short? Here's what he had to say". Sheknows. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
- "11 of EDM's most Charitable Producers". EDM.com. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
- "Steve Aoki Receives MTV Chiuku Award from MTV Latin America – Get the Scoop! (@steveaoki)". CelebSecrets4U. April 1, 2015. Retrieved 2015-04-16.
- "Steve Aoki Awarded with MTV Chiuku Award". EDMStreet.com. April 1, 2014. Retrieved 2015-04-16.
- Interviews and articles
- UCSB Student Interview with Steve Aoki, Nov. 2010
- Review by The Santa Barbara Independent, Mar. 2008
- Interview with Steve Aoki, Submerge Magazine, Dec. 2008
- Interview by Clubplanet, May 2010
- Steve Aoki DJ List Review
- Steve Aoki interview @ Mute/Control (Spanish)
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