Steve Aoki in the hot seat

Huge EDM star talks ahead of Dubai gig at People by Crystal

Interview, Hot seat

The legendary US DJ, entrepreneur and record label boss catches up with Peter Feely ahead of his appearance at People by Crystal this week.

You performed more than 250 gigs in the past year – how’s that been?
It’s busy – I live the lifestyle and you just have to accept this lifestyle and change the way you look at how you live. Adapt to your surroundings and adapt to your environment. I just bring whatever I would do at home and bring it on the road.

Do you think you’ll ever fulfil your dream of working with Zack de la Rocha from Rage Against the Machine?
I don’t think it’s ever going to happen but it’s one of those dreams. I’m a total fan so for me it doesn’t seem real. Previous to Rage Against the Machine, I was a massive fan of his band Inside Out and everything he stands for.

Your record company Dim Mak is an indie label. How easy was it for you to cross over into the dance music scene?
It was a gradual process, going from indie to dance music but it was all through producing remixes for indie bands. I remixed Bloc Party, The Rakes – artists like that. Then eventually you start producing your own tracks. My sound’s always been a bit edgier than your typical dance record. I come from a different background – guitars and live drums.

Who’s the most inspiring person you’ve worked with?
There’s so many. Linkin Park is definitely the most complex collaboration I’ve done. Afrojack – we’ve done plenty of records together. It’s really easy to work with Nick [van de Wall] – we work well together. Kid Cudi – he’s a blessing, just incredibly talented. Empire of the Sun’s Luke Steele – he has an incredible voice, one of the best voices I’ve ever worked with. My new album Neon Future has tonnes of collaborations. There are new songs with Mac Miller, Machine Gun Kelly, Snoop Dogg, Fall Out Boy – they’re all coming out on my album. It’s slated for release this year.

How do you personally find new music?
I’m just like everyone else – like you. Going online, hearing about songs from friends and I’m on a gazillion MP3 email lists. A lot of it is friends saying ‘yo, check this out.’ If your friends say, ‘check out this band,’ you’re probably going to check it out if they have good taste.

You’re known for wild antics – crowd surfing, throwing cake and spraying drinks. Will you bring that to Dubai?
I’m not sure what the rules are out there – I don’t want to offend anyone.

And do you think you can ever be too old to party?
Of course not – what kind of question is that? I remember seeing this lady who was at least 75 – and she was at the front of my show. I couldn’t believe it.
Steve Aoki is at People by Crystal on Thursday February 6 (050 297 2097).

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