My Las Ve­gas

Where Las Vegas - - CONTENTS - Steve Aoki

The glo­be­trot­ting DJ talks about mov­ing to Ve­gas, feel­ing at home at Wet Repub­lic and what he does af­ter a set.

Al­ways an ac­tive par­tic­i­pant in the mu­sic scene, Steve Aoki played in bands, wrote for a mu­sic ‘zine and put on more than 450 shows in col­lege be­fore start­ing his own la­bel, Dim Mak. His elec­tronic style has made him a pop­u­lar DJ the world over, es­pe­cially in Las Ve­gas—and in turn, Aoki calls MGM club Hakkasan “my fa­vorite night­club to play in the world.” His al­bum “Neon Fu­ture” comes out this month.

When was the first time you came to Ve­gas?

Prob­a­bly around 2005. I played the Foun­da­tion Room at Man­dalay Bay. I was play­ing hip hop—I was a DJ, like I am now, but I didn’t have any mu­sic. I was just DJing what peo­ple wanted to hear. It was hon­estly tougher, be­cause the DJ back in that time pe­riod was anony­mous. Your job was purely to keep the whole place danc­ing. If you played the wrong song and peo­ple left the dance floor, you might get kicked off at any given mo­ment. As an artist, I’m not think­ing like that, I like to in­tro­duce songs that no one’s heard, and I might in­tro­duce four of them in a row if I want to.

What do you like best about per­form­ing in Ve­gas now?

I re­ally feel like it’s my back­yard when I’m play­ing at Hakkasan and Wet Repub­lic. It’s fun—I’m not re­ally ner­vous or scared if some­thing was to hap­pen when I couldn’t con­trol, be­cause that’s when you get ner­vous, as an artist—there are cer­tain vari­ables that you can’t con­trol, like where your set gets [bleeped] be­cause of some tech­ni­cal is­sues with sound or what­ever it might be. But even if that hap­pens, I just feel more com­fort­able there. I’ve been play­ing at Hakkasan for a cou­ple of years now. It’s got the best sound, it’s got the best room, a good team. And the crowd’s al­ways dif­fer­ent. That’s another great thing about Ve­gas—each week­end you’re play­ing to a

com­pletely dif­fer­ent, brand­new crowd. When you were a kid, did you know you wanted to be in the mu­sic world?

I did. I was a tween when I got into hard­core and that whole sound and move­ment. I re­ally felt that mu­sic would be part of my life.

How did you make your­self part of the scene?

To gain re­spect from your peers, you do that by be­ing proac­tive in your com­mu­nity and be­ing creative in dif­fer­ent ways to push your sound, your mu­sic, your cul­ture. Whether it’s do­ing a ‘zine, whether it’s putting on shows, pro­duc­ing shows for other artists, whether it’s be­ing in a band. When I was in col­lege, I was just very in­volved in my com­mu­nity. I was putting on shows, then I started a la­bel—it was a very nat­u­ral kind of pro­gres­sion.

What’s the mean­ing be­hind your la­bel's name?

Dim Mak is a mar­tial art move oth­er­wise known as the Touch of Death. My child­hood hero was Bruce Lee, and I wanted to have some sort of con­nec­tion with him. There’s this mys­tery that he was killed by the Dim Mak, and the mys­tery holds that he was able to do Dim Mak, so that was my way of pay­ing homage.

At Wet Repub­lic

At Hakkasan

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.