In the midst of his Neon Future tour in December last year at Our:House Festival, we caught up with EDM kingpin and long-time Serato user Steve Aoki for a chat in Auckland Harbour. In this exclusive interview, he talks frankly about the Aoki-hater bandwagon, his futurist leanings, and why you’ll never see him hunched over a laptop at an Aoki performance. Say what you will about Steve Aoki, there’s a reason fans flock to his shows by the millions every year. Renowned for his cake-hurling, crowd-rafting antics, the EDM sovereign takes his showmanship to celestial proportions – but his spectacle is by no means ‘it’.
Aoki, who grew up in Newport Beach, California, was in recording studios at 16, and by 19 had founded the now-eminent Dim Mak Records from his college dorm room. Fast-forward 20 years and Aoki is now Grammy-nominated and one of the most successful DJ‑Producers worldwide. Dim Mak, meanwhile, has launched some of indie and electronica’s most exciting careers of the 2000s, from MSTRKRFT, Klaxons and Bloc Party, to Battles and The Kills. Averaging 250 – 300 shows a year, Aoki is dedication personified. Last year he dropped his second full-length album, Neon Future I and continues to delight EDM fans this year performing it live around the world.
When you’re performing 300 times a year, having a solid tech team is paramount and in this instance, it’s just one guy. Meet the man behind the spectacle and Aoki’s tour manager, Dillon Anderson. In the lead up to Aoki’s performance at Our:House Festival, Dillon talks shop about Aoki’s setup and why Serato Video is crucial to his performance, while Aoki reminds us why “he makes the crowd go f***ing crazy”.