Who would have known that one of the biggest names in electro-house and electronic music today was once the drummer of a hardcore metal band?
Steve Aoki grew up in Newport Beach, CA and went to college at University of California, Santa Barbara, where he perfected his musical craft by throwing intimate DIY shows in the campus activities room. By his early 20s, he had already played drums in several hardcore bands including This Machine Kills, Esperanza, and The Fire Next Time and began his own record label, Dim Mak Records. After hosting various small hardcore acts on his label, the transition into the EDM scene came quickly. While working with bands like Bloc Party, Battles, and Datarock, Dim Mak began hosting electronic acts such as MSTRKRFT, Herve, and the Bloody Beetroots.
After numerous years running the label, as well as other ventures, Aoki put out his first professional mixtape “Pillowface and his Airplane Chronicles,” with some of the most intricate and complex mixing of electro-house and pop tunes released to this day in 2008. Soon after, he began remixing tracks for several major label artists including Weezer, Michael Jackson, Duran Duran, Drake, and Kid Cudi, and has collaborated on tracks with Armand van Helden, The Bloody Beetroots, Laidback Luke, Lil Jon, Tiesto, and Travis Barker. In 2012, he dropped his first proper studio album Wonderland, which earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Dance/Electronica Album.
Aoki is also constantly on tour, performing an average of 250 shows a year. A great stage presence and relationship with his audience have earned him a rep as one of the most highly sought-after and entertaining DJs in the EDM scene today.