Location:Home > Parts information > Turbo of Compressor wheel > Exclusive: In the studio with Steve Aoki

Exclusive: In the studio with Steve Aoki

Time:2018-02-12 20:42Turbochargers information Click:

Media International Audio

Exclusive: In the studio with Steve Aoki

Exclusive: In the studio with Steve Aoki

Interview

30 January 2018: By Murray Stassen

SHARE

SHARE THIS ARTICLE

Steve Aoki gives us an exclusive look at the tech he relies on to produce records in his Las Vegas studio, the Neon Future Cave.

Picture Credit: Caesar Sebastian

Don’t be fooled by Steve Aoki’s 5.9 million-follower Instagram account.

From the private jets and celebrity friends, to his signature cake throwing stage antics, it may look like his life’s a party, but he’s one of the hardest-working people in music.

As a producer, musician, record label owner and superstar DJ he has a tower of hats to balance every day and has spent the last 20 years developing a personal brand rooted in DIY ethics and an artistic output that never remains static.

“I don’t really care what people think about me on the internet,” he tells me over the phone from his Nevada home studio, the “Neon Future Cave”.

“I’m changing my game so much. I still have a lot to do. I think one of the most important things to do as a musician and as a creative artist, is that you always want to surprise people and change things up. You want to show them that you have more than four colours in your crayon set.”

Aoki’s colourful life in music really has been one of constant innovation, which can be seen in the evolution from his involvement in hardcore punk as a teenager to running independent label Dim Mak Records, which he started when he was a 19-year-old college student in California, to becoming a household name  and one of the highest paid entertainers in the world.

The adoption of a  “by any means necessary” ethos has seen him build  Dim Mak into a successful entertainment and lifestyle empire, incorporating publishing, clothing lines and events, while the Dim Mak label itself has served as the launch pad for numerous notable acts across a range of genres, such as Bloc Party, The Bloody Beetroots and The Chainsmokers.

Once you get to that place where you have a good sensibility of the tools in front of you on whatever DAW you are working with, then it’s about harnessing your own interests in music and bringing that to life

- Steve Aoki

His most recent (fourth) studio album, Kolony, features guest appearances from some of hip hop’s biggest stars, such as Migos, 2 Chainz, Gucci Mane and T-Pain. Aoki is currently on tour promoting the album, kicking off the UK leg at O2 Academy Brixton on January 26.

Aoki explains that he’s got “two different modes” when it comes to music producution. “My go-to mode is more of an insular way of thinking about production,” he says. “When I produce songs for my world, the EDM world, I’m producing it for my set and what’s going to be effective at my festival and club shows.”

The other mode, according to Aoki, is about broadening his output as a producer and  “building bridges with other genres and crossing into different worlds”.

“It’s just to make music and expand as a producer,” he adds. “With concepts like Kolony, [it’s about] being able to step outside of how I normally look at production.”

Creative Freedom

Having collaborated as a producer with so many different artists across so many genres, from Blink 182 and Fall Out Boy, to Lady Antebellum and former One Direction member Louis Tomlinson, the role of the producer in today’s music business, as far as Aoki is concerned , “is honestly about being free”.

“I’m really there to build the emotional landscape for [the artist] to be able to be 100% free,” he says. “My role is to give them that morale and to let them write the hooks. I need them to feel creative and to write whatever it is that they need to write. And give them guidance, a general vision, but just let them do their thing.”

Commenting on other producers, Aoki cites the likes of Max Martin as a “genius” and Hans Zimmer as the “G.O.A.T” (Greatest Of All Time).

“I know that there are producers who are there to cut hits,” he says. “The Max Martins for example. Everyone aspires to be a Max Martin.  There’s also the Hans Zimmers, who are just like the G.O.A.T of G.O.A.TS, you know what I mean? They really know how to exemplify feeling and make you shed a tear from a few notes.”

On the note of renowned producer and film score composer Zimmer, Aoki talks of how he’s tried his hand at composing music to accompany visual art himself, having recently partnered with fitness brand Zumba to produce the music for a training programme called Strong that was released by the brand  last year.

Copyright infringement? Click Here!