Steve Aoki - Aoki To Success
Monday, 26 November 2007
California’s Steve Aoki, aka Kid Millionaire, could be the Diddy ofindie-dance. He DJs. He produces. He presides over a credible record label.He’s venturing into fashion. And, in Hollywood, Aoki has celebrity status. 3D’s Cyclone spoke with the king of cool in the lead-upto his famous set.
However, in contrast to Puffy, Aoki doesn’tyet have a staffer to hold his umbrella. He’s grounded and, as such, intune with the cool kids who buy the records and the clothes. He’s Hollywood’sJames Lavelle – a one-man counterculture. Aoki promotesparties in Los Angeles, and spins alongside DJ AM, but by day he runs Dim MakRecords. Aoki launched the indie in the mid-’90s with the hardcoreStickfigurecarousel and went on to nurture the likes of The Kills and BlocParty.“We’ve been very eclectic,” he says.“Basically, I’m a fan of music – that’s the most important thing. The soul ofeverything that we do is that we’re absolutely fans – we’re supporters of musicthat we love. “If they sound like one of my favouriteNeil Diamond songs, I might sign them, and if they sound like one of myfavourite Boys Noize songs, I might sign them – it takes more than just that,but ‘a good song is a good song’, that’s what I usually always say. It doesn’tnecessarily have to be a certain sound.”The origins of Dim Mak can be traced backto Aoki’s college days. As a student at the University of California, he hostedlive bands in his living room – known as the Pickle Patch. Steve has familyconnections – his father, Hiroaki “Rocky” Aoki, was a Japanese Olympic wrestlerwho started the US Benihana restaurant chain, while his half-sister is thesupermodel-cum-actor Devon Aoki – but he’s self- funded Dim Mak.Today he’s dabbling in production,circulating remixes with Moving Units’ Blake Miller as Weird Science. Aokihas returned to Australia to DJ, but he also has a major new fashion enterpriseunderway. Steve has already devised a cult streetwear line, Dim Mak Collection,but he’s working on something even bigger with his Sydney pals.“We just partnered with Ksubi,” he says.“My sister is another partner in the company. She is going to design all thewomen’s line – I’m gonna design all the men’s line with the Ksubi guys.“We’re gonna do a week of designing for ournew collection that we’re gonna launch in Fall ’08 through Ksubi, and thenwe’re gonna do this tour.“It’s kinda like a half-fashion, half-musictrip.”There’s no end to Aoki’s talents – but hespeaks highly of Devon. The Sin Citystar may be following her model mentor Kate Moss in designing clothes, butshe’ll be more hands-on. “She’s an amazing, amazingdesigner,” he brother praises.And Aoki is no stereotypical mogul. Heinvests his earnings back into Dim Mak.“It is my life.”WHO:Steve Aoki
WHAT: Plays Fanklub at the Metro Theatre
WHEN: Saturday 30 November