There’s no denying that, in this day and age, when social media reigns supreme, superstar DJs and producers carry an immense responsibility, albeit a misplaced responsibility, to the public eye. While many superstar DJs use their well-deserved fame and fortune to, understandably, promote themselves and work on new material, some artists use their fame and recognition to try and better the world, and oftentimes, these efforts fall to the wayside. In an attempt to shine a light on the philanthropic efforts of musicians and artists, MTV created the “Chiuku” accolade, as a part of their MTV’s Agents of Change Initiative, which recognizes celebrities who use their influence to contribute and develop special projects that bring about social change in the world.
This year, MTV Latin America has recognized Steve Aoki, one of the biggest names in dance music, as the recipient of the MTV Chiuku award.
Aoki was awarded this accolade for the use of his global influence, in addition to his tours, memorabilia, and more, to raise funds and awareness for organizations focused on medical research and humanitarian relief through Steve Aoki’s Charitable Fund. In 2014, Aoki’s Aokify America Tour raised $65,000. Proceeds from the tour went towards four health and research organizations, including the Brain Preservation Foundation, the American Brain Foundation and others. This isn’t Aoki’s first philanthropic gesture, rather it is the most recent in a long line of charitable acts. In 2013, Aoki raised over $10,000 through his Birthday for Relief partnership with Music for Relief for Typhoon Haiyan victims, and the superstar DJ gave a personal $36,000 donation as well.
With regards to winning the MTV Chiuku award, Aoki said, “I am proud and humbled to be receiving the Chiuku award for humanitarian work. As a DJ, I've learned that given the influence that we have on culture, it is important to give back and be educators. We have the privilege to share information and build awareness for people that don’t have the same opportunities. That’s why I created the Steve Aoki Charitable Fund, to provide the awareness, the funding and to educate people about those that are less fortunate than us. I encourage everyone to do the same in their own lives."
Check out the charitable Steve Aoki’s full set from Ultra 2015 this past weekend below!