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Raisa Bruner

Steve Aoki on How He Brings the Party to the Masses



Summary/Commentary:

Steve Aoki talks with Time Magazine to set the record straight about his live show and how he's bringing making EDM a crossover genre that everyone can enjoy.

This article originally appeared on Steve Aoki

A ticket to Tomorrowland, the biggest EDM festival in the world, will cost you a hundred dollars for a single day.

The DJs up onstage, meanwhile, are printing money as soon as they press play. The top five names in dance music now bring in upwards of $20 million each a year, even as they circle the globe in one nonstop party.

In the thick of this debauchery-industrial complex is where you’ll find Steve Aoki, 38, who’s an oddly complex veteran of the scene. He’s one of the highest-paid DJs in the world, according to Forbes. Though people know him for literally throwing cakes into writhing crowds at concerts, he’s been sober for seven years. And now he’s telling me about how he learned to appreciate country music on a day spent wake-surfing in Mykonos.

“The hosts of the boat were playing proper, good-old-American country,” he recalls. “The inside of me was saying, ‘No, no, no, I’ve gotta change this,’ but the experiential side of me was like, ‘Sit and absorb.’ I started analyzing the lyrics, and breaking down the theory of it. They always sing about the same thing.” He goes on to explain: where hip-hop has specific recurring themes (cars, jewelry, other guy’s girlfriends) and EDM has its set of fundamental concepts (harmony, unity), country has its own tropes too (pick-up trucks, broken hearts, beer). “If you’re non-judgmental and really try to take it in, then you expand everything,” he says, “and you get more zen about life.”

“The hosts of the boat were playing proper, good-old-American country,” he recalls. “The inside of me was saying, ‘No, no, no, I’ve gotta change this,’ but the experiential side of me was like, ‘Sit and absorb.’ I started analyzing the lyrics, and breaking down the theory of it. They always sing about the same thing.” He goes on to explain: where hip-hop has specific recurring themes (cars, jewelry, other guy’s girlfriends) and EDM has its set of fundamental concepts (harmony, unity), country has its own tropes too (pick-up trucks, broken hearts, beer). “If you’re non-judgmental and really try to take it in, then you expand everything,” he says, “and you get more zen about life.”

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Read the full story by Raisa Bruner at Time





Tags : Steve Aoki Time Magazine

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