LA native and one of the most famous DJs on the planet, Steve Aoki, dropped by Audacy’s KROQ studios to premiere his latest track "KULT" featuring grandson and Jasiah, and chat with Kevan Kenney about his history of being in a band and working with alternative rock artists.
LISTEN NOW: Steve Aoki stops by World Famous KROQ studios
Before becoming one of the world's biggest DJs, Aoki was first in punk bands, sharing that he toured the U.S. 14 times before he was the age of 21.
“I’m definitely primed in Rock music,” made it easier for Aoki to adapt in the DJ world and also gave him confidence to start utilizing the microphone and coming out from behind the decks, something uncommon for DJs prior to that.
“Being on the stage in a band, singing in front of people, that already gave me the experience I needed when I started DJ-ing and started actually performing.” As Aoki transitioned from smaller venues and crowds to events like Coachella he implemented those same performance tactics.
“I was like oh I can actually use the mic… I can do more than just play behind the turntables… and I definitely stood out because during that era, the 2000s, DJs were always kinda behind the scene, y’know what I mean? They weren’t the showman, and I was going out there stage diving and crowd surfing in a life raft or screaming on a microphone, mixing it up as much as I could.”
Aoki’s moves didn’t go unnoticed, in fact Travis Barker ended up reaching out and the two worked on a track together for his debut solo studio album, Give the Drummer Some. Since then Aoki has worked with Linkin Park, Fall Out Boy, blink-182, My Chemical Romance and more.
Talking about the album he currently has in the works, without giving too much away, Steve revealed the project has strong influences of “Alternative music, Rock music, with where I’m at as well, the roots of where I cam from.” All of which he plans to come back and talk about when it’s time.
Aoki also walked through the steps of remixing a track like blink-182's "Bored To Death" and discussed the difficulties of remixing a pop-punk classic like My Chemical Romance's "Welcome To The Black Parade," which he personally considers as this generation's "Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Closing out his visit, Aoki talked about his latest song "KULT" featuring grandson and Jasiah, a track he actually first premiered at Audacy's Beach Festival back in December.
"grandson is leading the charge on this one. Killed it, absolutely killed it. His voice is incredible, the lyrics are so catchy. I mean I sing it at my shows. I'm literally on the mic and jumping into the crowd. I feel like I was 19 back when I was in bands.”
Check out Steve Aoki’s entire interview above, and listen to "KULT" featuring grandson and Jasiah below.