For almost two decades Steve Aoki has developed an unpredictable career for himself. Scion AV has been there during Aoki’s rise, documenting the turns he’s taken and supporting him along the way.
In the late 1990s, as a student at University of California, Santa Barbara, Aoki ran a venue out of his living room called the Pickle Patch and started his label Dim Mak Records. After primarily releasing hardcore and aggressive indie rock, Dim Mak began to diversify it’s roster, bringing in more and more hip-hop and dance music into the fold. Now the label’s got artists representing a span of dance music subgenres, from electro house to dubstep to progressive house to drum & bass.
Aoki built himself a reputation as a prime scout of emerging talent and Dim Mak released early material from acts including Bloc Party, the Kills, MSTRKRFT, Bloody Beetroots, Felix Cartal and many more. He’s also continued to diversify Dim Mak, creating a successful clothing and accessories line. Several years ago, Blu Jemz and Scion AV sat with Aoki for a video interview about the label’s history and the ever-shifting environment for trying to sell music in the 21st century.
Aoki initially started DJing around Los Angeles as a way to pay the bills. Eventually he started producing his own bangers, either while working by himself or in partnership with collaborators like Laidback Luke, Afrojack Angger Dimas, Sidney Samson and Tiësto. Scion AV produced a video for “BRRRAT!” from director Ace Norton, his team-up with New York house music legend Armand Van Helden, for the Scion AV Video Series.
Now in 2013, Aoki is one of EDM’s biggest acts and regularly commands crowds that number in the thousands around the world. He’s become known for high-intensity shows and infamous, crowd-thrilling stunts. During a studio visit with Scion AV, he took the camera crew on to his tour bus to show the mobile set-up he’s put together so he can keep recording while on the road.
Read more about Steve Aoki’s Scion FR-S project car.