a, Arts & Entertainment, Music

Aokification nation

What does Steve Aoki—notorious cake thrower and DJ extraordinaire—do when he’s not performing for hundreds of university students? He drinks green juice.

“It sounds like we’re partying every night, but we’re usually healthy [….] I’m drinking the craziest drink right now, it’s pure green and kind of tastes like grass.”

Later in our interview, Aoki describes it as the “gnarliest juice,” but maintains that it’s important to stay healthy and fit on the road.

“These bus tours are really good because I can bring my whole team on the road. I have a trainer on the road with me. I have to see a physical therapist because I’ve actually thrown my shoulder out [by] throwing cakes.”

After over 17 years in the music business and an average of 250 shows per year, it’s no wonder Aoki takes the time now to keep well and take care of himself. His “Aokify America Tour” features the talents of Waka Flocka Flame and Borgore, among others, and is making stops all over North America—including one in Montreal on Oct. 30.

A sceptical reader might question Steve Aoki’s enthusiasm for putting out music and touring after so many years, but there’s no doubt about it—he loves what he does, and loves watching music evolve, both as an artist and the head of a successful record label, Dim Mak.

“The sound of music keeps changing, not just on a linear level—it’s exponential,” he says. It’s an exciting time. I wanna hear how people are changing music and creating their own [stuff]…I love being part of a culture that embraces new [things].”

However, it is unsurprisingly difficult to live a life that’s mostly on the road, never staying in one place for more than a couple days.

“I accepted this life a long time ago, but it’s hard for people that are new to it, because it’s fast-paced,” Aoki adds. “You have to be able to pick yourself up and go, and be flexible. It’s good for your brain, to rewire [it] and not get stuck in one place.”

Although he’s now unquestionably one of the most successful men in EDM—DJing and producing are only two of his numerous projects—Aoki maintains that he never could have imagined his career reaching such a wide scope when he founded Dim Mak records in 1996.

“You can’t really foretell [that] something like this [will] happen. It’s all about embracing your small victories and building on them. You can have your big goal [at the beginning], but at the end of the day you might not reach that goal—you might reach a different goal.”

For Steve Aoki, at the moment, one of those goals includes the Steve Aoki Charitable Fund, which he founded last year. The fund donates one dollar from every ticket sold on the Aokify America Tour to charities supporting brain research—a cause that is very important to him.

“Everything comes from our brains, we should be spending more money, and funding and research on our brains because there’s so much we don’t know about them [….] We can learn how to live healthier, better, longer lives.”

Short of solving the mysteries of the human brain, Aoki has been focusing on making music in his downtime.

“Right now I’m finishing my album on the bus, so hopefully it’ll probably come out in May or June,” he says.

Eventually, he’ll get some well-deserved time off from work at the end of the year—but not too much.

“I always have eight days at the end of the year for proper days off […] to take out my mom and hang out with my family. Then I go back into the studio.”

Steve Aoki performs at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 30 at Metropolis (59 Ste. Catherine St. E). Tickets are $42.50-$54.55. Opening acts are Waka Flocka Flame, Borgore, Dirtyphonics, and Kryoman.

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