elektro exclusive interview with Steve Aoki from Toronto’s Veld Music Festival
A sunny Toronto Saturday, crowds of neon clothed ravers rush into Downsview Park for the second annual Veld Fest! From the free Bacardi samples, to the massive stages and beautiful people- we couldn’t wait to see what this day had in store for us. Making our way to Aoki’s trailer we couldn’t help but feel nervous excitement as we’re about to chat with one of our favorite DJ/Producer/Plur God/Neon Icon. Upon arrival to the Aoki Trailer we ran into Steve giving up and coming producers Dzeko and Torres some pointers regarding a demo they showed him. Without further adue we began the quick interview before he jumped on stage to rock the Veld!
Us: What’s up Steve! What do you think of the Veld this year?
Steve Aoki: It’s like Déjà vu! The weather’s beautiful and the people are smiling so I can’t wait to get on stage. Last year’s Veld was awesome and this is definitely the biggest Toronto show I’ve played. I’ll be playing a lot of new tracks since today’s set is gonna be a ‘power hour.’
Us: Are there any collaborations we could look forward to in your upcoming album ‘Neon Future’?
Steve Aoki: I can’t give away too much but I just finished a track with Will.i.am and I’ll be performing live this month with a very special band who basically shaped my life, we haven’t told anyone yet but you’ll definitely find out soon! I also worked with a lot of producers on Neon Future, there are tracks with R3hab, Knife Party and Flux Pavilion- we actually recorded two songs; one for his upcoming EP and one for Neon Future. I’m really proud of this album as it’s the best songwriting I’ve ever done, I’ll be playing 7 songs from the album during this set. ‘Holding Up The World’ is the big record with Harrison (who sang on David Guetta’s ‘Ain’t A Party’) and he absolutely killed it!
Us: Do you think up and coming producers should be mixing in their own tracks?
Steve Aoki: Well when I started I wasn’t playing any of my own stuff because people didn’t really care at the time. You’re basically crowd pleasing; you’re playing so people don’t leave the dance floor! As DJ AM said, it’s all about being democratic and communicating to as many people in the audience as possible. If you could communicate to all of them or atleast the majority then you have a winning set!
Us: Are there any music production resources you recommend?
Steve Aoki: Ableton is probably the most intuitive, I don’t know much about FL Studio and I used Logic for Wonderland but Ableton is definitely the easiest. Massive is a great synthesizer for creating your own sounds and presets, but Lennar Digital’s Sylenth1 is definitely my favorite, I swear by it! My soul is in Sylenth!
Us: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Steve!
*Also, check out this awesome cake throw from Steve which took place right after our interview! Feel the love!*
By Mark Wolf & Ralphio Louis