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INTERVIEW: Steve Aoki at TomorrowWorld

Listen to Steve Aoki on iHeartRadio

Performing four times at the first-ever TomorrowWorld, it's safe to say the festival has been Aokified.

Steve just released his new song with Linkin Park, is working on his album Neon Future, and is gearing up to head out on his Aokify America tour with Borgore, Waka Flocka Flame, and Pharrell! 

We caught up with Steve at TomorrowWorld where he talked about Afroki, his upcoming Aokify America tour, Afroki, his new song with Linkin Park, and more. Find out what he had to say:

How has TomorrowWorld been? You had the Dim Mak stage here, and you're performing on the main stage!

Day one was pretty wild.  I did a set on the Dim Mak stage, and I love doing that because you have the whole Dim Mak crew, all the DJs there, and like it’s a different set.  And then a three-way back to back set with Laidback Luke and Dimitri Vegas, which was a lot of fun.  We were all dressed up as Superman, Spiderman and Batman.  And then today is my big show that I’ve been looking forward to. The main stage goes Afrojack, and then we do our Afroki set, and then I close out and do a set.  We’re doing it Afroki style.  We’re going to play "Afroki" which is our new song that isn’t out yet.  Plus possibly we might play another new one that we’ve been working on.  We just kind of go in there without even talking about what we’re going to play, so it’s kind of fun and kind of exciting, but a little nerve-racking. During my set I’m going to be playing a lot of new ones from my next album Neon Future. So I’m super amped on that, plus I did two songs with Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike that are in the Tomorrowland after-movie this year.  There’s a lot of new stuff. I did a record with Machine Gun Kelly, hopefully I can play that one, but I don’t have time to finish it.  I was going to try to do it, finish it today to play it out. A lot of new stuff!

Speaking of Afroki, what’s it like working with Afrojack?

Afrojack is, he’s like a Picasso.  He’s just like an incredible songwriter, incredible musician, producer. It’s like, when he’s on a roll, you just don’t, don’t want to stop him. And when we work together, we’re a really good team.  We work really well together, very fluid, both come up with ideas. It’s not forced, it’s very natural.  We’ve actually written a lot of songs very quickly, but we always wanted to just put out the right ones instead of just putting all of them out. So we got some new tracks, so I’m really excited for people to hear it.

When do you think your new album will be released?

My new album will come out early 2014, I’m not sure. I have a bus tour coming up, called Aokify America, and I’ll be working on my album to finish that on the bus.  Travis Barker let me borrow his bus. It’s a sick, incredible bus, so I’m bringing my studio in there. I brought my studio on the Kendrick Lamar tour I did like four or five months ago.  So I’m going to just finish everything then.  

Are you excited for Aokify America?

F**k yeah! I mean you got Borgore, Farrell, I mean Farrell’s on the tour which is so epic! Waka Flaka is like [a] crazy, crazy performer on stage and he’s like, you know, he’s got his own songs, and he’s got his own crew and fan base. So it’s going to be a really exciting diverse crowd. When we were planning out this tour, we wanted to hit different aspects.  We wanted to hit different genres, not just bring only DJs on the road. I felt that way after I did the tour at Kendrick Lamar.  When I did that tour with Kendrick, it was such an exciting crowd because you really saw this diversity of dance kids there that like live for dance music, and like urban kids that live for hip hop. They’re all harmonious, so it’s cool.

What do you think that America will be like once it’s Aokified?  What will they take away from this tour?

It’s just going to be pure, crazy energy from all these artists that I just, for me it’s unforgettable.  It’s like before I even think about what people get, I always think about like how am I going to come out of this.  I hope people feel the same way, and I hope it’s an unforgettable experience, because I already know it will be.  I’m bringing on a new stage prop to the set that I call "neon future" technology.  People will expect the cake, they’re going to get the cake, they’re going to get the raft. They’re going to get things they know, but now they’re going to get something brand new that I’ve been working on, that’s a lot more sophisticated.  It’s not as clumsy as the boat and the cake, and messy.  It’s very sophisticated technology.  So something that’s one of a kind.  I'm really excited to bring that out because it represents my new album, new concept around music, that’s putting it all together.

The tour teaser is great. You end up making cake and then walk into this huge cake vault. So if you had your own cake making show - or cake destroying show, what would you name it?

Cake Face! I’m actually writing a song called "Cake Face" next year. So it’ll work perfectly with the song.

Tell me about your new single with Linkin Park, "A Light That Never Comes."  How did you get together with them?

I’ve been talking with Shinoda, Mike for years and he hit me up last year about doing some conceptual music together.  It was more very like let’s just work together.  So then we started with an idea to do all these different ideas and songs, and then we focused on this one in particular. Over the course of six months, and there was a lot of back and forth. I’m not sure who wrote what first, but like I might of sent him a beat, and some bass line, and he sent me some guitar riffs, and then I sent him a synth back, and then he sent me a couple of synths back. It was like working back and forth with me and him, and his whole team.  He’d go back to his team and the Linkin Park guys, and they’d all write some stuff and then send it back to me, and then Chester would add vocals, and it was just a long process to get that song done.  I’m just happy that it’s out.  I’m really happy about the song and thanks for playing the song! I really I love that you guys are playing the song. I’m like “Wow, they’re playing my music on the radio.”  Because my music, I don’t write it for the radio, I write it for my fans, I write it for people that already know my music. And it like somehow crosses into a whole new world.  It’s exciting. 

Not too long ago, TMZ asked you to explain your Aoki jump on top of that plane, and you’ve been doing them everywhere, all around the world! Is there any one place that you are dying to do one at?  

Maybe on the moon. That’d be kind of dangerous though, right, like gravity when you like the guy like gets blown away, straight blown away in space.  Well like every single Aoki jump is glorified 100% real.  I’ve never photo shopped an Aoki jump.  They’re all totally real. Every single one!

Photo Credit Katherine Tyler for iHeartRadio

 

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