Steven Hiroyuki “Steve” Aoki, world renowned for his works in several Billboard charting studio albums including “Wonderland,” as well as his remixes of artists such as Kid Cudi, was born on November 30, 1977 in Miami, Florida. Here are 30 interesting facts about the electro house musician:
His first solo studio album “Wonderland,” released on January 10, 2012, earned him a nomination for Grammy Award for Best Dance/Electronica Album at the 2013 55th Annual Grammy Awards, which he claims to be his biggest achievement.
In the year 2013, he was awarded two Guinness World Records - the “longest crowd cheer” for a 3-minute long scream held by a crowd and “the most glo-sticks lit simultaneously” at a single performance. However, the records were broken in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
He founded an independent record label company “Dim Mak Records,” in the year 1996. He claims to have named the company after his childhood hero Bruce Lee.
He graduated from the University of California-Santa Barbara with two bachelor’s degrees - a feminism studies degree and a sociology degree.
He holds the Guinness World Record for “most traveled musician in one year,” raking over 241,000 miles with 161 shows in 41 countries in 2012.
Aoki is a part of the “Best Buddies” program that focuses on benefitting children with disabilities. In early 2015, he was named as Global Ambassador for the program.
He started playing chess at the age of four and continued playing it throughout his childhood. He was once ranked as one of the top 250 players in the world.
Aoki was featured as a special celebrity player in the “ NBA 2K8” and “NBA 2K9” NBA videogames. However, when asked about it, he claimed he was awful at basketball.
His first mix album “Pillowface and His Airplane Chronicles,” debuted at number 15 on the Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums chart. The album’s name has story behind it, as Pillow Face is actually the alter ego of himself, which he created.
He is known for spraying champagne bottles at the crowd around him, during his shows. However, all throughout his college career he was a straight-edge and claims to have never touched even a single drop of alcohol or drugs at all.
Aoki was featured as the lead character in the documentary “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead,” that debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival and released on Netflix on August 19, 2016. The documentary went on to bag a Grammy nomination for the Best Music Film in 2016.
He founded the Steve Aoki Charitable Fund, which raises money throughout the year through his tours and merchandise to donate to relief organizations.
His father, Hiroaki Aoki, a former Olympic wrestler famous by the Anglicized name Rocky Aoki, and also the founder of the restaurant chain Benihana, is his hero, while, he claims his mother Chizuru Kobayashi to be his heart.
Aoki was named as the Highest Grossing Dance Artist in North America, in the first half of the year 2012, by Pollstar, as he reportedly grossed $4.5 million from on an 88-city tour with $32 ticket prices.
He is famous for throwing cake at people during his shows. He claims that he got the idea to throw cake after watching the video of ‘Turn Up The Volume’ by Autoerotique.
Through his company “Dim Mak,” he manages a lifestyle and clothing brand which includes the “The Dim Mak Collection” line as well as the “Steve Aoki Apparel” line. Dim Mak is also famous for hosting Dim Mak-branded stages at music festivals around the world.
During his set at the 2013 Ultra Music Festival, held in Miami, Paralympic gold medalist Dylan Alcott crowd-surfed over 15,000 people.
He grew up influenced by punk and hardcore music. At around 20 years, from 1997 to 2000, he was even a part of the band “This Machine Kills,” as the vocalist.
Aoki was named as the Best Party Rocker DJ by BPM Magazine, Best Set of the Season at the Ibiza Awards and as the Best DJ of the Year by Paper Magazine, in the year 2007.
Aoki was featured as a musical contributor and non-playable character in the video game “Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2,” the second Dragon Ball video game released on October 25, 2016 in North America.
In the year 2004, he was first asked to DJ at a club, but had only owned one turntable. It was around the same time that his friendship with DJ AM was budding, who taught him how to scratch and beat-match.
Aoki is a dedicated poker player and has even played with celebrities like Joel Madden, Antonio Esfandiari and Phil Laak.
He has two older siblings - brother Kevin, the owner of Doraku Sushi restaurant and sister Kana, known by her middle name Grace. He has four half-siblings including the famous model and actress Devon Aoki.
He made a guest appearance in an episode of the hit CW series “Arrow,” in which he played as himself, spinning at the grand opening of Oliver Queen’s fictional nightclub.
He made an appeared in an anti-fur ad for PeTA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), an American animal rights organization. He claims to have supported the organization since he was only 14 years old.
His song “I’m in the House,” which was featured in the movie “Piranha” and in an episode of MTV’s “Jersey Shore,” as well as in the trailer for “Think Like A Man.”
While in University of California, Santa Barbara, he ran concerts out of his Biko room in the Santa Barbara Student Housing Cooperative and even produced do-it-yourself records. The said concert venue, which was an apartment, became famous as “The Pickle Patch.”
After the split of the band “This Machine Kills” in 2000, Aoki started out DJing indie and hip-hop tracks. Eventually he began producing his own remixes and original material.
He became a board member for Music Is Revolution Foundation, in May 2006. The organization founded by MC5 bassist Michael Davis, is a non-profit organization that provides music education support within public schools.
He is ranked at #1 in the EDM.com’s list of Eleven Most Charitable EDM Producers. In the year 2015, Aoki was honored with the Chiuku Award for his humanitarian work, by MTV Latin America at the International Dance Music Awards.