Steven Hiroyuki Aoki was born in Miami, Florida, and grew up in Newport Beach, California. He graduated from Newport Harbor High School in 1995, where he was a star player on the varsity badminton team. He is the third child of Rocky Aoki and Chizuru Kobayashi. His father was a former Japanese wrestler who also founded the restaurant chain Benihana. He has two older siblings, sister Kana (who is sometimes called by her middle name "Grace"), and brother Kevin (owner of Doraku Sushi restaurant). He also has three half-siblings, all of whom are younger: half-brother Kyle and half-sisters Echo, and Devon, a model and actress. As a child, Steve lived with his grandfather and grandmother, his mother, and his two older siblings.Aoki attended the University of California, Santa Barbara and graduated with 2 BAs; one in Feminist Studies and the other in Sociology. In college, he produced do-it-yourself records and ran underground concerts out of his Biko roos in the Santa Barbara Student Housing Cooperative, which was located in Isla Vista, a section of residential land adjacent to UCSB. As a concert venue, the apartment became known as The Pickle Patch
. By his early 20s, Aoki had built his own record label, which he named Dim Mak.
It is speculated this is in reference to the alleged cause of death of his childhood hero, Bruce Lee, but may also be a reference to a 1970's comic book martial arts phenomenon known as Count Dante. He has also been in numerous bands, including This Machine Kills, which released an album on Ebullition Records, Esperanza, and The Fire Next Time.
Aoki founded his own label, Dim Mak Records, in 1996. The label has released music by other electro house artists such as MSTRKRFT, The Bloody Beetroots, Felix Cartal and Mustard Pimp, as well as by Klaxons, Infected Mushroom, Scanners, Whitey, and Mystery Jets. Aoki is a club promoter and DJ. He has teamed up with Blake Miller of the LA-based band Moving Units to produce remixes. The duo of Miller and Aoki work under the moniker Weird Science.In May 2006, Aoki became a board member for MC5 bassist Michael Davis' Music Is Revolution Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides music education support within public schools.Aoki's debut mix album, Pillowface and His Airplane Chronicles
was released in January 2008. He had an Essential Mix that aired on BBC Radio 1 on August 2, 2008 and again on October 27, 2012.Aoki's latest solo album, Wonderland
was released January 2012 and features guest vocalists and musicians LMFAO, Kid Cudi, Kay, Travis Barker, will.i.am aka Zuper Blahq, Wynter Gordon, Rivers Cuomo, Lil Jon, Chiddy Bang, Lovefoxxx of CSS, Big John Duncan (former guitarist of the punk band The Exploited), and others. He was nominated for a Grammy for the Best Dance Album category for "Wonderland".Aoki has been busy in the studio collaborating with other fellow producer friends and thus far has released singles with The Bloody Beetroots, Armand Van Helden of Duck Sauce, Afrojack, Laidback Luke, Tai, Sidney Samson, Tiesto. In his interviews, Twitter feed or from his YouTube channel, he has shown teasers or has discussed doing future collaborations with Diplo, Knife Party, Datsik, Chris Lake, Rune, Iggy Azalea, Angger Dimas, and Dirtyphonics.He has remixed many artists and bands, including Jackson 5, Drake, Kanye West, Eminem, Lil Wayne, Mike Posner, Girls Generation, All American Rejects, Refused, The Killers, Bassnectar, Lenny Kravitz, Bloc Party, Snoop Dogg, Robin Thicke, S.P.A., Kid Cudi, Fërnando Oviedo, Chester French and Peaches.He remixed the track "When The Wind Blows" that features on the UK edition of The All-American Rejects' 2008 album When The World Comes Down
.On November 10, 2009, Aoki released a remix for Drake's song "Forever". The song features Drake, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and Eminem. The track made it to the top of Hype Machine's chart in December 2009.Through relentless touring he gained huge support from colleges. Performing an average of 250 shows a year, he has recently started touring with production via bus tours like the spring 2012 Deadmeat Tour he headlined more than 55 cities in 60 dates across the United States and Canada. Many of the artists Aoki collaborates with make appearances on tour with him. He has played lesser-travelled regions – in 2009 he played a show in Beijing, China with Diplo at a night organised by promoters Split Works.In March 2010 Aoki released "I'm in the House", a collaboration with Zuper Blahq—alter-ego of The Black Eyed Peas singer will.i.am. The song charted at No. 29 in the UK Singles Chart in its first week of release.Producer-songwriter Lucas Secon confirmed in a May 2010 interview with HitQuarters that he and Rivers Cuomo had recently worked with Aoki on a single.In July 2012, Aoki was added to the Pollstar Top 100 North American Tours in their 2012 Mid Year Report. The list designated Aoki as the highest grossing dance artist in North America for the first half of the year.On December 11, 2012, Aoki released his first EP It's the End of the World As We Know It
, which includes three songs.Aoki finished in 6th place in the 2013 America's Best DJ competition-a vote and promotion to find out the country's most popular DJ conducted by DJ Times magazine and Pioneer DJ.On October 11, 2013, Aoki collaborated with Linkin Park on the song "A Light That Never Comes" that was included on the remix album, Recharged
18 days later. Several remixes of the song were added on the January 2014 digital download EP A Light That Never Comes (Remixes)
He was featured in the video games NBA 2K8
and NBA 2K9
as a special celebrity player, even though he admits to being terrible at basketball. He makes cameos in the videos for Cobra Starship's 2007 single "Send My Love to the Dancefloor, I'll See You in Hell (Hey Mister DJ)" and The Sounds' single "Tony the Beat".On January 2012, Steve Aoki released new tracks on Turntable.fm
in conjunction with SOL REPUBLIC Headphones making him the first established artist to fully orchestrate a listening session using the platform.Aoki appeared in an episode of The CW's new superhero series Arrow on March 20, 2013 at 8 pm EST. He was playing himself, spinning at the grand opening of Oliver Queen's fictional nightclub.Aoki made a cameo appearance in rapper Kid Cudi's video "Just What I Am".