Steve Aoki – Have Your Cake and Eat it Too
Steve Aoki is one of the most criticized DJs out in the scene today – Steve admits exactly that in this Serato video. Serato featured Steve as a Serato Artist and asked a few questions about what it’s like to be Steve Aoki.
He stated he’s been using Serato since the mid 2000’s, but the Serato community gives him the most criticism. He breaks down that doing something like caking someone or bringing out the raft makes the most sense as far as putting on a show. He coins it a “Steve Aoki Show.”
Steve has gotten negative feedback from the DJ community for the fact that he’s stepping away from DJing to put on this ‘show’ and not focusing on the skill that it takes to DJ. Many have accused him of playing a mix (as many EDM DJ/producers get accused of) in order to put on his show and give him time to step away from the DJ booth to execute his extra-curricular activities. However, in an article that Steve posted on The Daily Beast he states that he’s never played a mix CD. Everything he does outside of the DJ booth is done between song mixes.
In the article, he explains how he gets so much negative feedback from people saying that it’s mean to cake people, to people saying that he’s not a real DJ. He argues that it’s part of the “story he’s telling.” Summing up in a few words, he states that some use musical effects like turning down the bass, or adding a filter to a certain part of a song, even using scratching to tell a story – he uses the cake. He states, “these tools of expression are meant to create and amplify energy.”
Though Steve gets a lot of criticism for doing what he does, he makes a valid point about DJing. At one point in the video he expresses that people want to see the caking, the champagne, and the raft. It’s something to talk about. These actions have more viral appeal as opposed to watching a DJ mix behind the booth.
In the article that Steve wrote for The Daily Beast, he asked himself a series of questions surrounding his props at his shows. “[…] I still can’t help but ask myself…should I stop caking people? Will that stop the haters from hating? Stop giving the trolls more content to target me with? I even ask myself, are the cakes and the rafts taking away from the art of my culture, DJing? By using these tools instead of standing behind the DJ booth, am I deviating too far away from that culture? Am I embarrassing or insulting it? I’m sure many people feel that I am because things I do are not part of the norm.”
Perhaps the negative feedback Steve receives helps him thrive. After all, it’s said that there’s no such thing as bad press. He’s constantly being talked about, and his actions are always going viral which keep him relevant and in the ‘in.’ Even though he gets criticized for it, he says he’ll continue to cake people as long as they want it.