Steven Hiroyuki Aoki is an American D.J., record producer, music programmer, record executive, and heir to his father, Rocky Aoki's Benihana restaurant franchise empire.

Aoki was named the highest-grossing electronic dance music artist in North America by Pollstar in 2012. He has worked with artists such as will., Afrojack, LMFAO, Linkin Park, Iggy Azalea, Lil Jon, blink-182, BTS, Monsta X, Louis Tomlinson, Backstreet Boys, Rise Against, Vini Vici, Lauren Jauregui, and Fall Out Boy, and is noted for his Kid Cudi remixes. Aoki's studio albums have also charted on Billboard, including Wonderland, nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Dance/Electronica Album in 2013. He is the founder of the Steve Aoki Charitable Fund, which generates funds for humanitarian groups worldwide. In 2019, Aoki released Blue: The Color of Noise, a memoir.


Aoki grew raised in Newport Beach, California, but was born in Miami, Florida, on November 30, 1977. He was a member of the varsity badminton team at Newport Harbor High School, where he graduated in 1995. He is the third child of Rocky Aoki and Chizuru Kobayashi and is of Japanese origin. His father was a former wrestler and the founder of the Benihana restaurant business. He has two older siblings, Kana (who is frequently referred to by her middle name "Grace") and Kevin (owner of Doraku Sushi restaurant). Devon Aoki, a model, and actress, is his half-sister.

Aoki earned two B.A. degrees from the University of California, Santa Barbara, one in feminist studies and sociology. His Biko room in the Santa Barbara Student Housing Cooperative, located in Isla Vista, a portion of residential land close to UCSB, produced do-it-yourself records and conducted underground concerts while in college. The flat became known as The Pickle Patch as a concert venue. Aoki was also active in student activism at UCSB, where he founded a chapter of the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist League. By his early twenties, Aoki had established his record label, Dim Mak, which he called after his childhood hero, Bruce Lee.


He is well-known for his acrobatic crowd surfing feats, including throwing cake at fans, spraying champagne bottles, and dancing on rafts. He performs an average of 250 concerts per year. He has lately begun traveling with production via bus tours, such as the Deadmeat Tour, which he headlined in more than 55 locations across the United States and Canada in the spring of 2012. Many of the musicians with whom Aoki collaborates go on tour with him. He's traveled to less-visited areas, like Beijing, China, where he performed with Diplo at night organized by organizers Split Works in 2009. Aoki was named to Pollstar's Top 100 North American Tours in their 2012 Mid Year Report in July 2012. According to the ranking, Aoki was the most prominent grossing dance artist in North America for the first half of the year.

Video icon for external video Weekend 1: Main Stage visual superstar Steve Aoki LIVE @ Ultra Music Festival 2013 Turbulence (Steve Aoki & Laidback Luke feat. Lil Jon)

In March 2010, Aoki released "I'm in the House," collaborating with Zuper Blahq (, the Black Eyed Peas' alter-ego,

The song debuted at No. 29 on the U.K. Singles Rank in its first week of release, then charted at No. 5 on the U.K. Dance Chart and No. 5 on the U.K. Indie Chart. The song was featured in MTV's Jersey Shore episode and the feature picture Piranha and the Think Like a Man trailer. [requires citation] In a May 2010 interview with HitQuarters, producer-songwriter Lucas Secon claimed that he and Rivers Cuomo had just worked on a tune with Aoki.

LMFAO, Kid Cudi, Kay, Travis Barker, and will appear on Aoki's first solo album, Wonderland, released in January 2012 and featuring guest vocalists and musicians. Wynter Gordon, Rivers Cuomo, Lil Jon, Chiddy Bang, Lovefoxxx of CSS, Big John Duncan (former guitarist of the punk band The Exploited), and others. Soon after, a remix album was released. It's the End of the World As We Know It, Aoki's first E.P., was released on December 11, 2012, containing three songs. At the 2013 55th Annual Grammy Awards, Aoki was nominated for Wonderland's Best Dance/Electronica Album.


Aoki has received and been nominated for numerous industry accolades, including annual competitions and magazine rankings. BPM Magazine voted him Best Party Rocker D.J. in 2007, Paper Magazine dubbed him Best D.J. of the Year, and the Ibiza Awards awarded him Best Set of the Season. He was ranked No. 15 in D.J. Magazine's Top 100 DJs and was named America's #2 Best D.J. a few years later, in 2012. He also won an EDM Effect Woodie Award from MTVu in 2012, and he was nominated for his first Grammy the following year.

Aoki came in the sixth position in D.J. Times magazine's America's Best D.J. competition in 2013,[39], eighth place in 2013 and 2016, tenth place in 2014, 2015, and 2017 for DJ Mag's Top 100 DJs competition. In 2014, Aoki was honored with two Guinness World Records: the "longest crowd cheer" and the "largest amount of glow sticks for thirty seconds." On May 21, Aoki played at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami Beach. With 161 gigs in 41 countries in 2014, he set the Guinness World Record for "most traveled musician in a year."

Since the beginning of his career, Aoki has been associated with many charities, and placed him No. 1 on their list of the eleven most generous EDM producers.

He is the founder of the Steve Aoki Charitable Fund, which generates humanitarian relief and medical research worldwide. Aoki's touring events, "memorabilia auctions," and collaborations with other artists are among the organization's fundraising efforts. He was elected Global Ambassador for the Best Buddies program, a non-profit dedicated to young people with developmental and intellectual disabilities, in early 2015. MTV Latin America also gave Aoki the Chiuku Award for humanitarian activities around the same period. The prize was given to him at the International Dance Music Awards.

Last Modified: Oct 12, 2021

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