Steve Aoki and Datsik
Steve Hiroyuki Aoki was born in Miami and grew up in Newport Beach, California. He graduated from Newport Harbor High School in 1995; 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 Olympic wrestler who also founded the restaurant chain Benihana. He has two older siblings, sister Kana (who is now known as "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, the supermodel and actress. As a child, Steve lived with his grandfather, his mother, and his two older siblings and one younger brother Jafet Aoki.
Aoki attended the University of California, Santa Barbara and graduated with two B.A.s; one in Women's Studies and the other in Sociology. In college, he produced do-it-yourself records and ran underground concerts out of his Biko room 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 after his childhood hero, Bruce Lee. He has also been in numerous bands, including This Machine Kills, which released an album on Ebullition Records, Esperanza, and The Fire Next Time.
His father, Rocky, once said that he had 'three kids from three different women at exactly the same time'. He found out about the third child with the third woman when he was sued for paternity. In 2005, Rocky sued four of his children (Grace, Kevin, Kyle, and Echo) for an alleged attempt to take control of the companies he founded, which, at the time, had an estimated value between US $60 million and $100 million. Steve and his younger half-sister, Devon, were not named in the suit.
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, and Mustard Pimp, as well as by Klaxons, Scanners, Whitey, and Mystery Jets. Aoki is also a club promoter and DJ. He has also 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.
Aoki's debut album, Pillowface and His Airplane Chronicles was released in January 2008. He also had an Essential Mix that aired on BBC Radio 1 on August 2, 2008.10
He has remixed many artists and bands, including Drake, Lenny Kravitz, Bloc Party, Snoop Dogg, Robin Thicke, S.P.A., Kid Cudi, 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 he 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. In Ann Arbor, MI he's played two sold-out shows to University of Michigan students at The Necto (nightclub), huge shows followed at campuses across the country.
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 #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 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