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Exclusive Interview

Rafts, Cakes, Robots & More: Steve Aoki Breaks Down His Insane Live Shows

The DJ also identifies differences in the experience of being at an EDM show versus a rock concert–and reveals why it's not all about him when he's performing

If you've never seen Steve Aoki in person, chances are that you've at least heard about the EDM maestro's signature insane live shows. He's made news by venturing out into the crowd on a raft (a practice he started at Coachella in 2009), bringing huge cakes out on stage just to threw them in peoples' faces (he introduced this in 2011–because he needed something new), and, most recently, having huge dancing robots on stage

Aoki sat down for an exclusive interview to explain why he works so hard on adding crazy flourishes to his gigs–watch it above!

"The basis of all this is, 'How can I get the crowd involved with the show?' Whether it's like, I'm caking someone and that person's involved, or the entire crowd that's watching is part of it just by seeing the reaction," he says. 

He also admits that at an EDM show, it's not necessarily all about the DJ. "When I go to a rock concert, you're there to see the artist," he says. "You're there to watch and you head bob. You're not there to kind of lose yourself."

Aoki continues by saying that DJs don't need to do anything too crazy, like the rafts or the cake, which he does to make the show more memorable–because EDM shows are all about how the music is hitting the people in the crowd and how they're connecting to it and losing themselves.  

"The status quo of DJs is like, just as long as you're keeping the beat alive and keeping the energy alive, that's what's the most memorable," Aoki says. "It's not necessarily about what I'm doing on stage, it's about how the music is translated through your feelings."

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