Confessions of a cake-thrower: Steve Aoki defends his live dance etiquette
Where did the hate begin? Between his high-profile familial ties and the spike in popularity surrounding his unconventional live performances, Steve Aoki has taken many a verbal beating with his indisputable success to date. In the wake of a wave of public criticism and satire questioning the overall integrity and content of his live career, the Dim Mak head honcho has taken to The Daily Beast to personally address the haters, trolls and anyone else with a bee in their bonnet about his crowd surfing/cake tossing ways.
Touching upon everything from the assorted choice of props that evolved from his debut Coachella appearance back in 1999 and made rafts a staple part of his energetic crowd experience, right through to the influence Daft Punk’s Alive album had on his own approach, the North American-based star speaks candidly and unapologetically of the way his live aura has taken shape. He explores the highs with the lows and acknowledges both the humorous and poisonous sides of internet satire, stripping down an argument that makes a compelling case for an ‘each-to-their-own’ standpoint for live performers dominating the high-end of modern dance music and their activity behind the decks at any given time. The end picture is a notably unapologetic one from Aoki: “When you come to a Steve Aoki show you get a Steve Aoki experience.”
As far as his gimmick-ridden live sets are concerned, the unmistakable artist cuts to the crux of why his onstage antics remain an essential and justified element of his musical career:
“I want to make that connection so powerful, something that will never be forgotten. And that’s why I bring the cake out or the raft out. When I see the person who was begging for the cake then get covered in frosting as the crowd roars, smiling from ear to ear, it’s a unique and incredibly exciting feeling for myself, for them and for the crowd. I love being part of that energy, being part of that feeling.”
The jury is still out as to whether his approach is any more-or-less integral, but the argument has never been more vital. As the entertainment industry continues to find sects to the dance music industry to embrace, the point at which a successful showman becomes stigmatised for universal popularity and unconventional etiquette is a scenario repeated throughout the history of music regardless of cultural convention. If Aoki’s final words are anything to go by, a little heat from the wider industry isn’t about to shift this artist out of an increasingly popular kitchen of quirky live dance evangelism. Love him or hate him, Steve Aoki looks set to have his cake and eat it where his place in the electronic dance history books is concerned.
Source: The Daily Beast
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