[Exclusive Interview + Stream] Steve Aoki Releases ‘Neon Future I’ & Reveals ‘Neon Future II’ Collabs Like Linkin Park!
On the eve of releasing his highly anticipated new album Neon Future I, Steve Aoki was still working diligently, juggling multiple interviews while preparing for his performance on one of the world’s biggest and most magical stages – the TomorrowWorld Main Stage. The Dim Mak record label frontman gave Fist In The Air a few minutes to discuss the secrets to his almost magical ability to discover and develop new artists from every corner of the musical spectrum. At the end of the interview he reveals some exciting collaborations that we can look forward to in Neon Future II.
Stream Neon Future I above and purchase the album on if you dig. And be sure to check out the full interview from TomorrowWorld including **newly announced collaborations from Neon Future 2** after the jump!
FITA speaks Steve Aoki:
FITA: I want to focus on how you discover new artists and ask you what are the most important assets you look for in an upcoming artist, what really makes them blow you away?
Steve Aoki: There’s a lot of different things. We sign songs by just the song and we sign artists. When we sign an artist to develop them I want to hear a multitude of sounds coming from the artist. I want to hear that they’re not just being so focused on one sound. Those artists I want to try to help by bridging them to other artists and developing their career further and that’s a longer kind of play that we do. Then with songs we sign a song because it just works really good in the club. You know, I’ll test it out and be like “this fucking works man, it’s a great song. It’s like a great tool in the club.” And those ones we just put out and then all of a sudden sometimes those ones become artists because they give me another song and I’m like “fuck, this one’s great too. Let’s build it into a bigger play.” So we can do something where we can support them and put on shows and you know, I like to work with them too, if there’s time for collaborations.
FITA: One of the things that people really look up to you for is blending genres and going outside of EDM, for instance like Waka Flocka. When you first see someone who’s not strictly an electronic artist, what is it that you see in them that makes you think they would fit into electronic music?
Aoki: I want to find artists that people think that just don’t fit at all and then make them fit. That’s way more exciting. If it works you like, you know….people might not like it at all because you’re doing something outside the norm. I mean people hate my shit, people are haters, trust me. I don’t give a fuck what they think I just want to do something that inspires me. I want to get in the studio with an artist that’s never worked on a dance record and try to find that balance. That’s what Neon Future is; it’s like constantly working with artists, finding this balance between two worlds. Creating a completely new sound whatever it might be.
FITA: Yea, you have to take big risks and find unexpected artists and then it’s the biggest payoff right?
Aoki:Sometimes it amounts to very little, you know. Even if it amounts to something little, as long as it inspires me personally, I’m happy…I’m always learning, like learning as a producer. When I get into the studio with someone new it’s adding to my cache in my brain. The more experience you have in different areas the better you’re going to get. You’re not going to find those awkward places where you can just disregard a lot of those. For example, Wonderland took me four years to finish. Neon Future I wrote in 16 songs. 16 out of maybe like 30 ideas in 2013. At the end of the day, if you’re on a state of flow where you’re fucking jamming you can write a shitload of ideas. And then out of like 50 to 60 ideas then you dwindle it down to what you’re recording. It’s like, it’s all about jamming and writing shit out and then finding purpose in whatever you’re doing and then plucking out the things that make sense to you.
FITA: Can you tell me about upcoming projects or collaborations we can look forward to?
Aoki: Well Neon Future Part 2 has got a new song with Linkin Park, some familiar names like Matthew Koma, Nervo, and some new names like Walk Off The Earth. You know, it’s pretty exciting. But album one man, it’s not even out yet.
Neon Future 1 Track Listing:
1. “Transcendence” feat. Ray Kurzwell
2. “Neon Future” featuring Empire of the Sun
3. “Back to Earth” featuring Fall Out Boy
4. “Born to Get Wild” featuring will.i.am
5. “Rage the Night Away” featuring Waka Flocka Flame
6. “Delirious (Boneless)” with Chris Lake and Tujamo featuring Kid Ink
7. “Free the Madness” featuring Machine Gun Kelly
8. “Afroki” with Afrojack featuring Bonnie McKee
9. “Get Me Out of Here” featuring Flux Pavilion
10. “Beyond Boundaries” featuring Aubrey de Grey”