"The horizons are full with music and entertainment" – hmv.com talks to Steve Aoki as he opens up about 'Neon Future'
EDM megastar Steve Aoki enjoyed a phenomenal 2013 with a year full of sold out dancefloors and a series of big hits, including his team up with nu metal titans Linkin Park 'A Light That Never Comes'. We chatted to him about the grand concept behind his new album Neon Future and the big name collaborators he's gathered together for the record.
How's 2014 been for you so far?
"Busy! Right now I’m releasing my second album which is coming out later in the year called Neon Future and I’ve also been playing lots of shows, I’ve just done one in London at Brixton Academy which was a great show."
You put your new single 'Can't Stop The Swag' earlier this year, have you been pleased with the reaction it's got?
"Yeah it’s done well – I wanted it to be different so ‘Can’t Stop The Swag’ with Coone was my take on electro meets hardstyle. I’ve been putting out a load of collaborations lately - I just put out one called ‘Feedback’ with Autoerotique, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike which is an electro banger and I’ve also recently released ‘Freak’ with Diplo and Deorro so I’ve been busy making lots of collab bangers!"
You did the track with Coone, what was he like to work with?
"Coone is an incredible producer. For me he is the future of hardstyle so working with him was very exciting because I love his sound – he’s actually signed to my label Dim Mak as well. I’m totally behind him in his career."
Have you got a release date for Neon Future yet?
"It’s going to be 12 August of this year."
We know you've got the likes will.i.am, Snoop Dogg and Machine Gun Kelly on the record, can you reveal any other collaborators?
"Sure - Empire of the Sun, Waka Flocka Flame, Flux Pavilion, Afrojack."
What inspired the title Neon Future?
"The title is actually a real concept and I came up which is the actual idea of a neon future - a future with endless possibilities where people have merged with technology and the horizons are full with music and entertainment."
"What I’m doing alongside Neon Future are these interviews called Neon Future Sessions. It’s kind of my take on Neon Future outside of the music and into the real world, where a bunch of influential people that I’m interviewing talk about what they think about the future. I’ve already interviewed Arianna Huffington and next week I will be interviewing Sean Parker and Ray Kurzwell who is the man behind the idea of singluarity where people integrate with artificial intelligence."
"So there’s a lot of exciting topics around futurism. I’m interviewing anyone from scientists to people invoved in technology."
How does the album move on from Wonderland?
"Neon Future is a whole new concept. Also every song has a new vocalist so I’ve been having to write a whole new soundscape for each song with that singer in mind. It’s all cohesive to this neon future concept. Even the music videos that we are going to be putting out are all based in the future."
Last year you worked with Linkin Park on 'A Light That Never Comes', tell us how that came about, was it a process you enjoyed?
"It just came out of our friendship that has matured over time. We’ve always talked about it from back in the day. It was a great process, and was definitely the most colourful collaboration I’ve done - they are really inspiring people to work with."
Would you like to work with more rock bands in the future?
"Yeah absolutely – it’s definitely more of a difficult mixing process but I love trying to make harder things work well."
Can we expect to see you at many of the summer's festivals in the UK and Europe?
"Definitely – I’m playing at Mysteryland Festival, Tomorrowland, Monegros, Creamfields, Ultra Croatia, Rock In Rio, EDC London, Airbeat Festival, plus lots more. Also I will be living in Ibiza for a big part of the summer because of my Pacha residency."
Which vocalists would you most love to collaborate with? And why?
"Jay Z – he is a living legend."
Have you had a chance to check out Skrillex's album yet? If so, what did you make of it?
"I think it’s the best album of the year so far. It’s a beautiful piece of work. I think that Sonny is my favourite producer because he really knows how to put two sounds together and make them each sound so distinctly brilliant! He is just an incredible producer. He is evolving as an artist and he is experimenting with new sounds and genres and I applaud that and love the direction he’s going in – I love what I’m hearing and all the songs are incredible."
Finally, are there any up and coming DJs people should be on lookout for? Any tips?
"Deorro who I’ve been supporting for the last year, I put out a bunch of his records on Dim Mak, we just did this collaboration together called ‘Freak’ with Diplo – he’s a great DJ, great producer, good guy so look out for him! Also Autoerotique who I’ve been supporting and going on the road with. He puts out some great records and has a new collaboartion with Major Lazer coming out soon."
Steve Aoki's new album Neon Future is due out on August 12 and will be available from hmv stores across the UK.