The Life of a Las Vegas DJ Featuring Steve Aoki

The Life of a Las Vegas DJ Featuring Steve Aoki

DJing has been the hottest music trend in recent years. It feels like everyone in America either knows a DJ or will become one in their lifetime. But there’s a big difference between the guy who works your local bar on Friday nights and the top level of the game — a residency at a Las Vegas mega club. Steve Aoki is one of these people. Aoki took up DJ sets some thirteen years back, and landed his first club residence in Vegas in 2010. These days, he averages 250 shows a year, to millions across the world, and equates spinning at his level to landing an acceptance to Harvard.mix-247-edm-steve-aoki

Casinos have the sort of disposable income it takes to build out high-end experiences that are unlike anything else in the world. The city is nightlife. By definition, nowhere competes, so competition for DJ residencies is fierce. Like his Hakkasan peers Calvin Harris, Tiesto, and Hardwell, Steve Aoki is a brand — in his case, fashion line, a charitable fund, and a record label DIM MAK (with Vegas and LA studios) that’s celebrating its 20th anniversary. All of this is to say that Steve’s is a name that puts bodies on the dance floor and bottles in the VIP room, and has a resume that’s hard to find outside of Las Vegas.

But there’s a balancing act to being an artist in a place like Hakkasan for the simple fact that the people signing the checks are taking a chance on you. He’s got the best equipment to perform his experiments, but he’s also performing for an international cross section of cultures and walks of life. It’s the sort of environment that makes Vegas, Vegas — a melting pot of people descending on one patch of earth with the simple goal of having a good time.

There was a time where DJs were not as revered as they are now. They were tucked away in various nightclubs around the world. Now the DJ is not only the gateway to the nightclub experience, but an overall ruckus experience many people flock to Vegas for. Moreover, you have festivals like Tomorrowland and EDC where these artists are the main attractions. That’s why Hakkasan put so much into the club environment on one side of the formula and just as much into seeking out their favorite DJs in the marketplace.

Djs are now becoming the primer in live music entertainment. The persona has evolved in the last few years and doesn’t look to slow down now. With so many mainstream artists today collaborating with more and more DJs, the future is bright for these men and women, especially in Vegas.

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