Local Wire

Steve Aoki @ Pussycat Lounge

Steve Aoki's biggest accomplishment isn't starting his own record label, Dim Mak, in his early 20s or working with artists like Drake, Bloc Party, Snoop Dogg, and Peaches. Nope, all that is simply an everyday existence for Aoki. It's Aoki's 2008 album, Pillowface and His Airplane Chronicles, that really helped Aoki make an indelible mark on music. Pillowface subtly borrows a page out of Gregg Gillis' Girl Talk playbook, mashing up different vocals and beats for a wall-to-wall party album. While an album like Pillowface may seem all over the place, it's actually a calculated effort — an ingenious way to introduce listeners to new artists, such as French electro-pop trio Yelle. If it wasn't for Aoki, people (read: me) may have never had the chance to hear Yelle. In Steve Aoki's world, everyone gets a chance — an equal opportunity attitude that goes hand in hand with his live DJ sets. The range of artists Aoki plays during his set is guaranteed to appeal to everyone in attendance, if the dude's unbridled enthusiasm and passion for his music don't already.

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Michael Lopez