Born and raised in Miami, Florida, and interestingly, he is of Japanese descent, Steven Hiroyuki Aoki–known for his electro house music, a famous American DJ, record producer, music programmer, and record executive. Here’s a tour on his art-filled playhouse in Vegas! A good story always starts with humbling memories; Aoki reminisced on his earlier days with the most valuable possessions he had back then.
“I was living on ramen, and my rent was $450 in Hollywood back in 2003 when I was sharing an apartment with my then-girlfriend and surviving on a budget that brushed up against the poverty level. I lived very, very frugally.” – Aoki.
He has an extensive collection of records mostly given by his friends who outgrows em’ or whenever the move aways. They would leave their records to Aoki, thus building his secondhand records library. He would start filling in the gaps by desiring to complete the sets of records he ahs–which paved the way to a different mindset on ownership.
“Collecting those records and understanding the value, they were like art pieces; it made me understand what a collector does, or how it feels to be a collector.” – Aoki.
Collecting records became a considerable part of his life; he also has a growing interest in art with a collection of more than 70 works by Banksy, Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami, OSGEMEOS, and Nobuyoshi Araki, KAWS. He gained popularity from his record label-turned-lifestyle company behind Bloc Party, The Gossip and the Kills, and the Cahinsmokers. He has been distinguished as the world’s hardest-working DJ–playing as much as 300 gigs yearly. He was also considered one of the highest-paid DJs in the world.
Having an immense desire for fashion and philanthropy, Aoki also co-owns a brand Vision Street Wear and his own Men’s Clothing Line–that debuted last 2017 at New York Fashion Week. He also started his Foundation supporting research, disaster relief, and animal rights–he donated more than $500,000.
Art and Music always have a place in Aoki’s heart; it sparks joy in him. And his interest is more in contemporary and street arts that is anything related to his roots–Japanese influence. You’ll find on top of his grand piano displaying several of his anime collection and a prized Banksy sculpture.
a 16,779-square-foot work of art, with four bedrooms and 11 bathroom complex overlooking the Las Vegas Strip. An elegant mansion that significantly shows a lot about Aoki’s personality.
“When I bought this house, it was a shell, and I was like, ‘Wow, look at all these walls,’ and I just kind of envisioned this house to be this kind of art gallery–Esque, exhibition-Esque funhouse,” he says. “The house is my brain, basically.” – Aoki.
The Social Media community loves Aoki; his Instagram account itself has over 7.8 Million followers, boasting his immense hyped up record studio, foam pit, classy gym, KAWS showroom, and a 20-foot mural by Neck Face–a longtime friend of Aoki.
The walls of his house reflect so much of the space due to the presence of several mirrors. His furniture is personalized with a logo stamped on them, such as the lawn furniture, the bottom of his 16-foot-deep pool, and his trampoline. Aoki’s self-portraits are also present in his gallery view; most works were done by Romero Britto, Ron English, and several from his fans. One of the best things in his pod is a life-sized sculpture of Aoki made by My3DNA. A nude sculpture of him in a chair-like position, but since his mother doesn’t share the same opinion on this, he had to custom boxers to partially cover a section of it.
“I don’t like having pictures of me all over the place, to be honest with you,” Aoki says, “but it’s hard when people make really good stuff.”
Aoki’s Art Collection
His interest in art furthers through his significant purchases. He has several collections of be@rbricks, Medicom Toys, and other limited edition sculptures. He has a 4-foot-tall be@rbrick toy of himself in a hallway off the living room, complete with his signature locks and a Dim Mak tank top. He has also painting displays by RETNA–an LA-based street artist famous for his hieroglyphic-influence graffiti; another one entitled Beautiful Hot Lava and Sunlight on the Beach Painting (with Snow + Tornados) (2008), by Daniel Hirst. He also is a fan of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jeff Koon, and Titu Kaphar; thus, some of their works can either be seen in his home–displayed or inked on his body.
“His art is incredible,” Aoki says of Kaphar. “He’ll paint something from the George Washington era, but he’ll paint over the white presidents or white people and focus on the slave. He’s retelling the story from an African-American perspective.” –Aoki
One of Aoki’s favorite piece is Banksy’s sculpture of a python that swallowed Mickey Mouse as a whole. Came from a dystopian faux-amusement park that Banksy created-called Dismaland 2015.
“The guy was like, ‘Look, these things are moving very fast, so you have to make a decision on what you want, He gave me, like, five pages of items to choose from, but most were outside of my price range, to be honest. Like, literally every piece sold in hours… It’s crazy.…I was lucky to get this one.” -Aoki
In creating a masterpiece may it be Music or collecting art pieces, Aoki believes that it is all about partaking in creative culture. He just likes so many things…
“Different things make up Steve Aoki, I’m not just one different thing, I’m not one-dimensional. That’s the same way I think about buying and collecting art.” -Aoki