Steve Aoki is obsessed with tech (bonus points if it feels like an acid trip too)

"Let's get that tech spectacle in your face, with a little cake on the side."

Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
Expertise Streaming video, film, television and music; virtual, augmented and mixed reality; deep fakes and synthetic media; content moderation and misinformation online Credentials
  • Three Folio Eddie award wins: 2018 science & technology writing (Cartoon bunnies are hacking your brain), 2021 analysis (Deepfakes' election threat isn't what you'd think) and 2022 culture article (Apple's CODA Takes You Into an Inner World of Sign)
Joan E. Solsman
2 min read
Steve Aoki lifts one hand in the air as he stands behind his mixing board

DJ and producer Steve Aoki will perform June 10 in New York at the Brooklyn Mirage. 

Getty Images

Steve Aoki may be obsessed with the future, but he sticks by tried-and-true tech. 

The electronic dance producer and DJ, like many on the EDM circuit, is constantly striving for technology to deliver more eye-popping performances. It's just another example of how tech is changing how we work and play. 

But more valuable than jaw-dropping spectacle? The tech needs to actually work. 

"It needs to be easy, and it's got to be like 'ding!' It's got to be like [it's] already in your brain," he said. After failed experiments with 3D glasses and other head-mounted displays, Aoki trusts LED walls and projection mapping as his go-to show features. They may feel like "very old tech," but they have other advantages. 

Watch this: Steve Aoki reveals his tech fails and must-haves

"Anytime you see a wall disintegrating in front of you, and it looks like it really is falling apart, you don't need to be on drugs to be like 'damn, I feel like I'm on a trip,'" he said. 

Aoki's shows, which also always include a low-tech cake smash in the face, are a cornerstone of his career. He was last year's fifth-highest-paid D.J. in the world, partly thanks to his punishing touring schedule of more than 200 shows a year. He also released a new single, Pretender, last month with Rapper Lil Yachty and indie pop trio AJR.

Aoki will be performing June 10 in New York at the Brooklyn Mirage, widening his "Neighborhood" festival format to the East Coast. 

For any hardcore Aoki fans in the area, CNET has a big opportunity for you coming to our Facebook page, so keep checking there for an Aoki post with the word "surprise."

"Let's get that tech spectacle in your face, with a little cake on the side," he said.