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12:01 AM Friday, 1/27/12 |   |

Steve Aoki has been a star of electronic music for nearly two decades – so why would we put him on our cover now?

Because his debut album just came out. And because he’s embarking on the biggest tour of his career.

With the launch of Wonderland, Aoki transitions from a successful DJ, label owner, producer and promoter to a true man of the open road. Yes, Aoki has hosted his popular weekly Dim Mak nights in Hollywood, and he’ll draw 150,000 to the stage at Electric Daisy – it’s just that now he’s on tour nonstop through May and this time the rooms are larger, by a mile. The tour has already done 7,000 at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. There’s also Boston’s House of Blues, the Fillmores, Roseland Ballroom in New York, The Tabernacle in Atlanta and wraps with two nights at the 4,000-cap room at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Conn.

Aoki, as a producer and owner of Dim Mak Records, has dropped more than 250 releases and helped break bands like Bloc Party, Klaxons and The Gossip. He’s collaborated with artists like Will.i.am. His Dim Mak shows over the last decade have introduced the U.S. to acts like Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, Skrillex, Kid Cudi and Kaiser Chiefs. When he was a student at UC Santa Barbara, he booked acts like The Rapture, !!!, Jimmy Eat World and At The Drive-In at his Pickle Patch bash.

Now, with his first full-length, he’s tapped relationships he’s culled over the years. Wonderland features the likes of Kid Cudi, Travis Barker, LMFAO and Lil Jon. It reimagines club hits like “Deadmeat” while introducing singles like “Earthquakey People” with Rivers Cuomo – whom he met at a secret show in college.

Aoki is also known as the son of Rocky Aoki, founder of restaurant chain Benihana and his half-sister is model Devon Aoki.


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