This week for our party soundtrack we have an actual DJ manning the controls — one of the most popular in the world, in fact.
Steve Aoki spins and mixes electro house music at massive parties from Las Vegas to Beijing. He collaborates with the biggest names in pop music, and a concert film about his work called “Steve Aoki: I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” is up for a Grammy on February 12.
Here’s Steve with a playlist that’ll probably wake your neighbor at three in the morning.
Bloc Party – “Banquet”
My first song is Bloc Party’s “Banquet.” It brings back a lot of memories and it brings you back to a time when I first started DJ-ing as well. So I was throwing these little parties in L.A. And, you know, I get all excited and giddy when I hear the song.
Bloc Party are from England and it’s led by one of the most incredible vocalists: Kele Okereke. The drummer is incredible. I could even tell you the B.P.M. (beats per minute) tempo is 150. The way he hits drums, I mean, when it goes into a high energy stage, it just sounds fuller. Recording drums myself, I realize that like, I should not be playing drums.
Refused – “New Noise”
The next song in The dinner party soundtrack is “New Noise” by Refused. And I chose it second because I want to amp up the party.
The Shape of Punk to Come, their album came out in 1998, and it was, by far, just one of the most important albums of that time. And “New Noise” is one of my favorite songs of all time. And it’s loud and it’s outspoken and it was jaw-dropping.
Dennis Lyxzén is the lead singer of Refused. He both sings and screams. He’s screaming for change. He’s screaming with passion.
So now, at this point, everyone’s turning up. Actually, that word doesn’t exist in 1998. So everyone is just rocking out, and it’s just raucous, everyone’s just bouncing off each other. It’s almost like when you’re at a rally and everyone’s like, together unison saying the same thing. That kind of energy, but it’s a fun energy.
Lil Uzi Vert – “Money Longer”
My third song in The Dinner Party soundtrack is Lil Uzi Vert’s Money Longer.
So I picked “Money Longer” because this song, in 2016, was my big party playlist song. In general, when I DJ-ed, this is my go-to song.
Lil Uzi Vert is from Philly. He’s got a great melody. He’s got a great voice. You know [rapping along to the song], “Turn to a savage, pocket got fatter, she call me daddy.”
When I work with him in the studio, he doesn’t write anything down. He’s just in the booth, in his own train of thought. He’s in his own world and he’s just spitting stuff out as it comes. And so whatever he’s experiencing, he’s putting out there. So it feels very live and it’s like something really cool about Lil Uzi Vert and how he works.
Steve Aoki & Louis Tomlinson – “Just Hold On”
All right, my last song for the dinner party soundtrack is my song with Louis Tomlinson, “Just Hold On.”
This isn’t a song that I made for the dance floor, for the festivals. This is a song that is all about connecting with people and Louis’ lyrics are about getting through the hard times and we all need that kind of support to just move forward.