Steve Aoki spills the tea on what fuels his passion and what his ultimate guilty-pleasure song is ahead of his Ultra South Africa performance

PS: he loves Black Coffee as much as we do!

Steve Aoki is on his way and we’re counting down the days! Ultra South Africa will be taking place at the end of this month in Cape Town and Johannesburg. To further fuel our excitement, we caught up with the DJ.

He shares who his fave is on the local line-up, his favourite international Ultra memories and what fuels his passion for DJing.

You’ve been to South Africa before. What were your fave places to visit and what are you looking forward to trying out when you come back?

We’re taking a trip to Seal Island, which I’ve been to before – it’s so beautiful. We’re also going on a safari trip – both times I was in South Africa I went on a safari trip, so I’m really looking forward to that. I love being in nature and I watch a lot of National Geographic, so I want to be close to things I’ve seen on there. And, of course, I can’t wait for the Ultra shows coming up in Cape Town and Johannesburg. I’m really going to fill in every hour of every day that I’m there with activities.

Who are your favourite local artists on the Ultra South Africa line-up?

Well, Black Coffee is a legend! I love him, he’s such a wonderful human being – a really nice guy. I’m a big fan of his.

How many Ultra Festivals have you played at and what is your best memory/experience?

Playing the main stage at Ultra in Miami is always an incredible feeling. One of my favourite memories was bringing out Daddy Yankee on stage – that was a moment! Daddy Yankee doesn’t really do EDM festivals, so when he came out in Miami people lost their minds! And also bringing out One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson. We did a song together called Just Hold On. He came out on stage at Ultra another time too – that was momentous! That’s something Louis and I won’t forget.

Where does the cake-throwing originate from for readers and fans who don’t know?

The cake is a tool to allow people to just leave the pretensions behind and just explode, have fun, and to let your feelings and emotions out. That’s really what the cake does – it’s that moment when people don’t care about what they look like – they’re having fun, they’re sweating, they’re dancing, they’re losing their minds to the music, and the cake is just that one step further. And secondly, it’s unique to my show, so when people leave they might not remember my music five years later, but they’ll definitely remember the cake. I always want to create a unique experience at my shows that blows people’s minds.


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Postmates arrives and u see this. Wyd?

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You’re known for your epic sets. What can we expect at Ultra South Africa?

My album, Neon Future IV, will be coming out a week after Ultra South Africa, so I’m on the road to release this new album, which is my largest undertaking of a project that I’ve ever done in my life – it’s over two albums of music. So the difficult part, for me, is making sure I’m presenting 2020’s music. But I haven’t been to South Africa in six years, so there are a lot of fans who want to hear songs that reflect the different parts of their lives, so I have to mix songs. It’s going to be a mixture of songs from the new album, as well as giving the crowd what they want. My show is about exploring all the senses; I really want people to be fully engaged.

What’s your fave track or who’s your fave artist right now?

A new upcoming artist who I really like is Global Dan. You should check out his track Runaway.

And your guilty-pleasure song that you sing in the shower?

I LOVE Toxic by Britney Spears!


What’s the most important thing you carry with you on tour, and do you have a pre-set ritual?

The most important thing I carry with me is my music. But technology has made it so easy that even if you lose your music you can download it anywhere off the Cloud. It’s incredible. Before, I used to carry big record cases everywhere I went and it was such an ordeal. Now I just have this little plastic case with my SD cards in it.

You’ve recently dropped a track with Maluma. Any other sneak-peeks that you can give us of upcoming music or collabs?

There are 10 songs from my album that I dropped last year that I’ll feature in my set, and I definitely want to be dropping the song I have with Maluma – Maldad. I will definitely drop some sneak-peeks, but it will be something that I will have to decide the day of. I need to be settled into the country, I need to check out the crowd, watch different sets, and get some info before I make a decision.


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MALDAD 😈 😇 FRIDAY @maluma

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You’re known in the industry as one of the hardest-working DJs. What fuels your passion?

I have to really think about why I do what I do, and I love what I do. I’m the luckiest guy in the world because I found something that I care deeply about and that I put my whole heart in to. And it’s not about money – it’s because I simply love it. So when you really love what you do, you put your everything into that. Most people don’t have that opportunity and they have to work three jobs just to do what they love, so I’m grateful. I’m grateful that I can do that and aid my career. It’s like a balance of gratitude, being mindful and being present. When you love what you do, you have to be present in what you’re doing.

We cannot wait to be front and centre for Steve Aoki’s set! See you there, and don’t forget to get your tickets ASAP!

The ticket prices are:

CAPE TOWN: Tickets range from R650 – R1 500

Buy your tickets on Howler

JOHANNESBURG: Tickets range from R800 – R4 000

Buy your tickets on Howler

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