In the world of EDM, Steve Aoki remains one of its most controversial figures. Often targeted by critics for his live show’s heavy emphasis on outrageous props, Aoki’s penchant for riding inflatable rafts over festival crowds and particularly smashing fans in the face with cakes has made him one of the most polarizing (and popular) DJs working today.
In a new essay for The Daily Beast, Aoki has come out in defense of his theatrical shows, explaining the origins of “caking” and why he’s continue to do so into the future, critics be damned.
“I was thinking of new ways to engage with my audience and with a bit of serendipity and inspiration the cake was born,” he said “It was inspired by an Autoerotique music video, an artist on Dim Mak, that made a great music video where cakes exploded in people’s faces as they blew out the candles. I literally woke up with the idea of caking someone while playing that song to help promote the video while playing the song. After I retired the song from my set six months later though, I didn’t retire the cake. Fans had been shooting videos and showing their friends. They saved their cake-covered shirts like a badge of honor and it became a strong element of my show. The cake had gone viral.”
Aoki will surely raise some eyebrows and generate more internet discussions for his reasoning behind making his shows such interactive events as opposed to staying hunched over the decks in serious mixing mode the entire time.