Electronic music fans recognize Steve Aoki as one of the most established producers in the industry, while also noting his love for business with his various economic ventures. Aoki worked tirelessly throughout his life to achieve his status as one of the top DJs in the world, but not many individuals realize that there was once a time that he was enduring serious financial issues.
In an interview with Brett Berish, the CEO of Luc Belaire, Aoki explained how his label almost fell by the wayside when it was first invented. Aoki’s label, Dim Mak, is now recognized as one of the top label’s in the industry after going through many hard times when it was first created. Dim Mak first originated while Steve Aoki was attending UC Santa Barbara as a 19-year old college student. Although this was one of his master business venture plans, the label was quickly falling into debt while each day passed. Aoki outlined how his business model original failed when he stated,
“Even though we were crushing it, selling over 80,000 physical copies independently with each release, I was spending way more money than we were making.”
As time progressed, Aoki eventually maxed out each of his credit cards and found himself in $100,000 worth of debt. However, he continued to perform live due to his love for the music.
“I kept spinning and throwing more parties”, Aoki stated. Soon, $50 turned into $100, which eventually grew to $1000… and so on.”
Steve Aoki eventually performed enough shows and made enough money to overcome his debt issue and continue to work on the Dim Mak project. Currently, he is one of the highest-paid producers in the world and touring globally at an extremely high rate. Aoki believes that this experience helped for him to learn how to overcome obstacles while also hoping to inspire many young DJs.
Read more about Steve Aoki’s background here and let us know what you think in the comments!