Monday, April 12, 2010

A Night with Aoki Part #1

With the dust finally settled after one of the biggest weekends in Cape Town, a look back at the Aoki experience is a must.

On Friday night, just hours before the show, a few guests got the privilege to meet Aoki at the Red Bull Studios in Cape Town. I was one of these. After a long day of cage diving in Gaansbaai, Aoki treated some of our city’s top DJs and producers to some of his pearls of wisdom. The LA based DJ owns a record label called Dim Mak. One of Dim Mak’s prize acquisitions was The Bloody Beetroots in 2007. The biggest track out at the moment is WARP! well known for its line, ‘1, 2 WHOOP! WHOOP!’ before smashing people’s inhibitions with some of the biggest electro sounds around.

Aoki was also so complimentary of our ‘Fairest Cape’ and even said that he was interested in canning the interview and heading through to one of the townships with all in attendance. Everyone laughed nervously. Was he being serious? He was. However, the interview went on. The next day he hiked up Lions Head with Blaise Janichon & Pierre Coetzee and continued to sing Cape Town’s praises.

Not only did he love the Mother City, but he loved one of our most famous exports, Die Antwoord. He didn’t attempt to say their name, but he raved about them, sad only at missing the opportunity to sign them to his label. He spoke particularly well of DJ Hi-Tek (and his PC Komputerr), expressing a desperate need to meet them and even announced that he had already been in contact with Interscope Records (Die Antwoord’s new label) in the hope of doing a single with the controversial South Africans.

He even shared a few stories of his previous musical endeavours. As a kid he started out in a hardcore punk band. Admitting that his singing voice is less than desirable, he tended to opt for screaming when handed the microphone. He learned to play all regular band instruments filling in wherever he had to.

When asked about what he was expecting from the show at Assembly later that evening, he admitted, “I honestly have no idea what to expect”, acknowledging that he was not concerned if it was a small show – he was just so excited to be in SA. It wasn’t a small show, not by Cape Town’s standards. Almost 1000 people packed out Assembly paying top dollar for a top show. But more on that later...

The ‘formal’ interview ended and he hung around the studios to chat to anyone who still had questions or wanted to shake his hand. One thing that all who were there will declare is, he is a down-to-earth character. No questions were beneath him, and no people below his interest. He even liked the idea of visiting Gugulethu’s famous Mzoli’s.

A few short hours later and it was off to the show.

A Night with Aoki Part #2

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