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Inside The Winning, Spinning World Of Steve Aoki, Music’s $30 Million DJ

Deep inside a hilltop hideaway on the outskirts of Las Vegas, an elusive engine of perpetual motion thrums to a beat: not in mechanical form, but in the person of Steve Aoki. The 41-year-old DJ has just returned to his high-desert lair after a gig in Houston, one of 200-plus shows he’s played over the past year. Aoki celebrates being home by diving into a pit full of blue foam cubes in his basement for a moment—but only a moment—before heading back to his studio.

“As long as my train is moving and the momentum is going, I’m good,” Aoki says. “And because I know that, I don’t stop. Because the second I do this and I’m like, ‘I’m just going to chill,’ someone else is going to jump on my train and start driving.”

Thanks to his insatiable appetite for performing—as well as his music and fashion ventures, plus endorsements with Samsung, Diesel and the airline ANA—Aoki ranks No. 4 on Forbes’ annual list of highest-paid DJs, pulling in $30 million pretax over the past 12 months. He has built an empire on more than just cash earnings: Aoki’s realm includes the record label Dim Mak; a museum-level collection of art in his home, including works by Kaws and Banksy; investments in clothing (Vision Street Wear) and esports (Rogue); and stakes in companies from Uber to SpaceX.

As his career took off in the early aughts, Aoki found himself spending only 50 days a year at his $1.1 million, 3,000-square-foot-home in the Hollywood Hills. So at the end of 2013, around the time he inked a residency deal at Hakkasan in Las Vegas, he made the move to Sin City. Aoki bought his current, 16,000-square-foot mansion for $2.8 million in an all-cash short sale—though it would take more than that to complete his dream house.

“It wasn’t like a custom home where I could just step in and I’m like, ‘Okay, everything’s here, I don’t need to worry about anything.’ I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t have a choice, I have to, so let’s get crazy,’” he says—and he shelled out $5 million to remake the property to his exact specifications. Now? “It’s like my brain is this house.”

Welcome to Aoki’s Playhouse—welcome to his brain.

Long before he became an electronic cash king, Aoki spent a summer as a teenager peeling onions at Benihana in Dallas—his father, Rocky Aoki, founded the restaurant chain in 1964. Though the younger Aoki soon realized that his passion lay in music, his experience provided a valuable entrepreneurial foundation.

“You can’t just go from zero to 100 just because your dad owns the business. You’re going to ruin the whole business,” he says. “The very important lesson for me is that you have to have the discipline to learn all the different facets.”

When Aoki founded Dim Mak in 1996, he did exactly that, involving himself in everything from visiting vinyl pressing houses and negotiating with distributors to keeping the books and spending time in the studio with his artists. He went on to boost acts like the Kills and Bloc Party before releasing his solo debut, Wonderland, in 2012, just in time to catch the electronic dance music (EDM) wave as it washed across the United States.

“Before then, people were just going into these clubs, the DJ was hidden in the back corner,” Aoki recalls. “But when that shift happened where you went to the club to see the DJ … that was a critical change

Steve Aoki’s very first job had nothing to do with Dim Mak or Benihana: as a 10-year-old he sold hats at a Southern California flea market on weekends. “I only worked there one day,” he says. “I was awful selling hats. [My boss] just was like, ‘Here’s 20 bucks—get out of here.’”

For his next gig, Aoki worked at a video game arcade—a passion that lingers to this day. A self-proclaimed Street Fighter junkie before graduating to three-dimensional games, Aoki was a founding partner of the esports team Rogue in 2016 before selling a chunk of his stake to industry giant ReKTGlobal last year (neither Aoki nor the company would discuss figures).

His investment also proved to be an incredible cheat code for new games that capture his attention. “I invite team Rogue over here so they can help beat very difficult bosses,” he says.

Rogue is one of many business ventures into which Aoki has plowed the fruits of his musical labor—$155 million before taxes over the past seven years, by Forbes’ estimate. He also boasts an expansive portfolio of startups and has poured additional resources into his clothing brand, which shares the name of his record label. Launched in 2014, Dim Mak is equal parts Los Angeles skater punk and high fashion, with a touch of kung fu tossed in: Its namesake is the signature move of Bruce Lee, a childhood hero of Aoki.

One of the first things you see when you walk into Aoki’s Playhouse is his giant Banksy installation: a python, perhaps a dozen feet long, that appears to have swallowed Mickey Mouse whole. The piece debuted at Banksy’s Dismaland, a dystopian theme park exhibition staged in the United Kingdom four years ago, before Aoki purchased it and brought it to his living room. It’s part of a vast collection that’s easily worth millions, though some pieces, like the two-headed monster mural by Los Angeles artist Neck Face isn’t exactly a liquid asset. No matter: “I’m not moving,” he says. “This is my home.”

Behind the Banksy in his living room, floor-to-ceiling windows open up onto a golf course far below—and beyond that, the shimmer of the Las Vegas skyline—which Aoki will soon soar over in a helicopter en route to his headlining set at Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), the annual EDM festival attended by nearly 500,000 people this year. He’s still one of the biggest attractions in a lineup that includes dozens of DJs, including twentysomething stars like Alesso and Martin Garrix.

“Steve’s longevity is a function of being to adapt to changing tastes while broadening out his demos,” says Randy Phillips, chief of the EDM festival company LiveStyle. “He also has that star personality which resonates well in the age of social media.”

The morning after EDC, Aoki rolls into the convention center at Planet Hollywood on the Vegas Strip, right on time for a comic book signing. Never mind that he didn’t get home until well after three o’clock in the morning—and promptly went back into his studio to work on more music—there’s a bionic sort of energy to him. “I’m not sure how much sleep he’s on right now,” says his manager, Dougie Bohay. “But it’s not a lot.”

And he’s already focusing on his next big project—early next year, Aoki will release his next album, Neon Future IV.  Not that he needs the money.

“At the end of the day, besides having whatever I have in the bank or whatever great investments I’ve worked, the things I create and that I offer to people, that is where I feel the most appreciation about my purpose of life,” Aoki says. “I want to have the appreciation. I’m always yearning for it.”

Photographs by Jamel Toppin for Forbes

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Zack O’Malley Greenburg is senior editor of media & entertainment at Forbes and author of three books, including Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went From Street Corner To Corner Office. His work has also appeared in the New York TimesWashington Post, Billboard, Sports Illustrated, Vibe, McSweeney’s and others. In a decade at Forbes, Zack has investigated topics from Wu-Tang Clan’s secret album in Morocco to the return of tourism in post-conflict Sierra Leone to the earning power of Hip-Hop’s Cash Kings, writing cover stories on subjects ranging from Richard Branson to Ashton Kutcher to Katy Perry. A recovering child actor, Zack played the title role in the film Lorenzo’s Oil (1992) and arrived at Forbes in 2007 after graduating from Yale with an American Studies degree. For more, follow him on Twitter, Facebook, newsletter and via www.zogreenburg.com. Got a tip on a music, media & entertainment story? Send it over via SecureDrop. Instructions here: www.forbes.com/tip

 

Source: Inside The Winning, Spinning World Of Steve Aoki, Music’s $30 Million DJ

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Art Is At The Core Of Entrepreneurship, Ignore It At Your Peril

The sculpture "Le Baiser" (The Kiss) by French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917)(AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

The sculpture “Le Baiser” (The Kiss) by French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917)(AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

ASSOCIATED PRESS

As technology moves the world at ever greater speeds and artificial intelligence becomes the electricity of the twenty first century, engineers are revered, and STEM subjects encouraged. At times, this comes at the cost of art and the human element. A computer science graduate is currently guaranteed to find a well-paying job, whereas a liberal arts graduate may find it harder.

Yet the most interesting people I know have diverse tastes and are Renaissance men and women. In the Renaissance, it was a mark of prestige to have an understanding of the arts, and the sciences, to speak several languages and have creative pursuits. As well as beheading his wives and periodically invading France, Henry VIII also wrote sonnets.

The arts, whether visual, theatre or music, give us an understanding of the human condition, which is universal and eternal. While the way we communicate has changed, what we want to say has not. The child of an egotistic parent will recognize King Lear’s selfishness and anyone who has ever been in love will identify with the tenderness of Rodin’s The Kiss.

The end user of every product is human, whether that product is software, a dress or a book. A narrow focus on product or financial metrics, which dismisses the human element, is unlikely to create something lasting.

Noble.AI, a California-based company which makes artificial intelligence to enable faster and cheaper research and development for the likes of Boeing, is predictably full of engineers. Less predictable is the fact that around a quarter of its staff are artists and designers. Dr Matthew Levy, CEO and founder of Noble.AI, says that his emphasis on aesthetics means that the products they make have to be beautiful and pleasing to use, as well as technologically advanced. “I don’t think our products could be successful if we didn’t think about how people would be interacting with them. The people who use our products are human and they have a wide range of interests, so it is important not to have a narrow focus.”

Dr Matthew Levy, CEO and Founder of Noble.AI

Dr Matthew Levy, CEO and Founder of Noble.AI

Noble.AI

Levy says that it takes a conscious effort to bring diverse viewpoints together and avoid the risk of sitting in your own bubble. As recent events have shown us, it is easy to submerge oneself into an echo-chamber of reinforcing beliefs. Levy is inspired by Steve Jobs, who revered artists and put beautiful design at the heart of Apple.

Levy suggests that if you want to be a first-rate engineer, focus on engineering, but if you want to be an entrepreneur, develop your wider interests. “Allow yourself time to dive into that interest. I guarantee there will be connections you’ve never anticipated when you started out on that journey.”

In fact, this is how Levy and I met. We were both at the beginning of our entrepreneurial journeys and were working from Second Home, a workspace known for its creative approach. Spanish architects SelgasCano designed an environment so beautiful and unique, that it inevitably drew companies to whom aesthetics were important. I run a fashion tech company, so this was a simple choice for me, but I was surprised by how much design mattered to my frontier technology innovating neighbors.

Second Home Spitalfields, London

Second Home Spitalfields, London

Iwan Baan

An artistic interest also engages the brain in a way that day to day business does not. Marianne Moore, paints as a balance to running her company. Moore’s consultancy, Justice Studio, advises charities, NGOs and governments on how to bring social equality into their work. She travels the world advising on some of the world’s toughest issues, which is an inevitably stressful job. Moore sees her painting as a counterweight to this work because it is indulgence in beauty for beauty’s sake.

Moore says creating art and creating a company are extensions of the same trait: seeing an idea in your head and then making it come to life. Yet, despite painting since her teens, Moore only recently opened up about her combined life as an artist and an entrepreneur. “People want to put you in a box and if you are straddling different things, they find it hard to define you. Society now tells you to be one thing or the other thing.” Today, Moore says she is a “creatrix of art and companies”. For those unfamiliar with the term creatrix, it is the feminine of creator.

Corset, by Marianne Moore, contemporary artist and entrepreneur

Corset, by Marianne Moore, contemporary artist and entrepreneur

Marianne Moore

Creativity is the essence of entrepreneurship, yet creative musing often falls prey to a determined focus on execution. As an entrepreneur myself, I have sometimes fallen into the trap of reading business book after business book, in the eternal quest for improvement. To snap out of it, I have started reading a biography of Picasso, which leaves my brain rested, entertained and inspired.

Sometimes, art for art’s sake is good for business.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I’m a startup founder, entrepreneurship mentor and Chicago Booth MBA. I run Enty, a fashion tech platform where users get on demand feedback from professional stylists. I also coach entrepreneurs on PR and growing their brand. This journey has taken me through top accelerators, exposed me to investors, taught me how to build a product, lead a team and grow revenues. On Forbes, I write about the start-up journey as it really is, rather than as I wish it would be. Find me on www.sophiamatveeva.com

Source: Art Is At The Core Of Entrepreneurship, Ignore It At Your Peril

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Ave Maria de Schubert interpretada por Luciano Pavarotti.

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MixUpload – Enjoy Music From Every Amazing Category You Wish To Listen Or Download

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The World’s Highest Paid Women In Music 2018 – Zack O’Malley Greenburg

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Back in 2015, when Katy Perry appeared on the cover of Forbes after earning $135 million in a single year, she knew she’d secured her place in the pop star firmament and wouldn’t ever have to worry about fading into oblivion. “I don’t feel like my career is a ticking time bomb,” she said. “I don’t feel like I’ll always have to be feeding the meter of show business. I got my spot, yo.” Three years later, Perry has proved herself right: She’s the highest-paid woman in music, pulling in $83 million pretax during our scoring period…………..

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/zackomalleygreenburg/2018/11/19/highest-paid-women-in-music-2018-katy-perry-taylor-swift-beyonce/#2efc5ea76a24

 

 

 

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Rumer – What The World Needs Now Is Love

Official video for What The World Needs Now, taken from the newalbum ‘This Girl’s In Love: a Bacharach and David Songbook’. Out now: Amazon: https://ewr.ec/thisgirlsinlovecd iTunes: https://ewr.ec/thisgirlsinloveit Stream: https://ewr.ec/thisgirlsinlovestr Get more from Rumer: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rumerofficial Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rumersongs Instagram: http://instagram.com/rumersongs Mailing List: http://www.rumer.co.uk

Rumer – Slow Rumer Performs Slow Live On Later With Jools Holland – MrMusicMan501

Sarah Joyce (born 3 June 1979), better known by her stage name, Rumer, is a British singer–songwriter. Her stage name was inspired by the author Rumer Godden. Rumer’s voice has been described by The Guardian and many others as being reminiscent of Karen Carpenter. Supported by leading music industry figures including Burt Bacharach, Jools Holland and Elton John, Rumer was nominated for two Brit awards on 13 January 2011. She has performed at several festivals such as Glastonbury Festival. Her latest album This Girl’s In Love: A Bacharach and David Songbook was released in November 2016.

Under the name of Sarah Prentice, Sarah sang with a moderately successful London-based folk/indie band called La Honda between 2000 and 2001.In 2004, she formed the band Rumer & The Denials and released an early version of “Come To Me High” on 7″ in 2007. Their MySpace page, now closed, included an acoustic recording of “Slow”, which was included on the compilation album A Very Magistery Valentine.

A collection of material was recorded in 2008 with Rory Moore under the title of Stereo Venus. This was aimed at television and film and was originally distributed in Europe. An album was released in 2012 entitled Close To The Sun and the band played support for Saint Etienne. The material was also released under her real name, Sarah Joyce in South Korea in April 2010 as Coffee And Honey.

 

 

 

 

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Tea Time JAZZ – Soft Instrumental Jazz Music Music for Studying, Work, Relax

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The Moscow Seven: Meet Russia’s Future Fashion Stars – Stephan Rabimov

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In times of strife and struggle, Russia has always placed its biggest trust in human resources. “We’re rich in minerals and minds,” goes an old saying. While the population of the world’s largest (by territory) nation has steadily declined since independence in 1991, recent years have marked a potential reversal of fortunes with ‎0.05% growth recorded in 2017. The government aims to prevent the dreaded brain drain, but it’s the creative industries that often are the most flexible to adapt to new challenges. Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia just took place in Moscow in October 13-17. Its Fashion Futurum program is an example of successful strategic support for emergent talent within a specific economic sector………

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/stephanrabimov/2018/10/31/the-moscow-seven-meet-russias-future-fashion-stars/#6c8360473b98

 

 

 

 

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Blake Shelton – Home (Official Video)

Blake Tollison Shelton (born June 18, 1976) is an American country singer, songwriter and television personality. In 2001, he made his debut with the single “Austin“. The lead-off single from his self-titled debut album, “Austin” spent five weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. The now Platinum-certified debut album also produced two more top 20 entries (“All Over Me” and “Ol’ Red”). Although the album was released on Giant Records Nashville, he was transferred to Warner Bros. Records Nashville after Giant closed in late 2001.[citation needed]

His second and third albums, 2003’s The Dreamer and 2004’s Blake Shelton’s Barn & Grill, are gold and platinum, respectively.His fourth album, Pure BS (2007), was re-issued in 2008 with a cover of Michael Bublé‘s pop hit “Home” as one of the bonus tracks. His fifth album, Startin’ Fires was released in November 2008. It was followed by the extended plays Hillbilly Bone and All About Tonight in 2010, and the albums Red River Blue in 2011,[3] Based on a True Story… in 2013, Bringing Back the Sunshine in 2014, and If I’m Honest in 2016.

As of June 2017, Shelton has charted 33 singles, including 24 number ones, 17 of which were consecutive. The 11th No. 1 (“Doin’ What She Likes”) broke “the record for the most consecutive No. 1 singles in the Country Airplay chart’s 24-year history”. He is an eight-time Grammy Award nominee.

Shelton is also known for his role as a judge on the televised singing competitions Nashville Star, Clash of the Choirs, and The Voice. He has been on The Voice since its inception, and in six of fifteen seasons (2–4, 7, 11, 13), a member of his team has won. From 2011 to 2015, Shelton was married to singer Miranda Lambert.

Get Blake Shelton’s album If I’m Honest here – http://smarturl.it/ifimhonest_gp

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See Blake on the “Country Music Freaks” Tour with Brett Eldredge and Carly Pearce! Tickets on sale now. Visit http://www.blakeshelton.com/tour

Get your Blake Shelton merchandise here: http://store.blakeshelton.com/

Download or stream more songs by Blake: iTunes: https://wmna.sh/blakeshelton_itunes

Spotify: https://wmna.sh/blakeshelton_sp Stay in touch with Blake!

Website: http://www.blakeshelton.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blakeshelton/

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Music video by Blake Shelton. ©2017 Warner Music Nashville LLC.

 

 

 

 

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