Steve Aoki‘s touch knows no limits. The proflic producer who has worked with everyone from Adam Lambert to BTS and Daddy Yankee throughout his career expanded his genre-spanning repertoire even further into the pop realm on Friday (Sept. 6) on the heels of his recent Dave Matthews Band remix with Darren Criss. His latest breakthrough comes via a collaboration with boy band legends The Backstreet Boys on a track called “Let It Be Me,” out today on Ultra Records.
Like so many great ideas, the song was born in Las Vegas after Aoki invited the group’s Nick Carter onstage during a set at Hakkassan to perform the Backstreet classic “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back.)” A musical brotherhood was instantly forged, with Nick, Brian Littrell, Kevin Richadson, Howie Dorough and AJ McLean joining Aoki in his Vegas home studio to produce a plaintive pop jam about the enduring appeal of having the right person break your heart.
“Being able to work with these guys was so organic and effortless,” Aoki said in a statement. “Collaborating with a group that I’ve been listening to since I was a kid was such a memorable moment for me. This song has a beautiful message and relates to a lot of different people overcoming challenges when you love someone, and love always wins in the end. I’m really proud of this one and know it will touch a lot of people.”
“Our collaboration with Steve came about in a very organic way,” echo the Boys in the stateement. “We had the opportunity to spend some time with Steve at his house really getting to know each other, and the song developed naturally from there. The message behind it is one we think everyone can relate to. It’s about working through any challenges that life brings to be with the person you love. And the importance of that message is something we really tried to show with the music video by having real couples tell their stories.”
The Backstreet Boys are currently on a world tour behind their 2019 LP DNA, their first number one album on the Billboard Chart since 2000’s Black & Blue. Meanwhile Aoki — who released his memoir Blue: The Color of Noise earlier this week — has Las Vegas sets extending well into the fall.
Listen to “Let It Be Me” below.