Before Steve Aoki was a DJ and dance music producer, he was running his Dim Mak label, discovering and counting among its ranks some of the hottest indie rock, punk and hip-hop acts of the age. It recently celebrated 20 years as a label, so suffice to say, he’s put in his time.
He’s also dedicated a lot of his energy to the careers of other artists, and now, he’s calling for more action from people, including label heads like himself and festival and event bookers, to take more care with the way they help represent women and minorities in the larger dance music scene.
In an interview with Channel 4 News, Aoki said it’s not enough to book the “hottest acts” in the scene if that doesn’t make room for diversity. “I think that one thing male DJs have to do,” he says, “is step aside to make room for women DJs and women producers on festivals, on shows and also be an ally and supporter and invite them to play with them.”
Dim Mak’s own official roster is certainly male-dominated, though Aoki has fostered the growth of artists including Iggy Azalea and Lil Boots among others, and he’s certainly never shied away from female collaborations. Watch the interview clip with Aoki below.