On Sunday, Steve Aoki assembled five of the collaborators from his just-out album Neon Future IV for a dinner party livestream.
Sporting a suit and streaming from his house in Las Vegas, Aoki spoke with Nick Carter, Lay Zhang, Maluma, Agnez Mo and will.i.am — who beamed in from China, Colombia, Indonesia and throughout the United States. While no one appeared to actually eat anything, a robust conversation about music, quarantine and the future of the music business unfolded during the 45-minute event.
In terms of how everyone is currently passing time, we learned that Nick Carter has been taking care of his two kids and doing loads of dishes, Lay Zhang has been making beats and Maluma has been enjoying this rare time at home, saying that “for the first time in my life, I’m really enjoying every corner of my house and a bunch of activities I didn’t do before.”
From Indonesia, Agnez Mo reiterated the sentiment, saying, “I think I’m pretty much trained for this because I’m an introvert, so I’m like, finally I don’t have to travel around the world!”
Other highlights from the conversation included will.i.am revealing that he’s sitting on some yet-unused Maluma vocals to use in an upcoming track. Maluma also revealed that he derived his stage name by fusing his mom’s name, Margie, dad’s name, Luis, and his sister’s name, Maneula. “I’m a very familial person,” he said. “I love being with them. They’re like, my inspiration, bro.”
Later, will.i.am reminisced about how he used to go to Aoki’s seminal Dim Mak Tuesdays parties in Los Angeles just as the dance scene was about to explode. “I saw this f—ing culture getting ready to take over the whole f—ing planet,” he said, comparing what was happening in the dance world in that era to what’s happening in the Latin scene now.
Other fun facts gleaned during the livestream included that Lay Zhang got a cat that he simply named “cat” in Chinese and that Nick Carter had a tiny role in Edward Scissorhands when he was 10. Two years later, he says of his acting career, “I became a Backstreet Boy and that worked out a lot better.”
Toward the end, Maluma got a bit more serious, saying, “I’m very worried because I really miss my career. It’s cool to stay at home… but I really feel like, f—, man, I want to sing.”
Watch the complete livestream below.