Steve Aoki - The Untitled Magazine - Photography by Indira Cesarine
Steve Aoki photographed by Indira Cesarine for The Untitled Magazine. This Page: Steve wears a shirt by COMME DES GARÇONS, trousers by KENZO, and sunglasses by DIM MAK COLLECTION.

Unless you have been hiding under a rock you would have likely heard about Steve Aoki, the hardest working man in EDM. The grammy-nominated DJ / Producer has had several Guinness world records, including “most traveled musician in one year,” with 161 shows in 41 different countries and has topped every list over the past few years, including “Best DJ”, “Highest Paid DJ”, “Most Influential DJ” and “Highest Grossing Dance Artist”. What you probably didn’t know is that he also has a degree in Feminist Studies, which puts him on the top of our list when it comes to breaking boundaries and being a true original. His insatiable energy and personal drive to push his limits and make a difference doesn’t stop at creating unique genre-mashing chart topping tracks. He was recently honored by Music for Relief for his humanitarian efforts with the Steve Aoki Charitable Fund for disaster relief, neuroscience research and animal rights, and was voted #1 on the list of “The most charitable EDM Producers”.

Aoki launched his own record label Dim Mak Records in 1996, while still in college. The label has over 500 releases to date, and launched the careers of Bloc Party, The Kills and The Gossip. Over the years they have collaborated with Afrojack, Armand Van Helden, Laidback Luke and Tiesto, and remixed everyone from Drake and Kanye West to Eminem and Snoop Dog. More recently the label has expanded into apparel with their own line of sunglasses and menswear. This year Dim Mak will celebrate their 20th anniversary with a world tour, which launches during Miami Music Week with the Dim Mak Beach Party at Nikki Beach on March 17th. In between performing at countless shows, championing charitable causes and running Dim Mak, last year, Aoki released his biggest album to date — Neon Future Odyssey. The deluxe LP encompasses Aoki’s previous releases, Neon Future I and Neon Future II. The party-starting, Neon Future I, rocketed straight to #1 on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Albums Chart and included the gold-certified single, “Boneless” with Kid Ink. Neon Future II took listeners and collaborators, including Linkin Park, Matthew Koma, Snoop Lion, Rivers Cuomo and NERVO, on an introspective trip through Aoki’s Futurist vision. The October release of Neon Future Odyssey debuted six new tracks, including the Eckhart Tolle ode, “The Power of Now” and the infamous “Titanic,” a crowd carousing remix of Celine Dion’s classic song, “My Heart Will Go On.”

His full throttle life has been immortalized in his photography book “Eat Sleep Cake Repeat” and the documentary, “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” which premieres this year and takes us on a personal journey of his universe. The man known for crowd surfing stunts, cake throwing and spraying champagne, opens up about his straightedge years, rebelling against his father, and personal aspirations to change life as we know it. The Untitled Magazine‘s editor-in-chief, Indira Cesarine, recently talked to Aoki about his music and life philosophies, feminist studies, family dynamics, and interest in neurological science.

Read the full interview below and don’t miss our behind the scenes video with Steve on set with The Untitled Magazine:

Behind The Scenes Video with Steve Aoki – Directed by Indira Cesarine


Read the interview:

Indira Cesarine: I have a ton of questions for you!  You’ve just released your compilation Neon Future Odyssey which I understand is a deluxe package of your albums, Neon Future I and II and a lot of additional tracks. Can you tell me about some of the new tracks that are featured on Neon Future Odyssey?

Steve Aoki: Well there’s a couple of tracks I think a lot of people are waiting for…  There’s one track that was inspired by Celine Dion that I debuted at Tomorrowland, I basically remixed “My Heart Will Go On,”  and used her song and then I made my own drop. It actually got a lot of viral exposure, a lot of people talked about it and it was not necessarily positive either. People were like ‘what the fuck is Steve Aoki doing playing a Celine Dion record at an EDM festival?’ But regardless it got what it was supposed to get—a lot of attention! It’s funny because everyone loves the song. People love singing her songs!  I don’t care where I’m at — whether I’m in Russia or Croatia to Ibiza to France, all over America, Asia, everyone knows the song and everyone loves singing along, so I made a new version of the song. I called it “Titanic” and now that’s out. I have another song that I finally released. I gave it away on SoundCloud a long time ago, called “Cake Face.” It is a song that I cake people in the face to! I had to make a song, I’ve been caking people in the face for four years and you know it was about time. The rest are collaborations; with Borgore, I have a song with Marnik called “Interstellar”, the main single is “The Power of Now” with Headhunterz and its really fun. I mean these are all fun club records.

IC: What was your inspiration with the Celine Dion song? That’s an unusual choice, I can see why people were surprised! What made you choose to do a remix of that particular track and of her work in particular?

SA: That’s partially why I wanted to do it—because it’s unexpected. You know, you could do a track that you know will work, but then it just gets kinda buried in the middle of the road. I wanted to do something that everyone knows, that no one can deny the magnitude and the scale of the song. There’s only a few of them. You know, I was going do a Beatles song but that’s still a bit too conservative, it’s not going raise eyebrows. “My Heart Will Go On” will absolutely spark a reaction. The best part is when you first hear it- with the flute coming in- you don’t think of our culture, you think of something in the past that you wouldn’t say, make fun of, but you’d be like ‘yeah that’s my parent’s favorite song.’ Yet when the vocals come in you just can’t help but sing along and be a part of what you were originally, possibly going to make fun of. If you can find songs like that, that have changed popular culture, those are the songs I think that people will talk about. You’re doing something different and something special that people will talk about. You know?

Steve Aoki - The Untitled Magazine - Photography by Indira Cesarine
Both Pages: Steve wears a hoodie by SKINGRAFT, trousers by GREG LAUREN, and a coat by KYE.

IC: Yeah exactly, I agree, its good to be original and it’s definitely a song that people know! So you also collaborated with a lot of incredible artists on Neon Future I and II which are part of this whole Neon Future Odyssey. What would you consider are some of the highlights on Neon Future I for example, that people can look forward to with this?

SA: Neon Future I is more like the introduction to this concept, this world that I’ve created. You know it’s a party. You come in to this world, and there’s a lot of clubbier songs. My biggest song to date is “Delirious (Boneless)” and that’s on Neon Future I with Kid Ink. I got more quote on quote radio records on [Neon Future I]. It’s fun, you know, the song I did with will.i.am, the pop record, the song I did with Bonnie McKee, she wrote for Katy Perry. She’s an incredible pop writer, she’s her own artist, and that’s another, more pop song. It gets deeper into the transitions of what Neon Future II is. The Neon Future title track is with Empire of the Sun, Luke Steele of Empire of the Sun. Neon Future II is deeper into the world of Neon Future. I separated the track because I wrote most of the tracks around the same time so I wanted to make sure that [Neon Future] one was more of the party and [Neon Future II] was more subjective, with a lot of darker songs. There’s two sides to the worlds. There’s a lot more vocal tracks on [Neon Future II] as well. “I Love It When You Cry” would be the main single off Neon Future II. That’s the most radio out of all of the songs. Although the single we’re pushing now is also pretty introspective. It’s called “Home We’ll Go” and with this band Walk Off the Earth. It’s a brand new kind of trajectory to the production of what I’m doing, so I’m really happy to be working with that band too.

IC: How long have you been working on your whole Neon Future project?

SA: I started at the beginning of 2013.

IC: So it’s relatively fast production?

SA: No no, that’s a long time!

IC: Some people, they work on their albums forever. I think that’s pretty impressive, you’ve had back-to-back singles and #1’s with it. But then I guess you are the hardest working man in EDM, so what can we expect right?

SA: If you saw inspiration, you have to utilize it and do something. There’s a lot of artists out there and if you don’t start working, you could actually hit a stalemate. Then whatever you write isn’t going to really affect people the way you want to. Time is short, you gotta work hard and be creative!

IC: I understand you also worked with NERVO on Neon Future II? We recently featured them in Untitled’s #GirlPower Issue. Can you tell me about the collaboration you did with them?

SA: I’ve been working with these girls for a long time. I actually produced their first single, “We’re All No One” when they came out as artists. They’ve been DJing for a while. I love working with them! They wrote for David Guetta, they wrote for other artists. They wrote these amazing hooks and towlines. Then I saw them DJing and they’re so animated; it was obvious they were going to blow up. Since then, we’ve been friends. I’ve worked with them, I produced their first single and then they came on my first album, Wonderland with LMFAO. Then they jumped on this record, “Lighting Strikes” for Neon Future II. We’re always working together on music and playing together as well. I always hang out with them in Ibiza. They are the most amazing girls and have the best energy. I give a lot of props to their rise, they really did it themselves.

IC: I understand that almost 20 years ago, you launched your own label and lifestyle company, Dim Mak, way back in 1996. I’d love to ask you a few questions just about your early days. What inspired you to launch your own record label when you were so young?

SA: I was in college and I was putting on shows in my living room with bands from all around the world. This was pretty crazy. We’d do twenty shows a month! Four bands each show, so every month we’re doing eighty bands a month – in my living room! At The Drive-In, to Jimmy Eat World, to every hardcore band, every emo band, every indie band and that’s what I was doing. I was writing in a magazine, I was writing a column, I was reviewing records, I was in a band myself. I mean I was in this environment where you could do anything that you wanted to do, that was the community I was a part of. There was no marketing budget, there were no investments. It does cost money, but I only spent $400 to start my label! I got two friends involved that put in $400 each. We put out the first 7”, made money off of that and then parlayed it into putting out the next record. Eventually we got a deal where the company that distributes your music pays for the production, so you don’t actually expend any money. I moved to LA and then that’s when things really started happening. In the beginning it was like ‘I’m doing this because I love to promote the bands that aren’t getting exposure and I love the process. When I moved to LA in 2002, I found a band called The Kills and that changed the game for me. I put out their first EP and major labels started hitting me up. I found a band called Bloc Party in 2003. Those were the first two catalysts to really, really push my label into the industry stratosphere, where the industry knew what Dim Mak was about. We were finding artists that were breaking ground before major labels had a chance. I teamed up with a major label, Atlantic and Vice, on Bloc Party’s Silent Alarm. We sold 350,000 albums physically, which was unheard of at the time. These English bands that were coming to America didn’t break like that. None of those bands had the chance that Bloc Party had. That was the era of Dim Mak before I even got into electronic music and it’s been a long road for sure!

IC: What were your early music inspirations? You’re known for mixing so many genres.  When you started out doing all of this in college, what bands were you into?

SA: I was a straight-edge, hardcore kid. All of the music I listened to were bands that were screaming for change. At the end of the day one thing I learned from that scene was the idea that you have a voice, no matter how small it is and it has power. If you have that voice and you combine it with other voices, it’s a pretty strong voice. Even if you are marginalized or your ideas are small, if you understand how to organize them it changes everything. I’ve applied that to every business and project that I’ve been a part of: building community and documenting and sharing and creating a legacy of that culture. There’s a lot of things I’ve taken from my childhood, my teen and tween interests in music. When I was a kid, the hardcore scene wasn’t something you listened to on the radio, it was a lifestyle commitment. You go to the shows, you dress that way… I was vegetarian because that’s what you do. I was into animal rights because that’s what all of my friends were into. I was into activism in college which led me to become involved with the Women’s Studies department and all of these different things that led me academically in the way they did.

Steve Aoki - The Untitled Magazine - Photography by Indira Cesarine
Both Pages: Steve Aoki wears shirt and cardigan by SKINGRAFT, with a hat by GREG LAUREN.

IC: I understand that you did degrees in Feminist Studies and Sociology in college. What drew you to Feminist Studies?

SA: I come from this very politically conscious community in my music world. I’m in school, I want to educate myself on how to advocate for these issues that I’m learning about. How can I really make a difference? Not just reading books, but actually making serious, vital change and the most radical department on the campus was the Women’s Studies department. My favorite teachers were Women’s Studies teachers. I would take a class and when you’re fourth year, or fifth year—I stayed one more year while I finished my degree in Women’s Studies— you end up becoming friends with the professors. It’s no longer a student/professor relationship, I mean it is, but you go beyond that. I remember when professors were inviting me to dinner just to have an intellectual conversation. I learned a lot. The classes were small. The Sociology department was big. The Women’s Studies department was like twenty students and only two guys.

IC: I think that you obviously had a lot of vision if you were willing to take those kinds of risks and not care what anybody thinks. I see that with your music too, you mix genres with your music the way nobody else does. I understand that you have your twentieth anniversary coming up with Dim Mak which is pretty huge as well and you are planning a massive world tour to celebrate?

SA: There’s a lot of different ways you can celebrate twenty years and we have a platform that is worldwide, so why not do a worldwide tour? Twenty dates around the world. When I do a show of fifty dates around the world that’s not hard to do but twenty shows…[laughs]. There’s a lot of stuff—we’re working on a book right now that we started months ago, to document all the stuff we have going on. Especially the time now – the way people digest culture, digest music – is so fast paced and so expendable, there’s so many amazing experiences. All of the music that comes out of our little world that means a lot –  I don’t want that to be a blur. I want that to be fixed photos and stories and moments in time in that book, so I’m pretty excited about it.

IC: And I understand you did a documentary, I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, which is about your whole journey of creating the Neon Future albums and your lifestyle. Can you tell me about your new documentary?

SA: We’re showcasing it at Sundance in January and it’s the same team that made the doc, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, which is an incredible doc. You gotta check it out! They followed me for close to three years. I mean it’s been a long time, they’ve been filming for a while. The way they did Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a very interesting take. You think of the title, ‘okay this is about a sushi chef, so it’s gonna be boring, sushi is just fish,’ but it tells you a story of this man that built a legacy and his relationship with his family. You really dive into the characters. Its less about the sushi than you think and that’s what I liked about it. When we decided to work with them I wanted to let them have creative rein on how to break down this story. I didn’t want it to be about what people already know. I didn’t want it to be about the cakes, the live crazy shows and what people have already decided when they think of Steve Aoki. There’s certain things that you already know; well I don’t want it to be about those things. I’ve opened up a personal door into my life that I don’t really talk about and they just ran free in that world.

IC: I understand that it also goes through a lot of your relationships with your family and your father and some of your more intimate relationships versus the vision of you as a DJ in front of a million people.

SA: Yeah, exactly.

IC: Now your father was a massive restauranteur. He’s the Benihana king. [Steve laughs] You talk a lot about your complicated relationship with your father. Is that something you can talk about?

SA: You know growing up, I rebelled against what my father was doing, as a teenager. He runs steakhouses, he’s flamboyant, that was his thing. He had all these cars, a big house and you know all of these restaurants. He was a showman. He was on the boats, the hot air balloons. As a kid growing up I was vegetarian, I didn’t eat meat and he has steakhouses! I was leading a straight-edge hardcore lifestyle—wasn’t drinking, wasn’t flaunting wealth. Nor did I really even have the wealth to flaunt because my mom, who raised me in the West Coast in California – she’s such a frugal person, she’s very traditional Japanese. Traditional Japanese people just do not flaunt wealth nor talk about money. ‘Here’s five dollars and that’s all you get for the week’ – very simple in lifestyle. I live in the suburbs. I rebelled against my father because I wanted his attention. I really wanted to be closer to him and he’s a very tough love kind of father, never invested into what I did, even when I had a business, nor would I even ask him to be. I learned from that, from his tough love attitude, that you have to make it on your own and you have to hit rock bottom to figure it out. If you don’t you will always depend on something or someone and you will never carry yourself through the hard times and push. Parents can’t always be there for the hard times. You have to figure it out on your own and it’s hard in the beginning, it’s hard to understand that as a kid, but that’s one of the most valuable lessons my father has raised in me. It’s something that he never actually said to me, that’s what he personified as a parent. And his work ethic was incredible. He just worked, worked, worked and everything, everything was about how to grow a business. Whenever I was around him you’d see that. Of course, you’re going to take that as good or bad. I started actually trying to make money when I was in my twenties and fast-track ten years later, when I became an adult, I became closer with my father. I wanted to show him I could make it on my own. I was like ‘I don’t need your money, I don’t need anything, I’m going to do this entirely on my own and I’m gonna show you I can do it.’ He saw a little bit of it before he passed away so I was very happy about that.

Steve Aoki - The Untitled Magazine - Photography by Indira Cesarine
Both Pages: Steve wears trousers by KENZO, shirt by XULY BËT for AFROPUNK, glasses by DIM MAK COLLECTION, sneakers by SUPRA X STEVE AOKI.

IC: Everyone has their struggles growing up with relationships and like you said, often its rebelling or trying to get some level of attention, but its great that you are addressing it now in the documentary. I think a lot of people wouldn’t expect to see that side of you.  It’s really brave. You also have all of these incredible initiatives through Steve Aoki Charitable Fund, I think it’s mind-blowing what you are doing with that and I understand you were honored at Music For Relief, for your humanitarian efforts in November. Can you tell us more about your charity fund?

SA: I started the fund a few years ago and at the end of the day we have such influence,  and power as artists. Music is extremely powerful. It changes people’s lives, it saves people’s lives and you could save people’s lives even more by using music to be a catalyst to actually raise awareness. The beginning was about all of these different areas that were struck by natural disasters. As Neon Future approached my interests became more singularly about how to understand our creativity, how to understand what the most mysterious and important thing is in our lives—our brain. If we can resolve issues that are brain related we could do things that we never dreamed of—living forever, combating illnesses that have plagued society for hundreds of years, cancer, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, all of these things that will kill you in the end. Brain science has got to be one of the most interesting subjects to read about. I grew up reading comic books and the idea of superhero qualities… we can actually attain them in our lifetimes if we put more money and research into development and awareness, and into the companies and organizations that are actually doing that. For example, the idea of telekinesis, which is moving things with your brain, you see it in movies, but it’s happening right now actually. People are moving things with their brains, I’m not kidding! People that are handicapped or paraplegic, they have technology wired from their brain to outside their skulls to move the wheelchairs or move robotic arms to feed them on their own. That’s telekinesis and that’s happening now. I interviewed a bunch of scientists, that are doing research on reversing cellular degeneration so your skin will bounce back to its prime place and your organs won’t fail the way they would normally. Imagine a life where you look back at 2016, going ‘what?’ Everyone looks twenty-five. Everyone has organs that aren’t going to fail on them. Cell’s degenerating is so primitive. We all want to have longer, healthier, happier lives and we all want to see the people we love with longer, happier, healthier lives. At the end of the day, as fun as I’ve been building it in this Neon Future-scope, I want to bring the attention to organizations that are doing all of that, and raise more awareness.

IC: I understand you are also a global ambassador for the Best Buddies program?

SA: I would call it a Neon Future-scope of things. It’s about helping people with intellectual disabilities. In general what can you do to help someone with an intellectual disability? Give them a job, bring them in to the workforce, help them be part of the community, so they are not just cast aside. They all have skills and they get overlooked because they have an intellectual disability and it’s unfortunate. Best Buddies is to promote putting people in jobs and places so that they’re part of the world.

IC: I don’t know how you manage to balance all of this stuff you are doing! I understand you perform up to 250 shows every year and are in the Guinness Book of World Records for Most Traveled Musician In One Year? How do you find all the energy?

SA: It’s all really based on your level of clarity. If you’re really focused then you won’t allow yourself to get caught up in the distractions of life. For a lot of people you have to be distracted to understand what that means and I’ve been there. I used to drink all of the time, but I decided that you weigh it out. What’s more important, sitting on the couch, watching a TV show or going to the studio and writing a song that could possibly affect the world? It could create change. It’s making those right decisions and then also being grateful for what is happening because the idea of being grateful will always keep you from being jaded. When I’m standing on stage and I’m playing my fiftieth show and I’m seeing all of these different crowds, essentially they can all blend into the same crowd. You can look at it in a very dismal approach. If you really try to focus on the now, getting back to the song “The Power of Now,” which is named after the book, you realize that everything in the past is the past and the future is not even carved out; what you have is “right now”. The way you look at life is so different. Your focus is more clear. You can also decide your adventure, make it more fruitful.

Steve Aoki - The Untitled Magazine - Photography by Indira Cesarine
This Page: Steve wears a hoodie and glasses by DIM MAK COLLECTION

IC: I know that creatively you’ve expanded your whole realm into apparel with your eyewear and sunglass range and are launching a fashion range?

SA: The really exciting thing that is happening right now is Dim Mak Collection. I’ve been trying to create a menswear line, a full menswear line for a long time—like nine years. I’ve had so many points where it was almost going to happen, with the right partners and the right team and it failed. You know this better than anyone else, how fickle and fast paced  the fashion business is. There’s a lot of designers that come and go because it costs a lot of money and it takes a lot of time. I remember in 2006, I was going to Magic every year trying to sell t-shirts and team up with people to help build the team and here we are, after nine years of going, I found an incredible team. I’ve realized when you find your team, it’s not necessarily about the best people for the job. It’s about people that believe in your vision—more so than having the most qualified person—that are going to bleed, sweat, and believe in the same goal. I found these guys in Japan, well they found me actually is what happened, and we did a lot of projects. They helped me publish the book Eat, Sleep, Cake, Repeat, they’re part of my documentary, they’re helping push that and the last, most important step for me is helping build this fashion collection with them. They’re incredible designers. We go to Japan all the time and design with them. We’ve launched in Japan exclusively to make the market controlled and to really build it. Its a very robust market for fashion—small and controlled. We’ve just launched in all of these amazing stores including Opening Ceremony. I’m flying out there to DJ at Opening Ceremony for the launch and I’m very, very excited. It’s an incredible collection. I flew out my friend Shaun Ross to be the face for the first season. We’ve already developed the second season and like you’re saying, there’s so much going on in my life that there’s no chance I could do this on my own. It’s really due to our whole team; it’s an incredible team.

IC: With Dim Mak Collection, are you planning on having that available in America, in stores or online? What are you plans with the availability of the collection outside of Japan?

SA: Right now we don’t even sell it online. We’ve agreed not to do that because we want people to have to go to stores to get it and to try it on. I want it to be very special, like how it was back in the day when you couldn’t just get things so easily. I want to build that kind of allure. I remember when I was getting interviewed for Huffington Post Live a fan called in asking ‘When is it available for me to get the Dim Mak Collection?’ I want to have that feeling—you see it, you want it, and you can’t get it yet. Until I have [the right] team in place in America, which I’m building – I’m going to launch it once I have all the right components. If you want to come off the gate, you gotta come off the gate hard. I just brought on Kelly Cutrone from People’s Revolution and she’s going to become a partner of the brand in America and do all of the PR. She’s a very good friend and has been for over ten years.

IC: You are working with Kelly Cutrone and People’s Revolution on the brand and PR side, building your team in the US?

SA: We already have some really unique ways to showcase the fashion line at New York Fashion Week. Kelly’s got a lot of ideas. Kelly and I always come up with ideas that are totally oddball and totally different. I think that’s why she gravitated towards this is that I’m always trying to do something different and bring a unique experience in and she loves to do that. She says, one of the most interesting analogies is that for music you know you promote an album, then the album drops the next week, the song is coming out on the radio, ‘Hey guys check this out, it’s my brand new song on the radio blahblahblah’ and you can buy it right then. With fashion week it’s like, ‘Hey guys check out my collection and how dope it is…You can buy it in six months.’ It’s like what the fuck? In six months I don’t even care. It’s crazy how fashion works!

IC: Very different.

SA: Yeah and that needs to be changed and its not like she can change it or I can change it, but I think it’s a critique that people in fashion need to try to figure out how to fix, alleviate, or lessen the time it takes for the items to be available.

IC: I saw some of the pieces at the shoot and they look really cool. I love the sunglasses by the way, brilliant! I can’t wait to see more of the clothing. Where do you see yourself going ten or fifteen years from now, do you have a vision of what you want to be doing?

SA: It’s so difficult to look that far ahead because anytime you do you never really go there, you always use that as a placeholder. Your interests change, your inspirations change, and all of a sudden what you expected you would become is faaaarrr from what you have become. Fifteen years ago I was in college and I got accepted to PHD programs to essentially become a professor and write books on research and to do all of these things I was interested in then. Now here I am: I’m a traveling DJ and doing this kind of stuff and being involved in all these different things and at the end of the day I’m happy I’m here, but I never thought I would be here. So who knows?

IC: You never know what’s going to happen, you’ve had an insane life journey! Last question, what words of wisdom do you live by? With your crazy life and everything that’s happened over the past fifteen years you must have a few!

SA: I’d say the soul of everything I do is all based on passion. I know everyone has said this before, but it’s so basic – if you don’t believe in it you’re not gonna put your time and energy into it and it will fizzle out. It can’t be about money either, it has to be about showing your creative attributes of what makes you who you are, your identity. The money will come. Even if you are in a position where you are like ‘shit, I have to work this job because I don’t have a choice so I don’t have much time to be creative,’ you have to create that time. You have to make time – it just has to happen. You have to take the risks and you’re going to fail and you’re going to fail again. That’s the other thing too, everyone fails. I’ve failed a million fucking times – hit the dirt running, scratched my face up so many fucking times and it’s part of the game, man. The people that don’t continue on despite the risks, they just don’t know how to pick themselves up. You can’t be self-loathing and you can’t have pity for yourself. That’s another fucking issue that a lot of people have. You just gotta get up and get back on the road again. It only affects you, that’s the thing. At the end of the day if you have this self-loathing, pitying attitude, it affects no one else but yourself.

IC: I think not being scared to fail is probably the one thing that holds people back, isn’t it? Fear.

SA: But you know what? If you believe, if you know there’s success in every failure then it’s different. Revel in your vulnerabilities, like, ‘I’m vulnerable but okay, I’m okay with that, I’m okay with being vulnerable.’  Because fuck, we’ve all been there like ‘shit I’m really scared,’ but sit on it. Go ‘this is okay, this is actually good.’ It makes you human. Laugh at it too. If you can laugh at it, it actually helps.

Interview by Indira Cesarine for The Untitled Magazine

Photography, Video Direction & Styling by Indira Cesarine
Grooming by Annaliese @ Judy Casey
Video Edit by Michael Hollembeak
Camera Assistants: Jake Raynor, Andrii Didyk
Fashion Assistant: Calvin Chandler

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