Steve Aoki has earned himself countless accolades since he first took the music scene with the launch of Dim Mak records in 1996. Over the past 23 years, he's racked up millions of dollars for his royalties and performances, a feat that consistently places him amongst the top five highest-paid DJs in the world (he racked in over $30M last year, according to Forbes), appearing at some of the most sought-after music festivals around the world.
The pressures of the business, combined with his work ethic, resulted in Guinness World Record awarding him 2012's most-traveled musician after playing 168 shows in 41 countries. He's only continued his streak since then. In 2017, BBC reported that in alone he played 300 shows, while working 361 days that year. It's a lifestyle, however glamorous it may seem, that inevitably takes a toll: Aoki estimated that he only spent around 50 days a year at his former Hollywood home because of his work demands, a job that has required him to be quite proficient in the world of travel, burdens and all.
"Sometimes it does [feel like a chore]. Sometimes you're dreading the flight," Aoki told AOL Lifestyle at the launch of All Nippon Airway's redesigned Boeing 777-300ER last week. "Most times it's unbearable -- but if you can find that comfort and luxury and service and hospitality and food, it all adds up."
"Because I travel so much, comfort is number one for me," he explained. If he's traveling to Japan, his favorite place to visit, you can find him on ANA especially given the airline's BOEING redesign of its business and first-class cabins and its Japenese approach to comfort, which Aoki has been familiar with growing up.
No matter if he's traveling stateside or across the pond, there are a few essentials he recommends for a smooth trip.
"If you can fly whatever way you can to get that sleep, do whatever you can."
"I travel with my headphones: SVN Sound Headphones. I designed them myself, I worked on them. I know what works for me as a DJ and I always travel with them."
3. Fight jet-lag with a supplement
"I take it right before I get on the plane, when I'm mid-flight and when I land. It actually works, it's incredible. Every body is different so you got to test it out."
4. A big pillow
"I bring a very obnoxiously large pillow with me. So whether I'm sitting on the seat or laying down or against the wall, I have my eye mask on, my headphones on and I'm just out. Goal number one is sleep."