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."
"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."
Steve Aoki out and about
Steve Aoki out and about
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 25: Steve Aoki hosts ASICS 'Jump Room' In NYC To Celebrate I Move Me Brand Launch on October 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images for ASICS)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 25: Steve Aoki Hosts ASICS Boot Camp on October 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images for ASICS)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Steve Aoki attends Spotify's inaugural Secret Genius Awards at Vibiana Cathedral on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 25: Musician Steve Aoki (L) and Boxer Alicia Napoleon host ASICS Boot Camp on October 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images for ASICS)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 24: Steve Aoki attends Michael Jackson Scream Album Halloween Takeover at TCL Chinese 6 Theatres on October 24, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images for SONY Music)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 16: The Fat Jew and Steve Aoki attend the VH1 Save The Music 20th Anniversary #TurnItUpTo20 Gala at SIR Stage37 on October 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jimi Celeste/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 16: DJ Khaled and DJ Steve Aoki attend VH1 Save The Music 20th Anniversary Gala at SIR Stage37 on October 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for VH1 Save The Music )
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE - 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EDT and features a diverse lineup of guests that includes celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human-interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Thursday, October 5 included Jeff Bridges ('Only The Brave'), Isla Fisher ('Marge in Charge) and musical guest Steve Aoki featuring Gucci Mane. (Randy Holmes via Getty Images)
STEVE AOKI FEATURING GUCCI MANE, JIMMY KIMMEL
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 04: Steve Aoki arrives for the premiere of new music from Steve Aoki For STRONG By Zumba at Exchange LA on October 4, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 19: Musician Steve Aoki speaks during : Creating KOLONY with Steve Aoki at Apple Store Williamsburg on July 19, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 18: DJ Steve Aoki performs on the runway at the Kolony Album Release Event & Dim Mak SS18 Collection at Build Studio on July 18, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 18: DJ Steve Aoki attends Kolony Album Release Event & Dim Mak SS18 Collection - VIP Reception at Build Studio on July 18, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 27: Steve Aoki visits at SiriusXM Studios on June 27, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 06: Steve Aoki attends the Glamour Women of The Year awards 2017 at Berkeley Square Gardens on June 6, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 26: Musician Steve Aoki does a photo shoot in Soho on June 26, 2017 in New York, New York. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Steve Aoki attends the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
DALLAS, TX - MAY 05: Steve Aoki performs during JMBLYA at Fair Park on May 5, 2017 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 19: Steve Aoki arrives to Linkin Park's Music For Relief - Charity Poker Tournament at Taglyan Cultural Complex on April 19, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Harmony Gerber/WireImage)
RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA - APRIL 11: Steve Aoki attends the 2017 PTTOW! Summit: Love & Courage at Terranea Resort on April 11, 2017 in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for PTTOW!)