Bikini-clad chicks gyrating on club kids’ shoulders and EDM-addicted dudes getting caked in the face are just some of the Red Bull-induced images associated with mega DJ, Steve Aoki.
But as the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City wraps up, we are left with a more introspective understanding of the artist in the documentary, I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead.
Director Justin Krook does an excellent job weaving us in and out of high-intensity club crowds to behind closed doors where Aoki and close family and friends (Diplo, Travis Barker) get…well…emotional about what he has accomplished and why he’s driven to pack in as much work and tours as humanly possible.
Spoiler alert – it’s the quintessential father-son story. (We won’t ruin it and tell you who his dad is, in case you don’t know.)
Like any great documentary (and this was one of our favorites) audiences get an intimate peak inside another’s life and thoughts – which always results in the unexpected. Behind the party guy screaming on the mic, Aoki is a semi-troubled and sentimental dude who wants nothing more than to keep his successful family name alive, while refusing to give up his original passions.
In other words, he did it his way.
You’ll get a lesson in the struggles of a Japanese-American growing up in bleach-blonde SoCal and how parenting skills really do make or break us as adults. Also, you will be reminded that, yes, artists and prodigies are driven by their demon-filled suitcases.
There’s no doubt that your go-to, high-energy DJ is a true ‘showman’ and this film is a show-and-tell of why.