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Steve Aoki Talks Swapping Clothes With BTS and the Cultural Importance of "Waste It On Me"

Steve Aoki and the boys of BTS bonded while recording "Waste It On Me"

By Ashley Spencer 12 Dec, 2018 3:02 AMTags
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Steve Aoki's New Song With BTS Is Everything Fans Were Waiting For

Case in point: "RM gave me his jacket. I gave him my sweater. RM was like, I love your sweater, and I was like, I sewed some patches on here and made it unique—here [take it]. He's like, I'll give you my jacket!"

"Waste It On Me"—BTS' first song entirely in English—is a global sensation and has topped charts around the world. But Aoki wanted to make sure the music video for the Neon Future III track conveyed a message beyond its catchy lyrics.

"I realised how culturally important this song was. Here's a song with an Asian-American DJ and seven Koreans. We are Asian faces and we have a No. 1 song around the world," Aoki tells E! News.

"It made me think back to when I was a kid, like who are the Asian faces in pop culture? So I put together an all-Asian cast with an Asian director, along the same lines and very inspired by Crazy Rich Asians. It's by far my favourite video I've done."

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Watch BTS and Steve Aoki's "Waste It on Me" Music Video Starring an All Asian-American Cast

The clip features appearances by Ken Jeong, Jamie Chung, Ross Butler, Jimmy Yang, and more, who Aoki says he hit up over DM to make happen—but there was one cameo that was surprisingly difficult to secure.

"One of the hardest people to get was my sister [actress and model Devon Aoki]. I'm not kidding. We're really close. We talk all the time. But to get her to do something with me on that level? She's got three kids. She's got a lot of stuff going on," he says. "I was like, Devon, you have to be part of this. I never really ask her for very much because I know how difficult it is. But I was like, we need to represent."

The collaborations don't end with "Waste It On Me". Aoki's latest album, Neon Future III, features tracks with Bella Thorne, Louis Tomlinson, Blink 182 and more. Keep scrolling to find out his thoughts on his famous co-workers.

BTS

"I was just surprised by how friendly they are," Steve Aoki tells E! News of his "Waste It On Me" collaborators. "You see certain artists and how they are in photos and interviews, and you don't know what they're going to be like in person. But they're just like boom, yo what's up!"

BLINK 182

"I say Blink One-Eighty-Two. I've never heard anyone call it Blink Eighteen-Two. That's just weird. I think Tom [Delonge] is just messing with everyone," laughs Aoki, who recorded "Why Are We So Broken" with Blink 182. "Whatever you call them, they're one of my favourite bands and I grew up listening to them. They're also very, very good friends of mine. I've been working with Travis [Barker] for almost a decade on music. I love this collaboration. All their sounds and my sounds coming together. A lot of history in that one."

BELLA THORNE

"First of all, she's really, really cool. She's a very nice, humble girl," says Aoki of the "Do Not Disturb" songstress. "Bella Thorne is a beautiful, wonderful woman and powerful. She's very, very smart. She showed up to the studio before me every single time we had a session. She was way more professional than I was. She's a really great human being, and I love her. I love working with her, and I plan on working with her again."

LOUIS TOMLINSON

"Louis Tomlinson is a very humble, down-to-earth guy," Aoki says. "You almost forget he was in one of the biggest boy bands in the history of the world because he's just so humble. And he's a hard worker. We got in the studio and started working on 'Just Hold On', and he was just such a pleasant guy."

LAUREN JAUREGUI

"I think of her like a unicorn," Aoki says of the "All Night" singer. "She's magical and mystical. I could see her in Harry Potter as a good wizard or witch. She comes into the room and she just opens up light into the room with her amazingness, and then she gets into the vocal booth and just blows you away."

LIL YACHTY

"He's a character. He's awesome. He's actually incredibly smart," says Aoki. "I've never seen a guy go into the booth and just go into bars without writing anything down. I remember we did 'Pretender' and it was like 3 in the morning when we worked on the song. He was like, yeah I got this vibe and just went in the booth and nailed it. He's a great storyteller and he's a hard worker."