If there’s a DJ that’s in touch with the global music scene, it’s Steve Aoki. He started in the music industry in 1996 and has only been progressively expanding his soundscape since. His latest? A catchy electronic song with a particular flute-infused ring titled “Ultimate” featuring Mexican rapper Santa Fe Klan and Mexican-American artist Snow Tha Product. The single and music video came out today, Aug. 26.
On working together, Aoki tells Remezcla he sent ideas back and forth with Santa Fe Klan and overall had great energy. “I wanted to make sure it’s a banging reggaeton vibe, but also cumbia, and a lot of his culture in there,” he says. “I just wanted to make sure as much of our worlds were represented in this record.”
“Ultimate” is the latest release from Aoki’s Dim Mak En Fuego label, showcasing his knack for global sounds by meshing his signature party-ready bass elements with Mexican rap and reggaeton. On the music video produced by Maliik Morales and directed by Mariah Morgenstern, we see the trio partying it up at a house party filled with confetti and red solo cups. It’s the perfect setting for the new collaboration that’s part of the DJ’s forthcoming album, HiROQUEST: Genesis.
The onset of the collaboration traces back to four or five years ago, when Aoki first reached out to Santa Fe Klan. “It was a while ago. As much as I am a producer and a DJ, I am very much an A&R,” Aoki notes. “I’m always looking to find new artists that are doing something that I haven’t heard, that are doing something unique.”
For him, Santa Fe Klan was that kind of artist. “I’m like, ‘Oh my God. This guy. I haven’t heard of this kind of music.’ It was incredible. Blew my mind. So I reached out to him to work on music, and he was really excited to work with me as well,” he adds.
But he knew he wanted to add another voice to the track and thought Snow Tha Product would be perfect. “We wanted something that was a high pairing to the level of Santa Fe Klan – and she just nailed it,” Aoki explains.
The Miami-born DJ and producer has always been in sync with the trends when it comes to global music. He’s had massive collaborations with K-pop artists like BTS on “Waste It On Me” and Monsta X on “Play It Cool,” to name a couple. Other recent collaborations within the Latine scene include “Nataaoki” and “Kong 2.0” with Natanael Cano and an unreleased song with Guaynaa.
“I’m always looking for new sounds, and it’s important for me to be global because I’m a global DJ as well,” Aoki says about working with international artists. “The challenge that I love as a producer is always finding a genre that I haven’t worked with and finding a way to do something fresh and new for the world. Like taking something from their culture and from my culture, blending it together, and then coming up with a completely new world.”
Moreover, he’s been running his Latine-forward record label Dim Mak En Fuego since 2020, representing emerging artists like ANDREKZA and AQUIHAYAQUIHAY. Per Aoki, the Latine community has always been one to show him the most love. “It’s not just [about] my interest in the Latin community that is important to me. It’s [about how much the] Latin community has really embraced me.”
“There are some communities that I love and I enter the community, and they might embrace a little – but the Latin world has definitely opened up their arms in a really big way to me. And it means so much to me.”
Watch the music video for “Ultimate, featuring Santa Fe Klan and Snow Tha Product below.