You can stop looking for the perfect Vegas representative of Generation Y. I found him. He’s a DJ, and he is naming his firstborn son Skywalker.
This is the story of Aaron White. When he was a kid in Lake Tahoe, he didn’t want to be a fireman. He wanted to be a DJ. So he became DJ Ikon, now performing Fridays at Bellagio’s Bank nightclub.
This winter, he and his wife, Kelly (a cocktailer at club Pure), will name their son Skywalker, because he’s so into “Star Wars,” he built an elaborate Boba Fett Halloween costume over the course of two years.
“I was gonna name him Luke, but my wife’s best friend named their kid Luke. They beat me to the punch. Bummer,” Ikon says.
A few weeks ago, Ikon earned his first hit video on YouTube (“Shadow of the Sun”). At the exact same time, he scored his first Billboard No. 1 remix (of “Electricity and Drums” with Dave Aude and Luciana Caporaso).
HOW TO MAKE A DREAM HAPPEN
After starting college at University of Nevada, Reno, Ikon made sure his first job was selling DJ equipment and records at Planet DJ.
“I just immersed myself into the culture, like, ‘Yep, this is what I want to do. I get to play all these parties, like sorority parties and fraternity parties.’ At 18, you’re like, ‘Yo, this is the craziest thing ever.’ ”
He made his way to Las Vegas in 2004 after his friend DJ Hollywood got him to compete in a DJ battle at Rio’s Bikinis nightclub, which led to a job offer at Tangerine nightclub.
Who is crazier — sorority girls or Vegas party girls?
“I mean, at the time, if you had asked me, I would have said frat parties with sorority girls.
“Literally, there would be thousands of people, and a big stage, and all the sororities from the surrounding area would come.
“Those parties were so crazy. It was more uninhibited. It was just a bunch of kids partying. … It was kids throwing parties for kids.
“But now, I would say Vegas party girls now are crazier. The whole Vegas scene is so girl-party oriented, you know?”
Yes, I do.
A HISTORY OF VEGAS CLUBS
I asked Ikon to tell me his DJ history, and it is comically indicative of the way Vegas clubs ebb and flow.
“I did Tangerine, Pure, then I did 9Group, so I did Rain, Ghostbar, and I opened Moon. I left Moon and went back to Pure when they switched owners. Then I did Pure and LAX. Then I left there and I went to Eve. Then I left Eve and went to Jet. And when Jet became 1 Oak, I did 1 Oak and Haze, and then I started doing Bank. And in between that, I did Liquid, Bare and Daylight this summer. And I’ve done one-offs at Body English. I did Rehab one summer.”
HOW HE GOT HIS BIG BREAK
Just months ago, Ikon, 32, finally produced his first song, “Shadow of the Sun,” in his home studio. Then he emailed it to DJ extraordinaire Dave Aude.
“All I wanted from him was feedback. I was just expecting, ‘Hey, this sounds good, but try this or whatever.’
“He emailed me back in five minutes: ‘I love this song, I’m going to put it out on my label. You just got to get a good vocalist. I’ve got one for you.’
“I flew down to L.A. Two weeks later, we had the whole song recorded with Sisely Treasure from Shiny Toy Guns, which I never thought would ever happen six months ago.
“Then we put it out. It hits No. 20 on Billboard. We just hit a million views on YouTube and Vevo.”
That initial success led Ikon to work on the “Electricity and Drums” hit remix. Then the band Erasure heard that remix and hired Ikon to remix their next song coming out in December.
Ikon beams with that awesome new-to-hit-music excitement, especially considering the Erasure gig.
“I grew up on these guys. This would be like Depeche Mode hitting me up and being like, ‘You want to do a remix for us?’ It’s crazy.”
It is. But it’s earned craziness.
Doug Elfman’s column appears on Page 3A in the main section on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. He also writes for Neon on Fridays. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.