2x Grammy-nominated DJ and producer Steve Aoki teamed up with multi-platinum selling hip-hop recording artist Lil Yachty and certified platinum pop group AJR to release their hit anthem on insecurity titled “Pretender” first performed on Good Morning America earlier this month. Now, they release the priceless visual to accompany it.
The video, directed by Tyler Yee, known for both his unique narrative approach as well as his witty, often outlandish imagery, emphasizes how we create scenarios on social media to showcase ourselves ‘living our best life’ when it comes to the personas we create for everyday consumption.
The concept pursues this universal idea that we are all, indeed, pretenders in the way we portray ourselves in a world where we hide our insecurities. The visual is played out in true 2018 fashion, as if you are scrolling through your Instagram newsfeed, where app go-ers go to extremes to create images that are far from reality.
In particular, the first scene shows Steve Aoki laying in bed as he posts to his millions of followers ‘RISE AND GRIND! Early Bird Gets the Worm!’ before falling back asleep.
The staged scenarios continue throughout the video where we see Lil Yachty performing to an excited crowd at a party before cutting to a behind-the-scenes of the shot where everyone disappears and he is performing in front of a green screen.
Then, we see AJR sitting in front of a screen with a vibrant beach background, beach chairs and drinking out of pineapples as if they are on a luxury vacation, when in reality they are on a set.
STEVE AOKI is a 2x Grammy-nominated international producer/DJ, electronic dance music entrepreneur, and founder of the trendsetting record label, events/lifestyle company and apparel line Dim Mak. Since launching in 1996, Dim Mak Records has become a launch pad for seminal acts such as The Chainsmokers, Bloc Party, The Bloody Beetroots and The Gossip through deftly marketed single and full-length releases and now has well over 900. As a solo artist, AOKI has become a force of nature averaging over 250 tour dates per year. Known for collaborations ranging from Snoop Dogg to Linkin Park to JJ Abrams to Migos and Louis Tomlinson (One Direction), AOKI’s debut artist album was nominated for the Best Electronic/Dance album Grammy while his follow ups NEON FUTURE I & II featured his Gold certified single “Delirious (Boneless)” with Kid Ink. Most recently “Just Hold On” with One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson became a global smash after the pair debuted the song with a performance on X Factor. The song debuted at #1 in 43 countries and has since achieved Gold or Platinum status in 18 countries. AOKI recently received his second Grammy nomination in the Best Music Film category as the subject of the 2016 Netflix Original documentary “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” which premiered to a sold out audience at the Tribeca Film Festival. Steve has also both donated and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for various charitable organizations including his own AOKI FOUNDATION with a primary goal of supporting organizations in the brain science and research areas with a specific focus on regenerative medicine and brain preservation. Steve Aoki released his latest album Kolony on July 21 (via Dim Mak Records / Ultra Records) debuted at #1 on the Electronic Album charts. Kolony marks Aoki’s first full turn into rap music, with nearly 10 years of hip-hop collaborations, which he describes as “bridging the gap” between genres and is stacked with hard-hitting rhymes from some of the most prominent lyricists today, including Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yachty, Migos, 2 Chainz, Gucci Mane, ILOVEMAKONNEN, T Pain, and more.
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Lil Yachty gained recognition in 2015 for his hit singles “One Night” and “Minnesota” from his debut EP Summer Songs. After his debut Lil Boat and a collaboration with DRAM on “Broccoli” which peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, Yachty signed a joint venture record deal with Quality Control Music, Capitol Records, and Motown Records. The Atlanta rapper released his debut studio album Teenage Emotions featuring the platinum certified single “Peek A Boo” in 2017. His second studio album, Lil boat 2, was released in March 2018, entering No 2 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums Chart.
[av_toggle title=’About AJR: ‘ tags=”] AJR is a New York City based indie pop band comprised of multi-instrumentalist brothers: Adam, Jack and Ryan. Self produced and recorded in their living room, their music inspires comparisons to both contemporary and classic artists, combining elements of pop, doo-wop, and electronic. Their debut single was released in 2013 and was placed in regular rotation on Sirius XM Radio’s Top 20 on 20 and Hits 1 stations along with its viral music video gaining over 23 million view on Youtube. The hit single “Weak” from their third EP, What Everyone’s Thinking, has been certified Platinum in the U.S., Canada, Norway, Netherlands and Belgium, and Gold in Germany, Italy, Sweden, and Australia with over 280 million streams on Spotify. In June 2017, the band released its second studio album, The Click, and supported the album with The Click Tour featuring Ocean Park Standoff and Hundred Ha nded .