The breezy house and trance vibes of Kaskade’s music fit equally well at an outdoor festival in the sunshine, indoors in a packed megaclub, or on Top 40 radio, where his recent hit “Last Chance” currently resides. But wherever you hear the Chicago DJ/producer’s sound, you’re sure to be transported to a place of serenity and harmony, crackling with energy yet flooded with calmness and purity.
Kaskade, real name Ryan Raddon, performs twice during Miami Music Week – Friday at the Ultra Music Festival on the main stage before Dutch trance god Tiesto’s closing set, and Saturday night at LIV for a longer, headlining performance. You’ll hear plenty of tracks from his latest album, “Atmosphere,” plus older faves including “I Remember,” “Room For Happiness” and “Lessons In Love.”
You’re performing at both LIV and Ultra – I imagine your sets will be quite different?
Yes, totally different, but both uniquely me. In the festival setting, it’s always a challenge to leave a mark but stay true to my sound. People have been listening to music all day long by the time I close out the stage, so it has to be dramatic in order for it to be memorable. I will give them that. At LIV, I can slow it down a little and air it out, taking my time to get everyone on the same page so that we can all enjoy the journey together.
Will we hear a lot from “Atmosphere,” and will you break out any new tracks?
Yes, all my sets will be “Atmosphere”-heavy, but I will be introducing some new material, too. There is no better stage in the world to introduce new music while in Miami at Music Week.
Are you performing anywhere else that week?
Not that I currently know about, but that’s kind of what this time of year is famous for, popping by friends’ parties and spontaneously joining in on the festivities.
How many times at WMC will this be for you? And at Ultra?
I went to WMC for the first time in 1997 – it wasn’t until years later that I joined the craziness over at Ultra.
Ultra is scaled back to one weekend this year – was two too much last year?
There is no such thing as too much in the world of dance music at the moment. I think logistically two weekends was a nightmare for many, but they proved last year that it could be done.
How did you come up with your stage name, and what does it mean to you?
The name was spawned from days of boredom sitting behind a desk while truly wishing I could be outside. I wanted the name to sound organic, as my music is that. Twelve years later, I think it suits me well.
DJ Times crowned you No. 1 again last year – how important is that to you?
It’s always nice to receive awards and be recognized by your peers – I’m extremely honored by this. But in the big scheme of things, it’s not what I aim for.
You perform in Vegas all the time – how’s the EDM scene there compared to Miami?
There are some similarities in the fact that the audience changes a lot, as these are destination spots. People come from all over the world and like to enjoy a night out, so why not do it at a world-class club? Both cities offer this, but Miami has an amazing history and an incredible relationship with house music. The fact that I am a tiny part of that story means a lot to me.
What’s the best and worst part about doing what you do for a career?
The best part is that none of it ever seems like work. I get to wake up and do what I love every single day. The worst and most challenging part is to try and have boundaries so that it does not consume every moment of my life. Sometimes I have to remind myself that there are other things out there besides music.
What would be the perfect day in the life of Ryan Raddon?
Home hanging with my family and cooking dinner on the BBQ.