If you haven't heard of Kaskade, this Fourth of July weekend would be a great time to get to know him, as the up-and-coming DJ/producer helps kick off the festivities with a lively set at LIV (4441 Collis Ave., Miami Beach). The artist formerly known as Ryan Raddon - born and raised in the Chicago area and currently ranked #35 in DJ Magazine's annual poll - will throw down some sick electro and deep-house beats Friday, July 1, on the strength of his ongoing residency in the wild, anything-goes Las Vegas, plus his upcoming album. He talked to Miami.com about the show.
How are your residencies in Vegas going?
Amazing - Marquee is just unbelievable, such a cool venue. And they manage to kind of one-up it every month - I'm like, "What are they gonna do this time?" It's cool, you know, it always takes a minute for everybody to figure out what the deal is when you have a residency - like, is it once a month? Is it every other month? But I'm halfway through it now and it's really clicking - it seems to have achieved everything I wanted it to.
Will your show in Miami be similar?
It will - Miami's always awesome and LIV is cool. Miami's cool because it just has such an international flavor. I feel like in Vegas there is definitely something - that no-accountability factor is in there, and people just wanna rage. So there's something special about Vegas, but I love Miami and the appreciation for the music that people have. I'm always surprised - like, I'll play older stuff from my catalog near the end of the night, you know, some song I wrote 10 years ago, and I look out and people are singing along. And I'm like, "Man, people really know the music here - it's great."
Do you think July 4th weekend here in Miami feels like a miniature Winter Music Conference?
It does. But I think that's kind of the vibe in America right now: I feel like all these big holiday weekends in the major metropolitan areas - like Miami, New York, Las Vegas - all these places are just really going for it. What's cool is, 10 years ago, America just in general wasn't as interested in electronic and dance music, and now that everyone's so excited about it, during all the holiday weekends, the American parties are winning. It used to be like, "Aww, we couldn't compete with the size of the parties that the European guys have." Now, it's like all those guys wanna be over here all the time.
Will we hear some of your new album?
Ahhh, if they promise me that they're not recording it, yes - you'll definitely get a few glimpses. I've been testing things out probably for about the past month.
Do you have a title yet, and what were you going for musically?
I don't have a title yet, but musically - wow, you're the first guy I've ever told this outside of my little team of people I work with. It's gonna be a double CD, with 10 songs, with each song having a day and a night version. Yeah, I've remixed so many other people's works, so I rarely get the opportunity to remix my own work. So I have a chill version and a more full-club version of each song. It's a concept I'm still kind of messing with - most of the music is done at this point, and I'm still kind of finalizing the last few songs. But the concept is still kind of forming in my head right now as to what to call it, how to package it and all that. But I've got quite a few ideas.
When do you think it might hit the streets?
I'm hoping for early fall - September-October time.
How did you come up with the name Kaskade?
It was out of sheer boredom - I wish I had a really cool story to tell [laughs]. But I was just sitting around trying to find a word that hadn't been taken. I didn't want anyone to have an idea when they thought of the word - I kind of wanted to come up with my own creation. I think I achieved that - I mean, there's a few things that people think of when they think of Kaskade. But I wanted the music to speak louder than the name.
Does your faith as a Mormon ever clash with the hedonistic dance-music scene?
Occasionally, from time to time, sure, but not as much as people would think. I mean, it's never really been a problem for me, because it's always been so music-centric with me, and I feel like a lot of night-clubbing in the past has been a problem. As the scene grows bigger and bigger and it's less about the music and more about the actual scene itself - that's a place I don't enjoy being so much. It's kind of like how rock-'n'-roll always had that bad connotation back in the '60s, you know, "You're not gonna listen to that Elvis!" or whatever. I mean sure, there's bad stuff going on in rock-'n'-roll, and there's bad stuff going on in dance music, but generally, I feel like the people are pretty good.
So do you ever look out over the crowd and think, "You poor heathens!"?
[Laughs] No, because they're probably looking at me and saying that!