Posted by Scott Willats
What can you say about Kaskade? Complacency just isn’t a word in his vocabulary. He’s like the Energizer bunny of EDM, constantly challenging himself to create innovative music. Little wonder so many of his fellow artists rank him high on their lists of the best in the game.
Currently holding down the number 30 spot on DJ Mag’s definitive Top 100 list, Kaskade (a.k.a. Ryan Raddon) has always been a music junkie. When I got the chance to sit and chat with him at the release party in Miami for his 2010 album Dynasty, it was obvious just how much this man loves making music., and loves collaborating with other talented artists. He was full of praise for the sounds coming out of Canada, too — and had put his money where his mouth is, teaming up with Deadmau5 on the massively successful “I Remember,” and with Dragonette‘s Martina Sorbara on “Fire In Your New Shoes.”
Something else that was clear: he loves seeking out and discovering new music. I’ve often found that artists tend to stay narrowly focused on their own music, their own sound and genre. And fair enough: this is their career, after all, and you always have to look out for number one. But before they were artists, they were fans — and sometimes there’s a risk of losing touch with the passion that got them into the game in the first place. Kaskade, for his part, is still as much a fan as an artist. He talked fondly of going to the record store with friends every Tuesday (new release day!) and sitting there for hours –maybe with some adult beverages — listening to new music.
He told me he was still obsessed with finding new sounds and new artists, and wondered if fans aren’t missing out on something now that this whole part of the experience has moved from the record stores to the online world. It’s a point open to debate — I happen to agree with him strongly — but what’s enlightening here is the way he approaches music: as a listener as well as a creator.
And then there’s his ability to relate with fans. Let’s face it, a lot of artists in this genre are only around for a cup of coffee. Some even skip out on the bill. But with nine albums under his belt since 2003, Kaskade has proven his longevity. His countless world tours, singles and EP releases have confirmed him as an EDM superstar. If there’s any DJ who would be within his rights to pull a “diva” attitude, it’s this guy. Yet he’s the polar opposite: friendly, approachable and always up for a chat about new music. Very refreshing.
This, by the way, is quite possibly my favourite tour video in the history of tour videos.
Once again, I urge you to grab whatever tickets remain available for the Digital Dreams Music Festival this weekend. With a lineup that has soooo many big names, Kaskade will bring his all. His set will be one to remember — and that alone should be worth the price of admission!