Kaskade. He’s incredibly handsome, humble and having one hell of a year. He has performed in front of cult-like fans at every festival from Bonnaroo to Electric Zoo, and his latest album, Dynasty, took out Justin Bieber as #1 in the iTunes charts. He’s collaborating with Will.i.am for an anti-drug PSA and is 100% Snookie approved. Yet he’s still amazed that “really hot model types and famous people are into house music now.”
If you know me at all, you know that my Kaskade obsession runs far beyond his fairytale, feminine sound. Let’s just say his Monkey-loving’ tweets and 12-track journey of love have single handedly helped me (and thousands of others) “Start Again.” Just days away from his performance at Pacha’s Five Year Anniversary in NYC, I sat down with the oh-so-delicious DJ to discuss Tokyo, The Cure and why Electronic Dance Music is here to stay. Be sure to catch Kaskade (or my minute-to-minute coverage of him) at Pacha, this Saturday night.
@JetsetFarryn: Truthfully, a lot of people have been asking me this, and maybe you can help set the record straight… What’s the difference between house/trance music? The short answer…
@Kaskade: Trance is very synthetic and the tempo is fast. House is more organic and it has more of a shuffle or swing to it. That is over simplifying it but you get the idea.
Well, what genre do you consider your music to fall under? Not to put you in a box or anything…
I use elements from everything including house and trance but if I had to choose my music leans way more to the house side of things.
Your music is a bit different than some of the big name acts in EDM right now… where did you first find your unique sound?
While living in San Francisco I was inspired by the local deep house scene there. It really made me realize that it was not about the genre but more about the actual song and what was being said in the music.
As a kid, who inspired you? And who is inspiring you now….
When I was young I was really into a lot of the new wave stuff like The Smiths, The Cure and New Order. Right now I am really feeling Dan Black, Dragonette and The Killers.
Did you have that “ah ha” moment of wanting to become a DJ?
K: I never really had that moment. It feels like I have always kind of done music in some sort of fashion. But I do remember when I got paid for my first show and I felt like I had tricked the promoter cause I would have played for free.
JSF: That’s exactly how I feel about my job (don’t tell Jetsetter)
What about the lifestyle? It’s certainly different than a 9 to 5 desk job. What’s the best part of it (the lifestyle) and the worst?
I am able to travel the world and meet interesting people that love music as much as I do. The worst part of that is I spend a lot of time in crappy airports and planes. But I don’t have anything to complain about.
You’re always on the road… but where do you consider home?
This is a good question and one I think about a lot. I recently moved to Southern California from San Francisco but since I have been on the road I have spent little time there and it does not feel like home yet although that is where my mail is delivered. Right now San Francisco still feels like home.
And do you have a “home away from home”?
Chicago is where I was born and raised so I always feel like I am home when I am there.
I asked Armin Van Buuren this same question because it’s certainly top of mind for many right now… In the last year, house music has become increasingly popular in the US. For example, Bonnaroo added a lunar tent (amazing set by the way) to accommodate for the growing desire for music of this kind. Why do you feel like EDM is currently trending?
Yes we are finally having our moment! Finally it seems like everyone is ready to hear the music. I think this is happening because sonically this is the most interesting thing happening on the musical landscape right now. The true innovation is happening in this genre and it is impossible to ignore.
This was your second year at Electric Zoo, what was different this year? And what do you hope to see next year?
It was so much bigger and better this year! Everything from the crowds to the intensity of the production was amped up 10 times. I loved it! Next year I want it even bigger and louder!