Kaskade (real name Ryan Gary Raddon) has a lot to show for. In just 2 years he has set off on countless tours taking over the main stage at major music festivals around the globe, started his own label, and put out tonnes of new music. He’s an undeniable crowd favourite and in fact, his schedule is packed right until the year-end, with an “It’s The Ship” headline gig squeezed in for November.
We know, right? Where he even finds the space to breathe is beyond us!
We last spoke to Kaskade sometime back in 2013 so it was high time to find out what he else has been up to! We caught up with to the 44-year-old DJ/producer on Tuesday (22nd September) when he rang us up real quick for a chat.
Here’s what went down:
Hi Kaskade! Thanks for calling in. Where are you right now and what are you up to?
I’m here in Los Angeles, at home. Just winding down finishing my day. Which is actually the complete opposite of you guys because you guys are still getting started, right?
Yes, haha. It’s lunch time now in Kuala Lumpur. “Automatic” drops 25th September, congrats! Before we get into the album, what can you tell us about it?
Thank you! New album, lots of new material, it’s the next chapter to my story. This album has more collaborations on it that I’ve ever had in the past and I think that was just due to the fact that I’ve always wanted to try new things. You know, get out there and try some different stuff. I worked with CID, a good buddy of mine and a talented producer, and Galantis, John Dahlback, Two Nations..quite a few people!
Yes, I saw that Galantis is on it. That’s great! Which tracks were your favourites to work on and why?
Oh, I don’t know if I have a favourite. They were all a lot of fun! Haha. Favourite song..the Galantis one was a long time in the making, I mean this whole album was a long time in the making. “Atmosphere” is almost 2 years old now..
You’re right. There were 2 whole years between “Atmosphere” and “Automatic”. What happened in those 2 years?
I kinda took my time making “Automatic”. In the world of the electronic dance music, to wait a couple of years between albums is..for me, it seems like awhile. But the whole thing was fun to make – it was a blast. I’ve been touring non-stop since the success of “Atmosphere” so I think that’s why it took me a little bit longer. Not for any particular reason, it just took me a little longer to get the bits and pieces together, and finish the material.
Actually, in between “Atmosphere” and “Automatic”, you did come to Kuala Lumpur. That was the last time we spoke, at Zouk Club KL.
Oh right, right! Yeah yeah, that’s right!
Are there any plans to release a remix album for “Automatic” in the near future?
There aren’t any, no. No remix albums planned. Actually, right now the goal is to get as many people to hear “Automatic” as possible. I have a massive tour here in North America scheduled through the month of October where I’ve got 18 stops. And then I’ve got like another 15 or so shows after that, that are just kinda like post-“Automatic” tour right before the end of the year. Yeah, it’s going to be a pretty busy last quarter for me.
You also recently started your own label, Arkade. Tell us a little bit about that.
Yeah! Arkade is still really young and new..actually, I was trying to think of the exact start date just the other day and I couldn’t remember it (laughs). It’s still new, it’s not even a year old, and it has some absolutely great releases coming up. We’ve got a release by CID coming out and another release that we just put out, “Work It” by Digital LAB..that came out last Friday. So yeah, you know, I think that the idea was to..I’m in a position where a lot of people are listening to my live shows and I have a lot of friends giving me music and..I’m able to share their music and help my friends out. I share my music and I share theirs by putting it out on the label. There are a lot of incredible talents out there right now so it’s a good time.
What kind of up-and-coming artistes are you looking to sign with Arkade? What kind of stand out qualities should they have?
Hmm, stuff that sounds new, fresh, and distinct. It’s always a bonus if it works in my set but even if it doesn’t work in my set, if I think it’s something beautiful and musical..and something that I like listening to, I’ll sign it. So it’s kind of like a criteria. I don’t sign a specific genre or a specific style. It’s kinda all over the place ranging from super deep stuff like deep house, to minimal and deep space house stuff, to stuff that’s really pounding and main stage stuff. It’s all over the place stylistically but it’s kinda like the common thread or theme to the music that I really like and love, and that inspires me. It could be stuff that are clubby or it could be stuff that are not.
I’m not sure what it’s like in the US now but over here in Malaysia, we’re all kinda like still in the whole “EDM bubble”. Which direction is dance music moving towards over there?
It seems like it has kinda found its space right now, for a minute there it didn’t have any footing..like people didn’t know if it’s underground club music or commercial music like, “What is this?” (laughs) I think people were really confused for a little while but I think it has kind of finally found its footing and people are starting to understand it. It’s maturing a little bit here in North America and it’s starting to gain some respect, and certainly have a lot more momentum. I mean, the shows are huge, the festivals are huge, and the concerts are very big. So it’s still really popular. Sound-wise, I think it has also matured a bit because it’s not as loud and noisy as it was a few years ago, you know? It has become more musical. And really, I still think that this is kinda just the beginning. I feel like there are a lot more talents out there that are undiscovered..that will surface over the next few years, and that there are still a lot more acts that will cross over to the more commercial and pop side of things.
We hear that you’ll be headlining on “It’s The Ship” in a couple of months. What can you fans expect from your set?
My sets are unique in a way that are..I’ve really written, produced, and remixed so much music over the last 20 years that I’ve this massive catalogue so..what makes my sets unique is that I play so much of my own music. You’ll hear me playing a lot of my own music.
Complete the following sentence: “Automatic” is the kind of album that I’d listen to when..
Um, making love. (laughs)
Thanks Kaskade for the chat! We look forward to seeing you on “It’s The Ship”. And thanks to our friends from Warner Music Malaysia for arranging it 🙂
We’ll leave you now with the official music video for “Disarm You” by Kaskade featuring Ilsey. Enjoy:
Kaskade’s new album, “Automatic”, is set to be released on 25th September. Pre-order it off iTunes here.
All images from Kaskade’s Instagram.