Moonrise Festival Artist Profile: Kaskade

By Daniel in EDM News
Monday, July 21, 2014, 1:29pm. (Updated: 7/21/14 at 9:20pm) Add comments

Moonrise Festival Artist Profile: Kaskade

Moonrise Festival is coming up in a little over 3 weeks, and we’ve been looking into a few of the DJ’s that are gonna be rocking the stage at Pimlico Race Course in August. Last time, we profiled DJ Snake. The week before that? Carnage. This week, we look into America’s #1 DJ, none other than Kaskade.

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One of my personal favorite music-related memories comes from Kaskade’s highly-acclaimed Freaks of Nature tour stop at the Baltimore Arena a couple summers ago.  Still relatively fresh in the scene, my buddies and I walked into the floor of the arena not quite knowing what to expect that night. I was the odd one out in the group, the reluctant friend who bought a ticket two days before the show to go see a DJ that I didn’t really like. “His tracks are too soft for my taste. He’s only good when he collabs with Deadmau5,” I told my friends on the way to B-more. (Yeah, I know. I was a lost soul then.) Walking into the arena, I was a non-believer. When I walked out, I was a newly-reformed fan. There are only a few artists out there in the world that can cause such a drastic change of opinion in such a short amount of time, and Kaskade is one of them.

By looking at his life, career, and social media outlets (which he personally manages), one can probably tell that Kaskade is not an average-Joe DJ. Born in Chicago in 1971, Kaskade grew up in the city that gave birth to house music in the early 1980’s. The growing house scene in Chi-town definitely shaped his life, as he began DJ’ing before he went to BYU in 1989. After a short stint at the university, he served a full-time two-year Mormon mission in Japan, before moving to Salt Lake City to attend the University of Utah.

After being asked by a reporter about how it felt to be playing at the original Woodstock ground for his recent Mysteryland set, Kaskade responded by saying, “People figured out that Santana is more than a guitarist. There’s more to EDM than guys pressing play on their iPods, repetitive beats and ravers wearing fuzzy boots. This is the right moment and the proper real estate to bring this truth to the forefront. I look forward to being part of this new history and bringing my sound along for the ride. Our time is now.”

Upon starting up school again, Kaskade began work at a local record store, which he ended up being in charge of after some time. He then began a Monday-night weekly residency at a local basement club, where he used the income to buy studio equipment. A few years after that, he and his girlfriend moved to San Francisco, where to Kaskade’s benefit, deep house was emerging. There in San Fran, he found work as an A&R for the record company that ended up being the label that housed his 3 out of his first 4 albums. Throughout all this time, he honed his DJ’ing and producing skills, up to the point where all his hard work culminated into his first studio, 2004’s “It’s You, It’s Me”.

As his career rose in prominence, he used his position to educate fans on the true essence of EDM. One of the ways that he accomplished that was by creating a very different type of tour, one that was unprecedented. After his Freaks of Nature tour, which was held in stadiums and arenas all across the USA, he in 2013 embarked on a tour to commemorate the ten-year anniversary of his debut album. He created the concept, named “It’s You, It’s Me Redux” out of the desire to “go back to where I was, where the scene was, ten years ago.” He limited his gig venues to clubs with a >300 person capacity, stating, “These are the clubs I played at back in the day. It’s going to be intimate. It’s going to be deep.”

Kaskade's Echostage debut...what a night. (11/8/2013)

Kaskade’s Echostage debut…what a night. (11/8/2013)

Looking back at his stellar career, it’s difficult to pinpoint what exactly is his Kaskade’s greatest offering to our genre. Sure, there are his two #1 Billboard US Dance albums, his various solo tours, and the plethora of dance music anthems that he has bestowed upon us. These however, aren’t his greatest offerings to dance music. As said before, Kaskade is not a normal DJ. He’s not afraid to tackle the flawed perceptions that have been developed about our scene. In response to a scathing LA Times report on the EDM concert scene, Kaskade fired back via his tumblr, stating “As far as a music culture goes, EDM is the one who will accept the kids on the outliers, the ones who get bullied, the ones who feel like they may not quite fit in. This community is exceptional in its ability to bond all types together, and I am not exaggerating when I say it saves lives. Our audience is unprecedented in their drive to proactively support each other. There’s your story, LA Times. Do the world a favor and dig into that for a change, punks.” I don’t know about you guys, but I for sure cannot wait for this guy to close out the first night of Moonrise.

Moonrise Fest is just 3 weeks away and tickets are FLYING. If you haven’t bought yours yet, hit up this link now before it’s too late!

 Words by: Daniel Chamorro

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