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Interview: Electronica DJ Kaskade

Electronica may be turning mainstream, but there are few DJs who can fill an arena.

Kaskade is one of the exceptions. With eight studio albums (the most recent, "Atmosphere," was released this past week), the veteran DJ can easily fill a set with his own music. 

With a chill, laid-back style that matches his demeanor, the 42-year-old hardly fits the party-boy stereotype. He's a Mormon and a family man, with three young daughters. We spoke to Kaskade from his home in Los Angeles.

How would you describe your sound?

It's mood music. I make a lot of very big-room, anthemic, euphoric dance music.

How do you balance the scene with your faith?

With me and my persona and my beliefs, the bigger challenge is being around for my family when I'm touring so much. … People are like, "That scene is so debaucherous. Electronic music is so crazy." I mean it is and it isn't, but it depends on who or what you're listening to..

Do you see dance music as mainstream now?

I think the very obvious stuff has crossed over. … David Guetta working with pop stars, or Calvin Harris working with Rihanna. … If people scratch below the surface, they're going to find dance music has got a lot more depth. But I don't think most of us artists will have to stand on the shoulders of multiplatinum selling artists to get noticed. … I still feel like the best is yet to come.

What did you think of what happened to Calvin Harris at LIV, where a fan harassed him about playing original music?

There are still people out there that don’t understand and miss the subtlety of what is happening. … Honestly, there is only a handful of guys that do what I do, that even have the catalog that can get up and play a 2-, 2 1/2-hour show in an arena and play only their music. It’s like Avicii has only a handful of songs, but when you see him on tour, he plays a couple of his tunes, and then he plays pop hits.

Do you think drug incidents, like the recent one in New York [in early September, authorities shut down New York's Electric Zoo festival after two attendees overdosed and died], take away from the original vibe of dance music?

I don't think it takes away. … With this music becoming popular, there's been sad things happening … with people just not acting responsibly. … But I think it's made a lot of promoters aware and kind of woken some kids up, like, "Oh, OK, we need to take care of each other with more education in the scene on the effects of these drugs."

What do you think of Miami's scene?

LIV has been a steady spot in Miami that I've been playing and loving for a while here. Miami has been one of the top urban markets that's been into house music for so long. … I think what's cool about Miami is people are so passionate about music, and it has such an international flavor.


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