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home for some much-needed and well-deserved R&R. He will be working on his next album, a release that is certain to attract attention considering the chart-topping success of the previous one. Keeping his ear to the ground while on tour has its benefits when designing the next production, and traveling across the country a few times over lends itself to inspiration from places never before seen. “It’s great our music has some profile because I think four years ago, five years ago, none of these people would have taken my call. But now it’s like, ‘Oh! You’re the dude who sold out Bayfront Park! Oh, you’re the dude who sold out Staples Center, I should maybe take your call!’ (laughs). Or really, what’s amazing is that I come to find out that the artists I’d like to work with are actually, wow, they’re fans! When I actually reached out to Skylar [Grey] she was like, ‘oh man, I love your music!’ ‘Oh really?! You live right down the street, come over and hang out in the studio, let’s make some music together!’ So, I think it’s great, it’s opened up a lot of avenues for me which is awesome.

San Francisco is the city Kaskade can credit for being the base for the start of his career, starting with OM records about a decade ago.

HARD Events by Live Nation Entertainment and partnerships between AEG and Insomniac, the team behind events like the perpetually sold-out Electric Daisy Carnival. More of these types of transactions are in the works no doubt, with some jaw-dropping figures being brought to the table. “A lot of people were looking at Ultra and EDC and Coachella, and being like, ‘these really work’. And I think some of these bigger companies getting into it, I mean… they’re about making money. So, they saw it working, they saw the attendance and were like, ‘wait. we can do this too’. I think that’s where a lot of people in the scene are getting scared and saying, ‘Look, these are outsiders. They don’t understand the subtle nature of what our art is. We need to keep it in-house and support one another’. I mean, there is definitely that sentiment out there and I subscribe to that… so, you know, it’s a tricky time but it’s a great time to be involved with this music, it’s an exciting time to see it grow so much.”

Unprecedented times for this artist and for the genre as a whole in the US. The end of the summer saw him selling out Staples Center in Los Angeles, an event for which he had already earned the distinction of being the first EDM artist to solo- headline the venue. A sell-out the day after at Bill Graham Auditorium in San Francisco added to the list of successes.

“San Francisco was a really great city to me, it has a lot of importance to me, even just the West Coast in general. These people, when no one else was listening, they were paying attention and supporting me and coming out to my shows. I was having a hard time getting traction and having a hard time getting people to pay attention, like, ‘Hey! Listen to my music!’ But San Francisco just embraced me immediately and Los Angeles was right behind them, so I just have a lot of love for these cities. They definitely helped me form who I am as an artist and have had a huge impact on my life.”

Live DVD While Kaskade has roots in Chicago, that take him through Utah and Japan before settling eventually in California, it seems appropriate that the milestone of selling out Staples Center in Los Angeles is also the site chosen to document the performance and tour highlights in a DVD set to be released in the fall. If the footage of the tour up on his website is any indication, the DVD is a must-have for fans across the globe. “It’s cool for me because I’ve been involved with this music for a long time and I love it so much, so to see all these people finally discovering it and getting as excited about it as I am is just, it’s very rewarding.” When news of the sell- out hit the wires, his Twitter was set ablaze with congratulations and respect from other internationally renowned DJs and producers.

Kaskade has now wrapped the ‘Freaks of Nature’ tour and after some dates in Europe has returned 015

“I mean, I know what the beginning of the story is. Broke and living in San Fran, I know the beginning and I feel like this is the middle — I’m somewhere in the middle right now. People are discovering the music and they’re loving it, electronic music is popular. I feel like this is kind of the middle of the story and right now I’m hitting my stride and so many people are interested in EDM just in general. I don’t think about specifics, about what’s on the other side, cuz ya know, I feel like for me, I love doing this so I think I’d be doing this regardless! I mean, I was broke in San Francisco doing it, I imagine if nobody liked what I was doing I would just continue to do it. Maybe it would have been like a really passionate hobby and I would have sold real estate on the side (laughs) or whatever… or a hairstylist! Who knows? But luckily for me it took off and people discovered the music…”

So maybe long hair, belt buckle, usher guy has never heard of Kaskade, but his name and music are undoubtedly leaving their mark across the globe. Standing at the gates looking to get in are more than just eager fans that will write post-show Tweets like ‘Kaskade changed my life’, or ‘Best night of my life, I love you Kaskade!’ Looking in are those unexpected guests that do see a pot o’ gold on the other side, hoping to monetize the best-night-of-my-life experience. Kaskade’s approach reminds the community that they are in control of the business as much as they are in control of their own art. That the music comes first and each artist can play master curator. And that nice guys don’t always finish last.

“Well, Miami was huge for me. Bayfront was just an amazing night. I knew the show would do well down there or sell out, but I didn’t realize there was so much anticipation to get in! It was amazing. There were like hundreds of people waiting to get in! Man, I went in the back and there were 10 fans back there that had been sold bunk tickets! Wow, I felt so bad, I was wishing I had a way to get those guys in.”

In a perfect world, those 10 kids sold fake tickets by the scalping darklords trying to make a buck off EDM were also the nine seen plotting near the side gate to get in, and since they did probably ended up having the best night of their lives to date. Hashtag good guys. Hashtag winning.

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