Kaskade to bring Freaks of Nature to Park City
Voted America’s Best DJ by DJ Times in 2011, Kaskade is the cool older brother of the house industry. His beats are clean and irresistible. From pure anthem hits, to more pulsing melodies, Kaskade is what most DJs wish they could be. He’s worked with everyone in the industry, from Deadmau5 to Tiesto and Skrillex.
Fresh off a record crowd at Coachella and headlining the Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, he’ll be bringing his Freaks of Nature show to the intimate setting of Park City Live (formerly Harry O’s) on July 31. Tickets are $40 and available through freaksofnaturetour.com.
He chatted with QSaltLake about his experiences while attending Brigham Young University and University of Utah, and what he remembers about Utah clubs.
You spent some time here in Utah attending both BYU and UofU, how has that shaped your music and career?
When I moved to Utah, I had crates of records and considered my love for music to be just an expensive hobby. It took me moving there to realize that if I wanted to listen to house music, I was going to have to be the one to play it. So living there motivated and inspired me to be more than just a person who was on the sidelines.
Do you remember any of the clubs you visited here in Utah while going to college?
Oh, I pretty much hit them all looking for good music. But Bricks was kind of my mainstay and of course Club Manhattan.
Do you still have roots here?
When I lived there no one in my family lived there – they were all in Chicago. But since I left, some of my siblings have moved there, so I get to go back and visit on occasion. Also, Utah has the best snow on earth so I try to make a snowboarding trip at least once a year.
I’ve read that you’re a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Has that ever impeded you from working with people or landing a gig?
I have played thousands of shows over the years and there might be a few in there that had some kind of conflict, but the number is so small that I really don’t have any recollection of it.
Do you have a large Mormon fan base?
Honestly, I don’t know. I make music for everyone to listen to and enjoy – I have not targeted any particular audience or even paid that much attention.
You’ve worked with just about everyone in the electronic scene and most of the major pop stars — Beyonce, Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake and others. Who are your favorite artists to work with?
Anyone who challenges me and is willing to make something that sounds fresh. My recent collaboration with Skrillex was a really fun one. Our styles are different, but musically we are in a similar space.
Most wouldn’t see you and Skrillex as an intuitive match. Was it difficult to work with such a different style?
Although his style is much more aggressive than mine, I still find that it has interesting music in there. So I knew he was very musical and would get what I was trying to do when I reached out to him. We had a lot of fun making the song.
What was it like to work with Skylar Grey on Fire and Ice? Was it as amazing as I have imagined?
Yes and probably even better. She really is an amazing talent, and at the same time is probably the coolest person I have ever hung out with. It was really refreshing to work with someone so real and open to new ideas.
Unlike some of the recent additions to the electronic scene, you’ve been performing for more than a decade. How have you seen the scene change? Where do you think it’s headed?
The biggest change is the size of the scene – it’s huge now. It seems like the clubs are not big enough to hold the crowds now. In the past, a 1,000-person club was enormous, and now that is the side room. Not sure where it is headed – I am just enjoying this moment when so many people seem to be open to electronic music.
Your album, Fire and Ice, is phenomenal. How did you come up with the concept of mixing each song twice?
I had the idea a few years ago when working on the song “Steppin’ Out.” I thought to myself that it was such a strong song that it could be remixed so many ways and still stand out as a strong song. It made me think that to highlight the song, I should do an album where there are two mixes of each song. It took a lot of time, but in the end it was worth it.
With many used to your anthem-ready tracks, such as “Dynasty,” were you ever apprehensive about how your fans would see the new album?
I am always a little concerned about how people will hear my new music, but I know that is fleeting. In the end, I make music that I love and I hope that others will enjoy it too.
After performing at Coachella and being on a nationwide tour, you’ll be here at a small, intimate venue in Park City. Is it tough to make that switch? Or do you enjoy the different venue size?
It’s a little tricky but I enjoy it. I came up playing small clubs and sometimes those spots have the best vibes. Bigger is not always better.
Any last words for ‘QSaltLake’ readers?
See you guys at the show!