Kaskade Credits EDM's Current Mainstream Popularity To Lady Gaga and David Guetta
Earlier today we posted a Q&A with co-organizer Steve Aoki. As the week goes on, we'll be posting pleas from Identity artists on why attendees should be sure to check out their sets, as well as other insights. Right now, though, we're posting the conversation we recently had with internationally renowned producer and DJ Kaskade.
Like Aoki, he was involved with the festival from the get-go, helping pick the artists who'd perform.
We talked to Kaskade about a number of things -- how heavily he was involved in shaping Identity, his thoughts on the future of electronic dance music and why he thinks Dallas has always been a successful market for EDM artists like himself.
Read our conversation in full after the jump.
How are you feeling about the Identity Festival kicking off?
Excited, nervous, anxious. I was just talking to my wife about the dress rehearsals and how awesome they went. It's like a whole new world. I've never had a dress rehearsal before for any of my shows. The stage is so big for my show that I need a whole day to run through things.
What, specifically, is your involvement with the Identity Festival?
The guys putting it together came to me early on. I was one of the first people who committed. I was one of the first guys who was into the idea and was like, "I think this is groundbreaking." I'm a very controlling person and I think they were looking to my input, like, "If I do this I want it to be something cool, I don't want you guys to screw this up. So, you know, let's keep the dialog open here." So, when I talked to them I was like, "Look man, I think you guys should have this guy and this guy." I gave them 50, 60 names of what I thought were really cool artists, and electronic musicians that are doing cool and interesting things, and I was one of the guys who was speaking up and saying that it needs to be really diverse and represent a lot of different niches that are in EDM because it's been around for a long time now. And there's a lot of sounds out there and a lot of different styles and it's very diverse and I wanted this festival to represent that. This is going to be the first EDM festival that goes on the road and hits 20 cities. And it actually gets to represent what's happening in the underground and draws on some artists that are doing cool things.
Who are some of your favorite acts playing the festival?
I'm a big fan of Booka Shade, Rusko, Skrillex -- all the dub stuff that's happening. Dubstep, big fan. And Chuckie, he's a buddy of mine, I had him come play at the pool party in Vegas last year. I love a lot of acts. Booka Shade. Did I say them already? And, of course, Steve Aoki. He's one of the guys that really stepped up early on and was like, "Yeah, let's do this. Let's make it huge!" I was talking to him last night and saw his stage for the first time. It looks amazing. What Steve's doing is awesome. Pretty much everyone on the lineup, I'm excited to see. It's not like there's an "Oh yeah, I'll just skip that guy." There's a lot of great things going on with this.
From our understanding, the main aim was to put together a touring electronic music festival -- the first of its kind. Obviously, that means taking into consideration a varied lineup, considering the varied state of EDM subgenres. How did this factor into putting the festival together?
Yeah, for sure. Like, we're here in Indianapolis right now. In the last 15 years, I've probably only played four, maybe five shows here. It's like, "Cool man. Anyone's going to want to do this in like New York, Miami, Chicago, LA and San Francisco." Of course it could work in those cities. EDM's been working in those cities since the destruction of disco. But it's cool to go to a lot of these other cities, like Indianapolis, and all these other cities where its not so obvious. I mean 10 out of the 20 cities we're hitting, people are scratching their heads like "Can that work?" Well, y'know, I think that's important. This isn't just a movement that's happening on the coast, it's going on all over. I mean I'm talking to you in Dallas, and Dallas has been one of the scenes that's been really cool. For whatever reason, there was always that Dallas-Chicago connection from early on. I don't know why that happened, but you just had -- I forget the name of the club now, I played it way back, it's not there anymore. It's gone through 20 different configurations, since it was what it was 15 years ago. But there was that half-indoor, half-outdoor, warehouse space...
I love Lizard Lounge! That's been there forever and it's kind of one of those places that everyone's played. But there's another place that, I played -- aw, man there's too many clubs! I can't keep them all straight!