It’s a busy life for Kaskade. The American DJ/producer closes his Summer Lovin residency at Marquee this weekend, with an album due out next month and yet another tour just around the corner.
But it all seems to be worth it: The album’s title track, “Atmosphere,” debuted at No. 1 at digital EDM store Beatport and netted the man born Ryan Raddon his 12th Top 10 single on Billboard’s Dance/Mix Show Airplay, a milestone only Rihanna, David Guetta and Britney Spears have achieved. Before he bids summer goodbye, we caught him for a quick recap of the hot season.
With Summer Lovin wrapping up at Marquee, what are you taking home from the whole experience? At this point, no one can argue that Las Vegas isn’t the center of the world when it comes to electronic music. You know, as an American and somebody who’s been there a long time, as an artist that’s believed in the city, it’s been cool to see people follow my lead. It’s been cool to see the growth firsthand.
What would you do differently next summer? Oh, man (laughs). I don’t know. I don’t know how to make it any more intense and any more crazy than it already is. I’m already looking forward to next summer. I’ve been lamenting that Labor Day is around the corner. So, bigger and better for next year? Why not?
Has your setlist changed much over the summer? Yeah, as the summer progressed I added more songs from the Atmosphere album into the mix. I finished the album in February, but the album has many more subdued moments on it. Songs needed to be remixed and mashed up. Oh, and [I added] a lot of new material. I’d get bored if I was playing the same stuff all the time.
Would you say you had a favorite dance track this summer? The track of the summer for me is “Atmosphere,” for sure. I started probably half of my sets with that song. It’s only been out a couple of months, but yeah, I think that’s not only my song of the summer, but might be everybody’s song (laughs).
What has been the reaction to “Atmosphere” at Summer Lovin and at festivals? I debuted it at Ultra Music Festival in front of 75,000 people, and I’ve played it in festivals the whole summer, and the reaction’s been incredible. And sales- and chart-wise, it’s just been one of those tracks.
What’s up with the airport motif in some of the Atmosphere track titles? That’s me. I travel a lot. I spend close to 300 days a year on the road. And when I’m working on the music on the plane, flying from LAX to JFK, I’ll name the file that. When I’m in the studio to put the record together, those files are still there, so I figured, Oh man, it’d be cool to put a segue track through different parts of the record.
In Fire & Ice, you split two different sonic approaches between the two halves of the double album, but Atmosphere is a single album with a variety of sounds. Was it deliberate to go against the grain or did that just come organically in the studio? It was just organic. The only thing deliberate was that so many electronic artists are reaching out to pop artists now, I preferred to make this a more introspective record, instead of what’s popular and what’s happening right now with the music. I don’t feel that electronic music has to stand on the back of urban artists or anyone else to be recognized. It’s great music.
What kind of things are you cooking up post-Atmosphere? I’m doing this arena tour in the fall, the Atmosphere Tour. The closest to Vegas that I’ll [get] is the Los Angeles Shrine Expo Hall. Instead of doing a lot of little rooms, I decided I’d do a lot of big arenas and play a few less shows. I’m continually touring—South Africa, India, a run in Asia, South America. Like I said, I’m on the road constantly playing shows. Just trying to get out there and have that balance between the tour and the studio. It’s a tricky one.
And of course, you’re coming back to Vegas, right? Oh yeah. I’ll be back next year for Summer Lovin 2014.
Summer Lovin September 1, 10 a.m., $60 men, $30 women. Marquee Dayclub, 333-9000.