To say last year was big for Kaskade would be an understatement. Besides headlining the festival circuit and remixing Jack Ü’s summer earworm “Where Are Ü Now,” one of the world’s top-earning DJs dropped his major-label debut Automatic in September while drawing record-breaking crowds for his returning residencies at XS and Encore Beach Club.
Though he shows no sign of slowing down in 2016—he’s blowing up Super Bowl Weekend at XS for his only Vegas set this winter—Kaskade is always on a slightly different wavelength than his superstar DJ colleagues. Before he packed nightclubs, Ryan Raddon (who turns 45 this month) cut his teeth spinning vinyl in the ’80s, paying his dues in the underground Chicago scene. It has earned him respect among electronic purists while also allowing him to produce chart-topping bangers like August single “We Don’t Stop.” It’s no wonder he’s landed top-billings at music festivals around the world.
An unusual character in the nightlife industry, Raddon is also a member of the LDS church, proudly challenging DJ stereotypes with his sober, family-oriented lifestyle. He might not party like the rest, but there’s no questioning the musical methods of the progressive house DJ, or the fact that he’s a master at making gigantic crowds groove to his glistening beats. One night under his spell and it’s obvious Kaskade is an instrumental force in electronic dance music—not just here, but everywhere. Kaskade at XS at Encore, February 6.