Ryan Raddon has already been riding the waves of a successful career. The Chicago-born, Orange County-based DJ/producer better known as Kaskade is about to crest its newest ripple, a summer residency at the new Encore Beach Club beginning May 30. TheWeekly caught up with him again to chat about his new gig, recent album release, and his request for prostitutes and towels in the DJ booth?
You could probably get a residency anywhere in the world. Why choose Las Vegas?
I love Las Vegas! C’mon, who doesn’t love Las Vegas? (Laughing.) I mean, maybe in the month of August it’s a little tough to love Las Vegas, but nah. Once the guys over at the Wynn showed me the plans for the Encore Beach Club… it’s a pool, but this thing is humongous! It’s like a nightclub/pool experience. I was like, “Not only do I want to come once a month, I want to make my own night. I want to do my own party. I want to dosomething. Let’s make it happen.”
Do you have any plans yet for dealing with the heat of the Vegas summers?
Lots of water. That’s the extent of my plan right there.
With so many gigs back to back at the same venue, are you worried you’ll fall into a pattern or get bored? What do you think you can do to keep it interesting for not only the crowd but for you?
I have a feeling that this party is going to be so rockin’ that I’m not going to have to worry about being bored. I’m hoping so. But that’s my feeling and that’s kind of the feedback. If it’s really boring? I don’t know. There’s always ways to keep it interesting.
How did the collaboration with Tiësto come about for the track “Only You”?
He’s been a supporter of my music for a while… He was in Los Angeles and the timing was perfect. I was working on a record and he literally called me up: “Hey man, let’s do something about it. I know we’ve talked about it a couple of times.” And I said, “Dude, I have a vocal right here that I’m not totally sure which direction I’m supposed to go with it.” … He said, “Yeah, let me take a crack at it.” … He sent it back to me a week later and he’d done a bunch of stuff to it and I was like, “This is amazing! Finish it up, this direction is awesome!”
What’s your personal favorite track on the album?
I like “Call Out” a lot. “All That You Give” also. But I love “Dynasty,” and that’s why I named the record that. I wrote that song first.
You’ve said you write a lot of the lyrics. Was that the case with this album too?
It was. I collaborated a lot with Finn Bjarson, he’s one of my mentors. And Dragonette wrote the melody and the lyrics for the song that I worked with her on: “Fire in your New Shoes.” You know what? I really love that song, too, so let me add that to the list. (Laughing.) I mean, I love all the tracks on the record or else I wouldn’t have put them on there. It’s always a tough question, like “Pick your favorite child.”
I think my favorite on the album is “Say It’s Over.”
“Say it’s Over” — I haven’t heard too many people say that.
That’s the one I’ve been putting on repeat.
Allright. I like to hear that! I’ll get cracking on a remix of that one right now.
As far as playing live, a lot of DJs request booze be readily available at their gigs, like bottles of vodka, Patron, etc. but you don’t drink. What’s on your rider?
I have water, Coke and Diet Coke — I really don’t know what else is on there. Maybe some funny stuff like green M&Ms, fresh strawberries, something like that. I’m very low maintenance when it comes to that stuff — oh, except for that weird thing when I’m like, “I need 10 prostitutes shaking in the booth.” (Laughing.)… I think the hardest thing is, “Can I have a couple of towels?” because I like putting my CDs on towels when I play, and that’s always a difficult request for some reason.
What are the towels for? So you can lay out your CDs and they won’t get scratched in the booth?
Yeah, and another thing, people are always spilling drinks on me. I’ve been spilled on and my CDs have been spilled on. I like having the towels, because if people spill on them you can wipe it off. Or, if you’re really hot and sweaty you can wipe off.
Many producers, including yourself, reiterate that the music is all about love. Why do you think that is?
I think house music and disco in general is kind of rooted in that. I mean really, what is this about? It’s about people getting together on the weekend and celebrating. That’s what the nightclub experience is for a lot of people… That’s kind of what disco was about — the PG version: Let’s get together and have a good time and celebrate. Leave your cares of the world behind, listen to music and have a good time. And that just emanates love.
Originally published in Las Vegas Weekly.