"When I'm writing and creating music, it's hard to hide from who you are. Even when I make aggressive stuff, it doesn't sound genuine, so I think the music is a reflection of who I am -- I'm a lover!"
Kaskade admits to being a fan of sentimental songwriters like the Cure's Robert Smith, Sting and even Sade. He came into that world, himself, by playing around with poetry, but says, being "such a music guy, I thought I should fuse the worlds a bit and try my hand at songwriting." That was about the time he moved to San Francisco and started hanging out with other songwriters.
"I'd ask people things like, like, 'How do you make an idea work and make it succinct in a short amount of time?' It was like learning how to get my ideas out in less words."
It was in San Francisco that Kaskade released his first single for house music label OM Record, where he worked as an A&R guy (he's since signed to Ultra Records). "I've always been interested in new sounds and progressed as an artist," he says. "I was influenced by Chicago house and New Wave. New sounds in drum'n'bass and dubstep get me excited, too. I always liked stuff that's a bit more musical and could make a good song with interesting production."
Now based in L.A., the DJ and producer is heavily involved in Identity Festival, a touring lineup of more than 30 DJs and electronic artists like Steve Aoki, Skrillex, DJ Shadow, Pretty Lights and Rusko, with 20 dates across America kicking off Aug. 11. Electronic music is really hitting an apex in the US, with the 2011 Miami Winter Conference clocking record attendees and over 250,000 fans checking out the Electric Daisy Carnival earlier this year. So, naturally, Kaskade is excited for Identity.
"Electronic music has never had the profile that it does now," he says. "Its been slowing gaining momentum in the interior US for 20 years. When Identity Festival approached me, I felt the time was now and people were ready; with Lady Gaga as big as she is, it seems like part of the sound has crossed over to the mainstream. I knew someone was going to do something like this eventually, and that it was time for someone to get it together."