Share a Coke with one of the top DJs in the world? Check!
In town for his main stage performance at TomorrowWorld, electronic dance music (EDM) artist Kaskade stopped by to say hello at Coke HQ in Atlanta. I sat down with Kaskade to talk about his ninth album, Automatic, and his surprising Coca-Colaconnection.
WE’RE ALL ABOUT MOMENTS OF ‘SURPRISE AND DELIGHT’ HERE ATCOCA-COLA. WHAT’S SOMETHING THAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?
Kaskade: Oh, ha, I thought someone was going to enter this room or something and go “Ahhh!” like my high school choir teacher (laughs). I lived in Tokyo for a few years, and I speak Japanese. When I tell people that, they’re always surprised.
Meagan: So can you say… I love Atlanta in Japanese?
Kaskade: **Says "I love Atlanta" in Japanese but I’m not going to even attempt to transcribe**
YOU HAVE YOUR ALBUM COMING OUT. CAN YOU GIVE US A TASTE OF WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT IT, AND WHAT YOU LOVE ABOUT IT?
Kaskade: Automatic is my ninth studio album. What’s different about it? I don’t know if it’s different... it’s just the ninth chapter in my story. I think in each album, I progress. I tell more about myself in different parts. Like hey, here’s a different story about something I haven’t told you about before. Songwriting wise, it’s very in line with what I’ve done in the past, just new stories for people to listen to. Sonically, I think it’s a step forward. I’m always trying to break new ground and move out of my comfort zone and make something that sounds fresh and exciting. I’m really happy with how this one turned out.
SO TELL ME... DID THE ALBUM RELEASE JUST HAPPEN TO LINE UP ON THE NIGHT YOU’RE HEADLINING TOMORROWWORLD?
Kaskade: So I’ve been asked this a lot. Like ‘He totally planned this!’
Meagan: Really?! I totally thought this was my question (dangit).
Kaskade: Honestly, I think I finished the record, I wanna say maybe six months ago, and I didn’t even know this would be happening... Maybe I should just start saying I planned it that way. Maybe that’s a better story. I tour a lot. I do somewhere between 120 and 150 shows each year. I’m on the road a lot... so it just happens to be that I’m here in Atlanta for TomorrowWorld the weekend the album comes out, which is great. I’ll play a lot of it at my show, and 50,000 people will get to hear it and some will hear it for the first time.
SPEAKING OF TOMORROWWORLD, WE’RE EXCITED ABOUT IT HERE, IT’S RIGHT IN OUR BACKYARD JUST OUTSIDE OF ATLANTA… WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT PERFORMING THERE?
Kaskade: Well I love playing in Atlanta. I love it here. It’s nice. It’s a very urban place that understands house music, so I have a long history of coming here and playing shows. I’ve been playing at clubs here for over 10 years, so it’s cool as electronic music got more and more popular and these festivals started to show up, to witness and participate in the growth of this scene here. So for me it’s always a cool moment to stand in front of all these people and be like, ‘Wow’. I can remember not so long ago playing in a basement to 200 people thinking, 'This is insane!’ Now I’ll be in a field an hour outside of Atlanta in front of 50,000 people thinking that same thing. ‘This is insane.’
SO GOING OFF THAT… FESTIVAL OR SHOW, WHAT’S YOUR PREFERENCE?
Kaskade: It’s like ‘Do you like chocolate ice cream or vanilla ice cream?’ I like them both, I get the swirl. You know, in the soft serve, I get the swirl. I’m that guy. They’re two totally different things, right? They’re the same, but very different experiences. I love the intimacy of club shows and the length of sets where I can play a really long time and stretch out and really connect with the people that are there in the room. That’s amazing. Festivals are cool because it’s very short and you just get to go there and punch people in the face (figuratively… with music) and have this incredible experience in front of tens and thousands of people. So they’re very different things in my mind and I enjoy both of them. Which is good because I do a lot of both, so yeah… (laughs)
FOR THOSE WHO AREN’T AS FAMILIAR WITH ELECTRONIC DANCE MUSIC, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE IT?
Kaskade: Electronic music is music generally composed on a computer which is a very broad statement, almost all music now is composed on a computer. But it’s just more synthetic in nature, meaning that the synths and everything like bass and drums are composed on a computer. It’s typically a one-man-band operation. I open up my laptop, and I go to work and create a song from scratch. Now that’s become extremely popular for people. It’s essentially disco for the year 2015. It’s dance music, you know? It’s very lively and fun... it’s about going out having a good time and dancing.
OKAY, NOW BRINGING IT BACK TO YOUR COCA-COLA CONNECTION, WHAT IS YOUR ALL TIME FAVORITE COKE MOMENT?
Kaskade: For me, writing and composing music for Coke, for you guys, was really cool. I mean I’ve been drinking Coke my whole life along with everyone else. You know, as a kid cracking open a Coke. So being asked to [write a song] was quite an honor for me because it was pretty early on in my career, it was almost 10 years ago now. when [Coke] commissioned me to write the song that was a big moment for me.
Meagan: Okay, recap on what the song was for.
Kaskade: It was for the Beijing Olympics and there was a [Coke] bottle that went along with the song, they commissioned an artist to design it. I wish we had them. I have them at home.
*Kaskade was one of eight music artists commissioned to work on the We8 Coke bottle campaign for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.
Meagan: Why didn’t anyone tell me to get the bottle?!?
Kaskade: (Laughs) Oh, it’s alright. Maybe we can flash a picture of the bottle… any way, the bottle went with the song. It was this limited-edition thing, and for me it was really cool because I was quite new to the music business and to have, you know, somebody like Coca-Cola come to me like ‘Hey, can you make a song for us?’ it was like ‘Uh, yes!’ My schedule was completely clear what do you guys need? It was a big moment for me and a great memory.
SO I HAVE THESE FOR YOU… (PULLS OUT TWO SHARE A COKE CANS). NOW I’M SHARING A COKE WITH KASKADE AND WITH AUTOMATIC!
Kaskade: Aw man, that’s awesome. Look at that. (poses for the camera). Boom! That's the shot. I want like 100 of these.
I JUST SHARED A COKE WITH YOU, BUT IF YOU COULD SHARE A COKE WITH ANYONE, LIVING OR DEAD, PAST OR PRESENT, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
Kaskade: Oh man, I’m gonna go with the touchy moment. My dad passed away a few years back, and it would be cool to crack open a Coke and sit here and drink it with him. I I just know my dad would think that was cool, so yeah.
Listen to Kaskade's new album here.
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