Ryan Raddon (Kaskade)
Ryan Raddon (born 25 February 1971), an American DJ and record producer, is a native of Chicago. He grew up in nearby Northbrook and attended Glenbrook North High School. From 1989 to 1990 he attended Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah and worked on his DJ skills in his dorm room.
At age 19, he served a two-year full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Japan. After returning from his mission in 1992, he moved to Salt Lake City, Utah and attended the University of Utah where he earned a degree in communications. It was there that he met his wife, fellow snowboarder, Naomi. While attending school, he ran a record store in Salt Lake City called Mechanized. In 1995, he became the DJ of his first weekly Monday night party at a basement venue called Club Manhattan and used the additional income to purchase studio essentials.
Raddon is best known by his stage name Kaskade. He took his stage name from a nature book when he saw a picture of a waterfall and a co-worker agreed “cascade” was a good choice, but he later changed the spelling. Through the years, he has managed to achieve an astounding level of success, at times making as much as $200,000 per night. He was voted America’s Best DJ 2011 by D.J. Times and Pioneer D.J. He was also voted America’s Best DJ 2013 by D.J. Times. Along with producer Deadmau5 and Wolfgang Gartner, Kaskade became popular during the revival of American progressive house in late 2008-early 2009. In 2014, Forbes ranked him as the No. 8 highest paid DJ in the world, raking in $17 million in that year alone.
All the while he remains true to his faith and values. He has commented:
I’m not promoting drugs or anything. Club culture is about leaving your cares behind, and I am trying to create that environment. I honestly don’t think you need to be high to enjoy that.
Are people taking drugs? Yes. I’m not naïve. I know that there are people out there who are high. Yeah, I wish they wouldn’t do that. You can still enjoy this performance and have a great experience sober.
Raddon is 44-years-old, married, and the father of three daughters. The family currently lives in Los Angeles, California. His ninth studio album is due out in the fall. He recently commented:
It’s tough—having a family, being in the studio, and being on the road. I think I’m just really calculating with my time. Before I said ‘yes’ to everything and was DJing for cheeseburgers, but now I really think things through. And with the fans, I always want to give them everything, but I also have to hold things back and keep some things for me.
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