Grammy-nominated Kaskade (born Ryan Raddon) is not just a producer-DJ hiding feebly under the American blanket music genre "EDM." Raddon's band Late Night Alumni, recently dropped their fourth studio The Beat Becomes A Sound (January 29th, Ultra Music). The album's orchestration is like the music genie escaping its bottle to grant a wish on today's sonic zeigeist; airy but not fluffy, poignant breaks, but no head-bangers.
In addition to ‘The Beat Becomes A Sound,’ Ultra is releasing a 6-week video series, featuring Late Night Alumni’s Performance at the Masonic Temple in Salt Lake City, including unreleased material from the new album along with a plethora of past album hits. Watch Episode Three Above.
Lead singer Becky Jean Williams is the angelic voice of dance music hits like "Start Again" and "Empty Streets", which Toyota used for its IQ ad campaign and has appeared on more than a dozen of the world’s biggest dance compilations.
VIBE: Tell us about working with Kaskade- studio quips or quirks that you'd like to share?.
Becky Jean Williams: Every time we get together, it's always really laid back and fun...and there's always good food involved. I am continually amazed at Ryan's endless stores of energy and enthusiasm. I call him "The Mutant" because I can't imagine that anyone without super-human powers would be able to do what he does all the time. He's a machine and he loves what he does.
How'd you link up with Ryan?
I think Ryan is always on the lookout for vocalists. Late Night Alumni had already been formed before John and I came on. They'd even tried recording with another vocalist, which didn't end up working out. They heard my voice on a local Christmas compilation and asked me to come into the studio to try my voice over the song "Empty Streets." That ended up being the first Late Night Alumni song and things just took off from there.
What's it like performing while pregnant? Baby names your considering
Performing while pregnant has been crazy! A lot more physical and mental energy is required to pull off a performance while dealing with all the side effects of having a bun in the oven. When I first found out I was pregnant, I was a little doubtful that I could pull off all the shows we'd scheduled. But thanks to a lot of support from family, the LNA clan and understanding fans, I've managed to make it through without too many hiccups. I can't wait to get back in the game and see how I handle the road when I'm feeling normal again. I already have a little girl named Ruby Jean who is 21 months old. She'll be getting a little brother in May. I'm naming him Wesley Eugene. A couple more kids and we can start a family band.
Who are your musical influeces?
As far as the band goes, we are inspired by a melting pot of genres. I grew up on folk music and British pop. As the years have gone by, I've found something to love in almost every genre; from Santigold to The Strokes, to Kaskade. We're all over the place. I think that's part of what makes our collective sound so unique and memorable.