Backbeat: Kaskade at the Grammy Museum

Kaskade and Grammy Museum executive director Bob Santelli in conversation (Photo: WireImage.com / R. Sapp.)

History was made at the Grammy Museum last week when they hosted their very first Electronic Dance Music-themed event. The evening, which featured a Q&A with Kaskade, sold out to the public in four minutes. Kaskade arrived on stage to a crowd of cheering fans and discussed everything from inspiration behind his songs to how he finds the vocalists that he collaborates with, his thoughts on EDM becoming more mainstream, and how he balances a hearty touring schedule with being a husband and father. He also whipped out his laptop and treated attendees to some never before heard material that he was in the process of working on.

Prior to the Q&A, we caught up with Kaskade who expressed his excitement for being nominated for a 2013 Grammy award for his seventh studio album, Fire & Ice. The 41-year-old DJ/producer told Billboard that he was on a flight to Asia when the nominations were announced and he was among the last to hear the news.

"It was kind of a funny way to find out. I got off the plane to a lot of texts, tweets, and a few emails. I just had my tour manager and I was like 'Dude!' We shared the moment together."

Kaskade mentioned that he's happy to see the Grammy's starting to take note of electronic music. "I feel like now more than ever, the people that are nominated really represent the genre well. In years past, it was like 'Best Dance Recording' - Britney Spears, Rihanna... It's cool that people are catching on now and the process has really clicked and they've got it fairly dialed and figured out now.

Grammy Museum Director Bob Santelli, who led the Q&A, told Billboard that he's been busy gearing up for February - "the busiest time of the year for the Grammy Museum." He also explained that the museum has some new developments in the works.


Kaskade and Santelli in conversation (Photo: WireImage.com / R. Sapp.)

"We're moving ahead on several big things and really expanding our horizons. We started last year with our traveling exhibitions program. We've had exhibits in Paris and London and this year we'll have exhibits in Canada, Miami and other places around the country. As we begin to get to our 5th anniversary, which is in December, the goal is for us to broaden our imprint here in Los Angeles, expand our educational programs nationally and to reach out internationally so that our exhibits aren't just here in Los Angeles but extend well beyond California."

In addition to organizing the traveling exhibits, the Grammy Museum recently signed a deal with AXS TV (whose network partners include: Mark Cuban, AEG, Ryan Seacrest Media, Creative Artists Agency), to be a part of their AXSLive broadcast. "We'll be presenting these Q&A type of programs 12 times a year at least and will start to have a television presence," explained Santelli. So far, the museum has filmed a pilot with AXS in November, which featured Foreigner, and shot another episode with Lifehouse. "Being on AXS and bringing EDM to AXS will be one of our main goals," he added.


Kaskade plays some of his unreleased material for the fans in attendance (Photo: WireImage.com / R. Sapp.)

Santelli says that the museum is also in the process of putting together their first ever EDM-focused exhibit. "Other museums have inquired if we are going to do something and we said, 'Maybe we should.' The plan is for it to focus more on the actual creative process that goes into creating EDM.

"I love EDM. I was introduced it a few years ago from going to LA clubs. I'm so happy that finally something has come to the surface, not only as a new music form but with it's own culture. Kaskade has been such an intricate part of that process and this event is very historic to us," said Santelli.

According to Santelli, the Kaskade Q&A brought a new generation of music lovers into the Grammy Museum for the first time. "We opened ticket sales up to our members first, but a lot of them are older and it didn't sell too well. Then the public bought it out. This allowed for a new crowd to have a reason to visit the museum. I'd say that 80% of those kids in there haven't been to the Grammy Museum before."