San Francisco will always be a special place for Kaskade: “I lived on Fourth and King Street, across from the ballpark. That was my stomping ground,” says Ryan Raddon, the Los Angeles-based, Chicago-born DJ-producer, 46, who resided in The City for 10 formative years (starting in 2000) and returns this weekend for his annual New Year’s Eve show at the Bill Graham Civic. “My second daughter was born at UCSF, and for four years, I had a monthly residency at DNA Lounge; San Francisco is a huge part of my story,” says the artist, who issued his first seasonal recording, “Kaskade Christmas,” in 2017.
How old are your three kids? And do they ever startle you with weird new music they’re listening to?
They’re 14, 12 and 7. And this is a constant conversation we have in the car, because now everything is Spotified, so my kids are Spotify experts. So every time we get in the car, they want to play me some new playlist tune. And yeah, most of the time I think it sucks. But isn’t that what a dad’s supposed to say? “That sucks! That’s not house music! This is garbage!”
But have they turned you on to anything great?
All the time. I don’t pay attention to pop music like they do, and when you’re a teenager the radio and Spotify playlists mean so much, because that’s what all your friends are listening to. And I’ve basically been living in a nightclub for the past 25 years, so dance music has always been my world. So it’s cool to have my kids to talk to, with tastes in pop music.
What’s your take on modern sounds?
I’ll listen to Spotify’s list of the top 100 songs, trending globally, and 95 percent of them sound like they were written and produced by one guy, just with different lead singers — someone who saw what was working, went into the studio, and replicated that. But then you always have four or five songs that just stick out like a sore thumb, yet are working. So I’m always interested in the songs that are working that shouldn’t be.
What do you learn from them?
I think a lot of people are just chasing the trend, so I’m not hearing a ton of originality. But that opens the door for people who are original. Look at me — I’ve never had music on the radio. But I’m coming to San Francisco to play for 16,000, 17,000 people, and my last show there was for 20,000. So I think fans are discovering music in newer ways than they were before.
IF YOU GO
Where: Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, 99 Grove St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Dec. 30-31
Tickets: $59.50 to $99.50
Contact: (415) 624-8900, www.ticketmaster.comDJKascade ChristmasKaskadePop MusicproducerRyan Raddon