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Freeing The Music: Kaskade Asks, “What Does Free Really Mean?”

Kaskade Redux Behind the Scenes
Kaskade's Redux shows take place in only the most intimate venues.

As Americans, we pride ourselves on being free, having the right to voice our opinions, and take stances on important issues as we fight for what we believe in. But in a country that is known to pride itself on this freedom, we rarely actually give away anything for free without some kind of attachment. Companies, even with us included, will tell you that in order to win “free” tickets you need to like x, fill out your information and invite a friend or two.” But does that really mean its free?

In his recent series of blog posts, Kaskade has been opening up the conversation about free music and what it means. Throughout his post he questions not only what it means for something to be free but why he even needs to define the word free.

Recently, Kaskade was met with this series of questions by Steve Martocci after he lent his thoughts on the removal of his and other artists’ music from SoundCloud due to copy law violations. While Kaskade was quick to point out that he was in the wrong, he was also twice as quick to say there’s a flaw in a system where money dictates who can access and share music. He argues that through sharing music you open up others to new experiences as well as allow for others to expand their creativity, saying succinctly that if you “free the music, and your cash will flow.”

Kaskade free means free

Kaskade has made himself the voice of reason within EDM.

Shortly, after his post Kaskade released the stems for his track Ain’t Gotta Lie and challenged the music world to create their own versions. However, Martocci met Kaskade’s idea to release his music for free with skepticism. Questioning  him on what does it mean when he says the stems are free? Are there restrictions? Will he come after people later? He asks the simple question, “are they free as in beer or are they free as in speech?”

Kaskade was prompt in responding to the questions posed by Martocci about his decision to release his stems for free. Yes, free really meant free. No strinsg attached.

The short simple answer is: Free means free as a bird. Fly, little stems, be free. Go make beautiful music without me. Free is really free.

But then that begs the question: why should someone who worked so hard to create a piece of music give it away for free? Kaskade poignantly answers that by giving away free music, or in this case stems, your allowing others to develop their creativity into their own beautiful piece of artwork.

I trust that with these stems out there, people are not going to simply mimic my version of Ain’t Gotta Lie. They can make siblings but not clones.

Releasing stems allows for collaborations that you would never expect to happen. After Kaskade released his stems for Ain’t Gotta Lie a twitter follower named Ted Keyes came up with an idea and asked Kaskade to look at it. When Kaskade looked at it he liked the idea but it hadn’t been fully developed, so he helped Keyes to complete it. What ensued was a collaboration between Kaskade and Keyes. All because Kaskade released his stems FOR FREE.

 

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