The W Hotel in downtown Atlanta narrows twice near its summit, 28 gloriously reflective stories in the air, so that the roof of the building feels almost impossibly small. All that glass and concrete - the luminescent terrace infinity pool, the 300-plus rooms with Macassar wood and Dornbracht faucets - culminates in a demure square helipad that a giant gorilla might regard as a trampoline. Ryan Raddon, an average-sized man, stands at the edge of the helipad one misty evening in late September and instinctively positions himself for a selfie, his arm outstretched at a flattering 45 degrees as a sleek black helicopter whirs in view of his iPhone's camera. It has been raining intermittently all day, and gray, leaden clouds give the towering skyline a forbidding mystique.
Raddon, 44, who produces electronic dance music under the name Kaskade and has twice been voted America's Best DJ (2011 and 2013), is accompanied on the helipad by his wife, Naomi; a concierge; a journalist; and his videographer, a 26-year-old named Jet, who loops around the helicopter angling to capture the tableau. The pilot, a round man in rectangular glasses, idles patiently with a watchful eye on the hazy horizon. Raddon and crew are unhurried. Over the course of Kaskade's 250 touring days every year - which, in 2015, have helped make him the seventh-highest-paid DJ in the world with an estimated $18 million in revenue, according to Forbes - there are moments to scramble and moments to savor. This is the latter.