Twenty years ago I had the opportunity to broadcast live on Party 93.1fm from a super popular nightclub venue called Voodoo Lounge in Downtown Fort Lauderdale.
Voodoo Lounge was jam-packed practically every night of the week, especially on Wednesday “Ladies night”. I think the combination of free drinks for the ladies, along with the incredibly hot bar staff, along with all of the best South Florida promoters helped!
Our Wednesday night, “Ladies Night” live broadcast with DJ Raul Roc da House was growing at a rapid pace but then all of a sudden, after a couple of months of being on-air working with Raul, I found out that he wasn’t going to work the broadcast DJing anymore and that our “board op guy”, Cato K., was going to fill in… and the rest is history.
After his first hour of DJing live with me I’ll never forget the question he asked me, he said, “Nat, did that sound OK? I’m so fucken nervous right now and I don’t want to fuck this up!”
My response was, “Yes, Cato, you sounded better than OK, you sounded FUCKEN AMAZING!”.
From then on out, Cato and I worked nearly every live broadcast or remote for Party 93.1 together. Before we knew it, close to 3 1/2 years had passed and my time at Party 93.1 ended as the station flipped formats to Rock music and my run at Voodoo Lounge went with it as well. I felt like my heart was broken and taken away from me in a flash, but for Cato, it was just the beginning.
At that time when the station closed its frequency in 2003, Electronic Dance Music was barely coming into its prime in the South Florida area and our radio station did what it could to give it justice. We went as far as being huge sponsors for Ultra and WMC.
We knew we were on the right track, but the advertising numbers didn’t prove it – yet.
Over 90% of the entire Party 93.1 staff was either let go and/or were repositioned in other roles at the Cox Media building in Hollywood, FL. I went on to work for 93 Rock and Cato, well, he went on a trajectory in his career that put him in a major power position as a DJ in EDM. He kept the dream of dance music alive through radio.
He became one of America’s hottest mix show and club DJs, dominating Miami airwaves and shaping the sound of the Magic City dance music scene.
He ended up signing with the premier dance label, Ultra Records where he released four compilations with more than 150,000 albums sold worldwide…
Club Sessions with Cato K., was heard weekly on Miami’s Party Station Power 96 and as well landed on the radio and satellite frequencies of Y100 and SiriusXM. His mix show became one of the most downloaded podcasts on iTunes consistently ranking in the Top 50 music podcasts with such artists as Tiesto, Armin Van Buuren, Avicii, Roger Sanchez, Matt Darey and Ferry Corsten.
He ended up signing with the premier dance label, Ultra Records where he released four compilations with more than 150,000 albums sold worldwide, (that was huge back in the day because CDs were ish at the time.). Ultra Weekend 3, Ultra 2008 and Ultra 2009 all reached the top of the Billboard Electronic Album charts.
His success led him to perform at a variety of mega-clubs such as Space, Mansion, Cameo, Nikki Beach and Nocturnal, just to name a few.
You would think that this was a typical “work your way up the ladder” success story, but it’s not. There was so much going on behind the scenes that not many people knew about.
A personal battle within himself was taking place. It was a war of “life or death” and he had to make a choice to not only save himself, but his family too.
Previously being in the military, Cato already had mental toughness and knew that discipline was needed to make a change that would shock the entire EDM community.
By pressing the “stop button” on a DJ career that was literally blasting off, many people began to criticize his decision and asked why? Why would you be so stupid to give this up? Why would you throw away this opportunity?
Hold on, now you’re now a photographer for the Miami Marlins? Wait, now your HMIC as the Manager of Photography for the Houston Astros?
And….you look like a totally different person?
In the interview you’re about to hear, he answers those questions and more. It’s raw, it’s candid and by his request, it’s unedited. (FMLLLLLLL Cato!!!!)
It had been over 10 years since I last saw Cato K. and when I pulled up to his hotel in Miami to record this interview back in February, my eyes welled up with tears and my heart was filled with so many emotions. We went through the radio trenches together.
This truly was a beautiful reunion. I was back with homie.
Now, let’s get into the mind of Cato K….
Written by: Natalia Radziuk