Exclusive Interview with Andrew Rayel
Andrew Rayel has graced the stage of many festivals, but this time around it counts on a whole new level. The Moldovan monarch of trance was granted the honor to host his very own stage at this years EDC Las Vegas. Along with Insomniac and Dreamstate, Andrew Rayel anchored the Find Your Harmony stage on Sunday, May 26, 2019. A night of beauty, fun, trance, and fireworks. With the help of multiple fellow trance artists, Andrew Rayel brought the house down for one epic and unforgettable evening. We sat with the “One in a million’ DJ to discuss the monumental evening, his career path and thoughts on what it all means now.
OneEDM: You just had a huge leap in your career as you partnered with Insomniac and Dreamstate at EDC Las Vegas to host the “Find Your Harmony” stage. Please tell us about that?
Andrew Rayel: It was massive, probably one of the biggest achievements in my career. It was a beautiful stage with an amazing design. Partnering with Insomniac and Dreamsate produced one stellar stage. I brought a lot of my DJ friends to join me, Ruben De Ronde, David Gravell, Space Corps, Andrew Bayer, Cosmic Gate, MaRlo, and Mark Sixma. What made it the best night was the presence of not just colleagues but the presence of friends. It felt like a family stage.
Would this be one of the most memorable moments of EDC Las Vegas 2019 for you?
I think this is going to be the biggest highlight of 2019 for me. We still have another “Find Your Harmony” solo show. The next one is planned in Asia which we will probably announce very soon. It will be a smaller stage with only about 3000 people. Smaller venue different vibe.
This Find Your harmony stage at EDC has to be the best publicity the Find Your Harmony podcast can receive?
I hope so, I’m expecting to do more of this in the future at other festivals. We are looking at Asia and Europe. But we have already settled down a few dates of the ‘Find Your Harmony’ solo show in different venues.
As the night progressed, did you have any visions of what the future of Find Your Harmony could possibly be after something like this?
Find Your Harmony is an absolutely open brand, its focus is mainly on trance music. But we are always open to cool acts. Like Andrew Bayer who is trance influenced by progressive. For example, we have this new act which had their EDC world premiere, Space Corps. This artists sound is a combination of everything, starting with techno, progressive trance, and melodic stuff. It is very futuristic and planetary. We are very open to doing cool things.
Your latest release Ori-gi-nem has a very classic trance sound, can you talk a little about how it was writing that track?
Well, I wrote that demo quite a while ago maybe a year and a half before even releasing it. It was the same melody but a little bit different. I was always playing it in my sets and the people were crazy for it. It finally came time to write the “Find Your Harmony 150 anthem” so I thought it would be the perfect demo for me to finish and use. I had to change a couple of things and add a couple of things since many people have already heard it. But it is the perfect energy you want for an anthem. Energetic and crazy leads with beautiful trance breaks.
Many artists have routines when they write and many don’t, and many have found a balance, have you found a system that works for you when writing?
My routine is very simple, compared to back in the days when I didn’t even have one. There was no routine, no thoughts, no planning, I would just come to the studio and see if anything would happen. That was when I had a lot of free time from doing only 2-3 shows a month, so I had time to be in the studio. At this point in my career, I don’t have a lot of studio time. There is a lot of traveling and being abroad. So I made a system for myself where I have separate days to work. I have technical days and creative days. The technical days are the days I focus on elements and sounds by collecting and exploring samples or making them myself. Kick, snare, percussion, etc. I make specific elements the way I want them. I make presets to save myself time. This helps my creative days when I don’t have time to think about elements, I have them saved and ready. It lets me focus on being creative. I label and categorize my elements for easy and quick access as I write. It makes it all super fast and easy. I also have my travel studio days where I do work on my laptop, this process works for me.
Music can affect people to where they are emotionally moved. Does it do the same for you when writing?
Oh absolutely, of course. I mean every time I create a track I could be almost 80 % done and the energy in the studio is so high I have to get up and dance. I’m the first fan of that song and if I don’t do that then that tells me that this track needs something. When I find myself getting excited while writing I know I’m on the right path with that particular song. If it doesn’t give me the emotions or the energy to dance and jump then how will fans react to it?
Is the music you write a way for you to express what words cant?
I would say thoughts rather than words and even concepts. I’m not a writer, I’m not very good at writing lyrics and stuff like that. But I can do that through music and my tracks. In my vision, every track has a concept behind it that you can’t describe in words. I also get ideas from the music videos and the videos expand that concept.
You’re in front of thousands of people all the time, and these thousands of people are expecting you to put on a great show, how does that not get intimidating?
You get used to it, it was intimidating at the beginning but you get out of your comfort zone more and more and more. The more you are thrown into situations you have never been in, the more you grow. From small venue performances to huge festivals to interviews on live radio, all these uncomfortable situations made me grow.
Would you say your success was hard to come by?
Every successful person struggles and has to struggle otherwise there is no progress. It goes with the same idea of getting out of your comfort zone. If you achieve something and say ok that’s all I want and I’m gonna stay in this comfort zone, then forget your career. You won’t go anywhere and that’s it for your career. Obviously, it was hard for me at many points. I come from a small town in Eastern Europe with about 10,000 people, I didn’t know English. When I started in my career I knew that I had to communicate. So I used Google translate, and even with that I still struggled. But I learned along the way because I was motivated and knew I needed to learn this in order to reach the goals I wanted to reach.
In this industry, you hear a lot of no’s before you hear a yes, from those days till now are you thankful for the people who believed in you?
Roger my main manager was the first one to find me and he helped me believe in myself. He knew my music was worthy to be played and listened to. Worthy to be sent to labels. I was a kid from an unknown country, I’m thankful he found me. Ruben, Armin’s right-hand man was the first to find me from Armada, he introduced me to Armin and since 2010 I have been riding an excellent ride with them. How could I not be thankful to all these people?
You once tweeted, “Trance just hits your soul different”, can you explain?
Doesn’t it? I’ve listened to a lot of music, and I’ve learned something, some of it is very emotional but not energetic. Some of it is very energetic but not emotional. And some of it tells a story but it isn’t energetic or emotional. Trance has all these elements in one place. It’s emotional, with beautiful melodies all while punching you with energy. Its got all the qualities you look for. I see that in myself when I play my sets, I get tears of joy and happiness. I even see it in people. They get inspired and motivated or emotional. Whatever it is, its all form this one trance track.
A producer is a creator through and through, do you believe there is some sort of a creator within us all and if you do how does your music spread that message?
I don’t believe everyone is a creator, I think everyone has a mission or destiny or some talent. It doesn’t have to be in creation. We need people who are talented in science without them we wouldn’t have the software or hardware for us to create with.
Is it important to keep up with today’s music or are you the type to go home and listen to a classic?
I listen to a lot of classics, but I do think everyone who wants to survive in this industry needs to keep up with music, it helps motivate you to move forward and create new things.
Do you concern with the opinions of other people in your career and personal life?
Sometimes yea, I still read lots of comments and opinions online. Everyone tells me I shouldn’t but I guess its one of those things where we all want to be approved and accepted.
In a world where music doesn’t exist, who is Andrew Rayel?
Well, honestly I can’t imagine a world without music. Music has been created since back in the stone age, and in art in general, music is the first or one of the first arts invented or discovered. If you say there is a world with no music then that’s a sad world. Its an unimaginable world for me.
To stream or download “Originem” click here.
For more information on Andrew Rayel click here.