A lot has happened with Andrew Rayel in the 10 months since we last spoke with him at Tomorrowworld, including the Deluxe Edition release of his album ‘Find Your Harmony,’ the continued success of his Find Your Harmony Radio Show, and the release of his newest single “Daylight.” Even after mastering the art of trance and being proclaimed as the “modern-day mozart” within the EDM community, the newly turned 23-year-old revealed to us that he hasn’t excluded himself from experimenting with other musical styles and a purely classical album is well within reach in the future. Find out what’s in store for Rayel below!
Happy Almost Birthday!
Rayel: Thank you!
I saw Marquee made you a birthday cake.
Rayel: It’s just because I’m not going to be there on my actual birthday so they took the chance and did a surprise party for me and a cake with my name and marquee on it. Everyone’s like happy birthday, and I’m like okay… it’s in 3 days! haha
What is the best birthday gift you have ever gotten from someone?
Rayel: Oh I don’t know, during the last 3 years I didn’t pretty much get anything because I was always away, but I think the best gift was when my whole family was around me and I had a chance to spend my birthday with them.
What has been the most memorable year of your life so far?
Rayel: I think every year gets more and more memorable because there’s new achievements every year and I get to play more countries, bigger stages, I get to see more people. Last year was definitely amazing. I got to achieve so many things… I got the DJ Mag 24th spot.. and I had a chance to play all the EDC’s, Tomorrowland, all the State of Trance shows. I’m sort of doing the same thing this year, getting bigger stages… So yeah, every year gets better and better and that’s where I want to be. I want to move forward and to be achieving new things.
That’s amazing to see how much you’ve grown. Just a few months ago you were touring as support for Cosmic Gate and now you’re headlining your own shows. So how have your sets changed stylistically and production wise?
Rayel: Well, the quality of the tracks is way better now because there’s new technologies and I’ve learned way more from my colleagues and the sound quality of the tracks sound way better than they used to. Production wise, I’m still the same guy. Maybe the tracks became a little more energetic a little more powerful because if you want to play for bigger crowds you play harder tracks, but I always goes back to my original style and make melodic and euphoric tracks. It’s pretty much the same Andrew, but on a new level.
As an artist who is always looking to push forward new trance sounds, how has your own sound progressed over the past few months? Have you been experimenting with any new techniques or styles?
Rayel: Well you know when I started, there used to be the “original trance” then a few years later the new trance version 2.0, and now basically the tracks we’re playing now are trance version 3. So everything is going so fast and I use a lot of techniques to improve the quality and sound of my tracks.
Can you tell us about some upcoming projects or releases you have in the works?
Rayel: There are 2 new collaborations. I can’t reveal them now. One is with Alexander Popov. A Russian producer. I’ve been playing it since Ultra Miami, but it was just a demo. Now I’ve finally finished it and it’s going to be released pretty soon. The second collaboration is with Mark Sixma and it’s going very well. Armin has been playing it for a while and it’s just a mainstage banger, everyone has loved it. It’s going to be released pretty soon. I think around the end of August. I’ve got another original track which is going to be released after that probably and a few new remixes. One for Tommy Trash. Another is a huge name, but I can’t tell you who it is yet!
So I’m curious, when it comes to remixes, different producers have different ways they like to approach the process. Some remixers completely reconstruct the original track, like Flume’s remix of “Hyperparadise,” while others focus on building a drop around the original track. How do you like to approach the remix process?
Rayel: When I don’t like the nature of it. I always like to change it completely. That’s what I call a remix. I don’t want to hear the same song with tiny changes. I want a different melody and different elements. Usually when I remix a vocal track the only thing you’ll hear from the original is the vocal.
Is there a style of music that you’ve attempted to delve into that you’ve found particularly challenging to master?
Rayel: Electronic music is already pretty easy for me because I’ve been doing it for a while, but I think classical would be hard to master. I know all the techniques, but you have to use a lot of space in it. In Electronic music basically all the instruments are centered. So you want to hear them right in the middle. In classical music, you have to put some instruments on the left, some instruments behind. You basically have to make an orchestra, which is pretty challenging for me because I’ve never done it in a mix-down. Even when I used classical instruments, just because it was in electronic music I always put them in the center and mixed them down there. So maybe one day I’ll just do a completely orchestral mix.
So I remember when I interviewed you at Tomorrowworld back in September you told me the story about how you used to send out so many emails and you were trying to get your name out there and it’s so awesome that you’re now in the position where you are so influential.
Rayel: You know, it’s so funny because I used to send all these emails and not only that. I used to write on a lot of forums too, showing people my tracks and I think last year someone found a conversation and took a screenshot saying “Oh can you check this track out?” It’s funny to look back on those conversations now.
Yeah, it’s so cool to see that you’re in the position now to be influencing other artists! So who are some up-and-coming artists you think we should be on the lookout for?
Rayel: The artists of the moment for me are MaRlo and Mark Sixma. I don’t know if you should call them up-and-coming because technically they started before me. So they’ve been there way longer than me, but for me they are artists who are rocking the scene at the moment. There are also 2 new guys from Russia that i really like. One of them is called Dream and another guy is Digital X. They’ve been putting out some amazing stuff, which I will be playing in my set tonight!
You’ve played at festivals and clubs all around the world. So what is a country in the Middle East that you think has stood out to in terms of the crowd and music culture?
Rayel: I enjoy all the countries. I don’t have a particular favorite because every country is different every crowd is different, and me traveling that much I enjoy every crowd in a different way. I mean America is a bit more commercial. Asia is a bit more trancey. Europe is kind of hard. I enjoy them so I can’t choose one. It wouldn’t be fair to all the countries!
I asked Armin the same question and he said Argentina! haha. So that leads me to my next question, Armin was recently in New York and he made a guest appearance as the weatherman on a local news station. If you had to be one of the following in New York for a day which would you choose: 1) a news anchor 2) a policeman 3) a fireman.
Rayel: Probably a policeman because I’ve seen so many movies in New York and it looks pretty cool! I’m curious about how the whole police thing works.
What is your favorite theme song from a movie?
Rayel: There’s a few of them. My favorite one is from Pirates of the Caribbean. The 2nd one would be Gladiator. The third one would probably be from Batman: The Dark Knight Rises.
Who composed that one?
Rayel: Hans Zimmer. He composed all 3 of them![Laughter]
Haha of course! So what is your favorite guilty pleasure snack while traveling on the road?
Rayel: Chocolate. Always. Anytime.
Are there any other genres outside of trance that you might experiment with?
Rayel: Classical music, which I have been experimenting with a little. I was thinking of doing a classical album, just with melodies and no beats. I love all styles. Pop. Rock. Even some R&B so you never know.
Check out Andrew Rayel’s “Find Your Harmony” Minimix in honor of the “Find Your Harmony (Deluxe Edition)” release!