Andrew Rayel: "Trance was the perfect solution."
He’s a safe keeper of the future of trance. A leader of the next generation of producers. And he’s also just 20 years old. Andrew Rayel is the talk of trance town, for good reason. His jewels of ‘How Do I Know’, ‘550 Senta’ and the recent duo of ‘Zeus’ and ‘Musa’ got the trance loving hearts beating again. With a sound that finds itself in classical, melodic and uplifting, he seems to have found the golden formula to a successful career in music. Andrew Rayel is living the dream. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t got plenty more dreams left to realise…
Hey Andrew! How are you doing? Fully recovered from the adventure that was ASOT600?
Andrew:”Hey, I’m doing great ! Totally recovered and truly inspired from such massive events. And thank you guys again for giving me the chance to be the part of the most incredible show ever!”
You played the Mainstage, in front of ten-thousands of people. Moments like these must be incredibly surreal?
Andrew:”A few years ago it was one of my dreams to play in front of ten-thousands people in ASOT events. It’s a special crowd, you can actually feel their love and energy, that huge reaction on every track and that special moment before the climax when everyone is ready to jump. When it comes it’s just unbelievable how music can transfer people to another earth full of happiness. Will never forget my first performance on ASOT 600 in Beirut and of course amazing crowd from ASOT 600 Den Bosch.”
Your new duo ‘Zeus’ & ‘Musa’ is out now! Production-wise, what should we know about this incredible E.P.? Did you compose the piano play by yourself?
Andrew:”The idea of ‘Musa’ came some time ago, right after my huge track ‘550 Senta’, and both are the names of minor planets from our solar system. I started ‘Musa’ basically as an follow up to ‘550 Senta’ and it turned out in to something different, with the same classic atmosphere and beautiful piano which I totally did by myself. Both tracks where made especially for ASOT events, my visions of the anthems. Talking about ‘Zeus’, it was more of an experiment. When I figured that old school main lead which I thought sounded good, I felt like something good can come from this one in combination with some of my usual elements.”
In fact, you started producing at the age of only 13! What drove you into producing trance and EDM in general?
Andrew:”Well at the age of 13, I was studying piano in music school, and to be honest I never loved to learn how to play other songs. I always preferred to create my own melodies and that’s when I realised that my melodies must go to one of the styles. Trance was the perfect solution as it is an combination of melody, harmony and energy, elements that I prefer the most.”
In the past 3 years, you’ve made an incredible rise and today we know you as one of the most promising producers in trance land. Is it a matter of luck, or do you believe it’s mostly hard work and talent?
Andrew:”I think it’s a combination of both, ’cause you can work hard and do great tracks but at the same time you must have the luck to be heard by a right person in a right moment, which happened with me when I released my first track and Armin heard it and liked it. That’s when everything started for me. I’ve worked very hard on that track, and I still do and I was lucky that Armin noticed me and started to promote my stuff. There are still lots of producers that are doing wonderful tracks and I hope they will be heard soon.”
One thing’s for sure: you’ve had Armin van Buuren as one of your biggest fans! What’s it like, having the number one DJ in the world supporting you?
Andrew:”Well it make sense ‘cause I’m also a big fan of Armin van Buuren and he is one of the persons that got me into trance when I had to decide which style to go for. There are no words to describe how thankful I am to Armin for everything he did for me, for all the support on ASOT radio – show and live events.”
In fact, lots of people think of you as the next Armin, the ‘crown-prince’ of trance. A big honour, or non-sense?
Andrew:”Of course It’s a big honour for me, ‘cause Armin is a legend and to be compared with him makes me feel happy and at the same time somehow more responsible. We both love trance and we are trying to widen limits of imagination through music. But anyway, I want to be Andrew Rayel, don’t want to get anyone’s position. I believe that everyone in this life has his or her own way, and now I can see where it’s going.”
While today’s trance sound is getting more and more diverse, incorporating house and techno, your sound is praised for keeping the ‘pure trance sound’ alive. What are your thoughts on that? Is today’s diversity a good thing?
Andrew:”I think it’s good, because music has to evolve and it has to be mixed with some other styles to become something new. For me however, there are some limits to where I think trance music should not go. I respect all styles of music, all producers cause I know that it is a hard job and of course I listen to different types of music, but I have my vision of trance which you can get from my tracks and I’ll just keep this way.”
‘How Do I Know’ ft. Jano did incredibly well and is still a solid favourite for many trance fans. Will we be hearing more vocal tracks of you in the future? Another one with Jano perhaps?
Andrew:”Yes, we just started the follow up for ‘How Do I Know’ with Jano. Already sent her a couple of demos and a few weeks ago she decided which one she likes more. So now I’m just as excited as the people that saw the info on Twitter, ‘cause that’s how we started it. I’m also finishing 2 vocals tracks with brilliant vocalist which you will find very soon. So yes, there will definitely be a lot of vocal tracks from Andrew Rayel in the future.”
If there’s one thing the trance society is waiting for, it’s an Andrew Rayel album! Any chance we’ll be seeing that anytime soon?
Andrew:”Yah, I’m already working on my album and I’ve got some interesting stuff and some great vocalists so it’s gonna be something interesting. I don’t know when it’s going to be released but I don’t want to rush things ‘cause I don’t do it just to have it, but to be something special . It’s my first album and I’ve kept all the ideas for a very long time, so hopefully everyone will enjoy it when it’s out.”
Another exciting release right now, is your mix for the official A State of Trance 600 compilation. For people who haven’t heard it yet, what can we expect to hear?
Andrew:”Well basically it’s an beautiful combination of old classic sound with the new one. I’ve mixed some tracks that, in my opinion, are already hits of previous ASOT events with some of my latest tracks and remixes and of course my last remix for ‘Armin van Buuren & Markus Schulz – The Expedition’, the anthem of ASOT 600. So by listening to my CD compilation you can truly discover the history of ASOT and relive it again, which is the best opportunity that music can give us!”
Gig-wise, the promoters must be knocking on your door, constantly! Are you ever still at home these days?
Andrew:”Now I’m constantly touring, almost every weekend. We have gigs planed till the end of this year, but we don’t want to announce them all right now in case of some VISA problems. I don’t want to disappoint my fans, which already happened once because of the VISA. So now I’m trying to be more careful and it all takes time, soon I will not have these problems anymore. But so far what I can tell is that in the upcoming months I’m going to perform in Ministry of Sound , Global Gathering UK and UA , Electronic Family and hopefully some of ASOT Ibiza series. J ”
Anything else going on in Andrew Rayel’s world we should know about?
Andrew:”Well as I said mostly studio and traveling. Also in the last couple of months I did a few full classic instrumental tracks so I’m thinking maybe one day, hope soon, I can release an classic album ‘cause I’ve seen good reactions on a preview that I posted.”