Trance is serious music, or maybe it is just that some of the DJs take themselves too seriously. Andrew Rayel is not one of these DJs. Born Andrei, he is the future of trance. Not only can he produce gorgeous harmonic music in the classic trance style, he is able to blend it with elements of progressive and uplifting trance with progressive house for what is being called Trance 3.0. Whatever you call it, his songs always tell a story- both with his immaculate production style and moving lyrics from dynamic vocalists like Sylvia Tosun, Jonny Rose, Kristina Antuna, and Christian Burns. His debut album Find Your Harmony is a must have for all lovers of trance music and there is no doubt that his forthcoming artist album will be just as essential.
RS: I have to say I am totally amazed right now; I am a big fan of your work and a big fan of your music and I think that you are freaking incredible. I saw you do something today that absolutely blew my mind!
Andrew Rayel: What? Drinking a Yoo-hoo?
RS: Yes! Are those big in Europe?
Andrew Rayel: Actually no, I have never seen one in Europe and it is probably one of my favorite drinks. I am a big fan of chocolate, I eat chocolate, drink chocolate and I would sleep with chocolate, it’s crazy.
RS: So when you come to the US, do you put Yoo-hoo on your riders?
Andrew Rayel: I actually don’t, I should ask them to put it on my rider. It’s always in the hotel in the mini bar so I just take it from there.
RS: I am a huge fan of Yoo-hoo so as much as I loved you before, I love you even more now.
Andrew Rayel: Thank you!
RS: How was E11EVEN last night?
Andrew Rayel: It was incredible and different for me at the same time because E11EVEN is a club/street club in a way. I was surprised to see so many fans. I played my set from 4:30 to 6 so it was pretty late but the vibe was incredible and amazing. So many people from the industry came to support me as well and it was unbelievable.
RS: The thing is that you are a trance guy and that was pretty much an electro line up. Does that happen to you pretty often?
Andrew Rayel: Yeah it does because I am still on the edge of genres. I still keep my trancy routes and produce a lot of trance music but they call my music trance 3.0. It is on the edge of the genres and it is a mixture of progressive house, progressive trance and uplifting trance and I like that.
RS: So that is where you see trance evolving next, obviously.
Andrew Rayel: Absolutely, I don’t have anything against trance staying with the old sound. For me, I want to evolve and go further and explore and combine more sounds. Don’t get me wrong, I will still produce my old sound with the more pure trance sound but at the same time I will also produce something new, something innovative.
RS: I love that. I love “Winterburn” and I love myself some Sylvia, how did that song come about?
Andrew Rayel: Sylvia started that song with Digital X who is featured on the collaboration. They had a demo at some point and since she is a good friend of mine she sent it to me. I listened to it and fell in love with the vocal and melody but I thought that it didn’t sound as powerful as it could be. I told them that I thought the track could be way better if I put my touch on it and so I changed everything, even the melody and all the sounds, and it became what it is now. It was a featured favorite on A State of Trance by Armin van Burren and it was great to see all the support.
RS: You have worked with such amazing singers like Kristina Antuna on “Once In A Lifetime Love,” did that song start with you writing a track or did she start with the vocals, how did that song come together?
Andrew Rayel: She actually had the vocals already done and she sent them to me. It was close to me because at the time I was inspired by so many fans and couples at my shows that told me that they fell in love during my set or that they proposed during my set. I thought that it was the perfect time for me to write a song called “Once In A Lifetime Love.” It came perfectly and Kristina is an amazing vocalist and she did an amazing job on the track.
RS: You worked with another one of my favorite singers Jonny Rose on “Daylight.” Do you find it any harder to work with male vocals versus female vocals?
Andrew Rayel: Not really, I don’t really pay attention to if it is a male vocal or a female vocal but more so if it is a good voice and if it has an interesting idea behind it.
RS: Find Your Harmony was 2014, is there a new album coming for 2016?
Andrew Rayel: Yes, I am working on my next album for this year and I will do my best to finish by the end of this year. Actually “Winterburn” is the first single from the album and “Once In A Lifetime Love” is the second single from the album. There are going to be a couple more and by the end of the year, if everything goes well, I am going to drop the whole album.
RS: I don’t know how to say this, this may be a little insensitive but I read that Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe.
Andrew Rayel: Yes, that is true.
RS: What is the EDM and trance scene like in Moldova?
Andrew Rayel: Surprisingly it is doing pretty well, it’s constantly growing and we are constantly booking big DJs. We have had Above & Beyond many times and we had Armin with me last year which was incredible. We had Marcus Schulz and David Guetta and lot of big names as well. Each year they do more and more shows and people get into electronic music more and more. It is great to see that even though the economy is not the best and people can’t really afford to buy tickets for the shows they still go because they love music and they want to go to the shows.
RS: So you have mixed a few Dash Berlin tracks, is there a collab coming with Dash Berlin?
Andrew Rayel: Hopefully, I don’t know yet.
RS: What would an Andrew Rayel versus Steve Angello track sound like?
Andrew Rayel: It would sound like a combination of our two sounds, something like “Dark Warrior” with one of his songs or something. I love Steve so I would definitely want to do a collab with him. I have been a big fan since the Swedish House Mafia times and even before.
RS: I saw you writing graffiti on the wall, where was that?
Andrew Rayel: I did it in three clubs. One of them was in LA at Exchange, one of them was in Montreal at New City Gas and one of them was in Asia, so I don’t know where you saw it. I think I did it in some other clubs too but I can remember those three for sure.
RS: What is your favorite Jackie Chan movie?
Andrew Rayel: Rush Hour
RS: When they make the movie about your life, what actor will play you?
Andrew Rayel: I love Will Smith but I guess he can’t play me.
RS: Yeah he can, why not? He can play a Moldovan DJ, why not?
Andrew Rayel: Okay let Will Smith play me!
RS: What is the strangest question that you have been asked in an interview?
Andrew Rayel: There have been a lot of weird questions that I can’t remember, some stuff related to my sex life.
RS: Oh that’s inappropriate. What would you like to say to all of your fans out there listening?
Andrew Rayel: Thank you guys so much for all of the support that you have been giving me. I guess everyone knows that my fans are my once in a lifetime loves and my one in a million and my miracles! You are everything to me!
Interview conducted March 2016 during Winter Music Conference.