Andrew Rayel is a name that doesn’t need any introduction, the world of electronic music welcoming him for quite some time now, achievement demonstrated by the fact that the artist born in Călărași, Republic of Moldova is one of Armada Music’s finest DJs.
Radio DEEA team was fortunate enough to meet him at the Afterhills Music & Arts festival, so it goes without saying that it was a must to interview the lad that at just 25 has recorded two albums, took the stage of various international music festivals (Ultra Music Festival, Tomorrowland, Stereosonic, Electric Daisy Carnival etc.) and has had fruitful collaborations with big names from the trance industry (ATB, Emma Hewitt, Eric Lumiere or KhoMha).
He greeted us with a smile on his face, visibly tired, but extremely energetic once we started talking about his passion for music.
Radio DEEA: Andrew, you’ve just returned from EDC Vegas (Electric Daisy Carnival) where you had the chance to perform on the MainStage. How was that like?
Andrew Rayel: It’s my third time at the EDC festival, the first time I was at the BassCon, then at CircuitGrounds and this year I performed on the Main Stage.
It’s such a huge honour for me because all the great artists (including Tiesto) have wanted and archived to mix on the MainStage – it’s a legendary set that takes place at sunrise and the atmosphere is just wonderful.
You get the chance to perform in front of 50.000 people and that doesn’t happen just any day.
Radio DEEA: And since we are on this subject and we can see how happy you are with what happened at EDC, how is this festival in comparison with Tomorrowland?
Andrew Rayel: It’s quite different because each festival creates a different type of emotions. Tomorrowland it’s a grandiose show with a lot of sparks, while EDC is a bit more different, a bit more futuristic if you want. I love Tomorrowland, but I’ve always had a soft spot for EDC because it allows me to create my own story, to add visuals, lights and so on.
Radio DEEA: This May marked the release of your new album “Moments”. How’s the promotion tour going?
Andrew Rayel: We closed the promotion tour in the United States. We practically started in March and finished it at EDC. There were about two months of aggressive promotion with 2/3 gigs per weekend.
Now we’ve reached Europe and then we are off to Asia with the promotion of the album.
Although Andrew is pretty satisfied with how the album was received he openly admits that very few people know him in Europe (except being popular in countries like Ukraine or Moldova), but he hopes that it will change in the near future.
I have always had less gigs in Europe in comparison with the United States or Asia. There I dominated more and that beings me joy, but I really, really hope to do the same here in Europe.
We asked Andrew to tell us a bit more about his new album and his tremendous collab with Emma Hewitt for “My Reflection” track.
Andrew Rayel: I wanted to work with Emma for years! But somehow it just didn’t happen. Either I was caught up with my own projects, or she was busy and we started the actual collaboration in September, last year.
There were a few tracks that I composed along time, but they just didn’t fit in. We thought they didn’t convey the right message or the right feeling. So, we kept trying until I felt like Emma was giving up a bit so that motivated me to write 7 tracks and sent them all to her.
She was kind enough to listen to all of them and she picked just the right one, added the vocals and that’s how “My Reflection” was born.
Radio DEEA: You worked so, so hard for this album and it goes without saying that you put your heart and soul in it. Do you happen to have a favourite track?
Andrew Rayel: Oh, that’s a very difficult question because I like them all, they are all like my babies. It would be strange to just pick one because I have different memories and feelings for each one of them. I just couldn’t choose one.
Radio DEEA: In 2014, you were releasing your first album “Find your Harmony”. Three years later you enter the marked with another one. What changed between the two and how was the evolution?
Andrew Rayel: Truth be told “Find your Harmony” wasn’t planned at all, it just didn’t happen on a very organized way. While with “Moments” it was totally different.
My first album was something like: I have these tracks that I composed, let’s put them all together and find a name for the album. That was it. It was all very spontaneous.
While, with “Moments” everything was planned, every track holds a story and a connection with the other ones. The experience I gathered helped a lot in this case.
For “Find your Harmony” I wanted so badly to work with different artists, but unfortunately, I was still “new on the market” so I had to practically ask for their help. With “Moments” it just happened, I announced that I was preparing an album and the artists were sending me demos.
I was now in the position of picking which demo I liked more. Such a different story!
Radio DEEA: A little bird told us that you are preparing something huge – you are planning to launch your own label. Is that true?
Andrew Rayel: Yes it is. It will be launched by the end of this summer and we already have the first three tracks (all mine) and the name of the label.
I am thrilled by this because it’s a new stage in my musical career. Now I can help other artists to be promoted not just promote myself. Maykel Piron – Armada Music director – has been saying this to me for two years now and I was always telling him that I don’t have the time, or that I don’t feel like I am ready for this.
But now I am, I have an amazing team beside me so I can’t wait to do it. We already have a few names confirmed, like David Gravell. It’s very exciting!
Radio DEEA: You are turning 25 in just a few days and it’s not a secret that you have archived so much as an artist. What would you say to a youngster that wants to be successful in this industry?
Andrew Rayel: It’s pretty simple really. In order to succeed in this business, you need to create something new and unique. Create and inspire yourself from other artists work until the point when you feel ready to go on your own.
But careful! Inspiration doesn’t mean copying someone, you must think outside the box which sometimes is easy and sometimes is very, very hard.
There is a lot of electronic music on the market today, basically each 15-year-old kid with a laptop can create a track, but most them are just copying.
To get away from the crowd you need to create something new and beautiful.