Andrew Rayel Talks USA, What it Takes and What’s Up in Trance

Andrew Rayel is a talented 21-year-old from Moldova. The humble but eager trance star was ready to play New York’s Pacha nightclub in support of his album Find Your Harmony. We caught up with Andrew a few hours before he was set to take the stage.

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Andrew, in the nicest way possible, Find Your Harmony is fucking bonkers. What was your approach going into the album?

At the beginning, I didn’t know how it was going to sound at all, but the beginning was four years ago. So I started thinking about the album a real long time ago. At the time, I was doing singles and knew it wasn’t time for the album yet, but I was already thinking about it. I had a special [folder on my computer] labeled “Album,” whenever I came up with an idea for the album I’d put it there. I wouldn’t use it. So, during the years I already structured everything, and 80 percent what was already what I wanted to do. When I really started two years ago, I basically had the idea of what I wanted to do. I knew I’d do a lot of vocal tracks. I’d do some experimental tracks that you wouldn’t hear in a single release. I think the album is the place where you can let it all out.

And you have extensive music training, right?

I went to a primary music school. I’ve learned theory and how to play piano and melodies for, like, seven years. It helped, and still helps me, in the studio because I can easily compose a melody. I can transpose melodies I have in my head into reality on my piano. It takes me, I don’t know, ten minutes.

As opposed to people without that training.

Yeah, I was talking to with other DJs, and they told me they’ll have a melody in their mind that can take hours and days to put it out on the keyboard. So, for me, that’s easy.

It’s a good thing to have.

Absolutely. It is the best way [to succeed] is for the musician to have musical training.


© Goran Perešin

Fan Question 1: A lot of people say trance has changed. Being a newer face in trance, what do you think about the state and direction of trance?

Of course, I’d say the sound it improved a lot. A few years ago, you’d hear a pretty bad sounding track come out. People were only thinking of the melody and to push a track out as fast as possible. This year, I can hear more producers care about their sound. It has to sound right. There’s good mixing and mastering like that. But talking about trance, I mean, I tend to think we create music for the people, not the style for the people. If you try to diversify if it’s trance [or] house, you split people. You split them, which is bad for us as artists. As an artist, you want to compose different things. Sometimes you get bored and want to move on. Sometimes moving on gets in you into something new and more exciting. Sometimes people won’t like it because they want to stay at the same point forever. But that’s not possible. People change all the time. It’s like being in jail. I don’t want to be in jail. I want to be free.

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Fan Question 2: Do you see the trance scenes differ around the world? Do you have to ever change your sets to fit that scene?

Absolutely. I used to do that a lot. I’d play completely different sets in different parts of the world a few years ago because people were split on different ideas of what trance music was. Nowadays, they are kind of mixing [it] up. They are getting to the reality of what the real music is. Now, I can keep it more similar around the world. In the States, electronic music is [newer]. In the U.K. or Holland, people have seen all their lives. So you have to push hard to impress them. You really have to think about it. [In America], you get to try new things.

So, do you see it as veterans versus younger crowds?

I don’t see it as veterans or more experienced. Everyone has their own vision of the music. You can feel that [Europe crowds] are a bit harder. You have to give them something harder, impactful or diverse to stand out. You can feel they are getting into more US stuff too.

Is there anyplace in the world that makes you go, “Wow, I’m here”?

I’ve been dreaming of coming to the States. This is my first year here. The last two years I’ve been touring aggressively, but never made it to the States. Most of the places I’ve recognized from the movies are here, so I wanted to be here. Yesterday was the first time I saw the Statue of Liberty live. I love New York. I’m looking forward to going to Mexico, too.

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