In case you didn’t hear, Armada wonderboy Andrew Rayel was in town recently for a gig at Zouk Club KL. It would mark his long-awaited return to Kuala Lumpur as well as his Zouk Club KL debut!
Born on 21st July 1992, his young age never stopped him from taking the lead in the next generation of EDM producers. Developing strong musical skills, he studied orchestral music and kicked off his producing career at only 13 years of age. It didn’t take long for the passionate music lover to translate his ideas into sounds. He created a truly unique, significant sound, one of piano power, harmonic balance, and euphoric tales.
Though his career only officially started when he was 17, by the time he turned 21, he was ranked #28 in DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs 2013. Let’s not forget that he was also the highest climber for that year.
In the recent years, he took the world by storm, having being handpicked by 5-time world #1 DJ/producer Armin van Buuren himself to join the legion of Armada Music artistes. As a matter of fact, Andrew has single-handedly created his very own trance phenomenon that he loving calls his #RayelFamily. It’s safe to say that he sure has a lot going for him 😉
We sat down with the music maestro himself real quick right before his set on Friday (17th April) night to find out what’s been happening ever since we last saw him:
What were you looking forward to most when you heard that you were going to play in Malaysia again?
It’s been awhile for me, the last time I was here, I played the “A State of Trance” (ASOT) show. It was absolutely amazing and I know that there are a lot of fans here because so many vocalists that I did tracks with, they’ve performed here and they told me, “Oh you have so many fans there! I was singing our song and everyone was like, where’s Andrew?” I’m really excited to be back here. I’m going to play a lot of my old songs as well as some of my new songs.
It has been quite a whirlwind for you and now you’re often called the modern-day Mozart, the Armada wonderboy, and sometimes, the heir to the throne. For someone who’s 22 years old, how do you feel about being called all of that?
They’re calling me way too many things! That’s an honour for me, I mean, to be called the next thing or the next Armin. It’s pretty big and it sometimes puts a lot of pressure on me. But it means something, that means people really enjoy my music and that they really like what I do. And that’s really important to me.
Your music caught the global #trancefamily’s attention because of your signature kick and bass, coupled with a dabbling of the classical sound. Tell us how you initially discovered your signature style and decided to just stick to it.
It was a very long way for me as a producer. I’ve been producing for the past 10 years and at the beginning I tried to achieve a proper normal sound to be as good as other people. But when I reached that level, I thought it’d be good for me to have my own sound. I moved completely away from the sounds that other people are doing. So now it’s really melodic but also energetic, right in between the styles of trance and house, and lots of vocals. I’m trying to combine all the beauty of all the genres into one mix.
I love “Find Your Harmony“. Specifically tracks like “Dark Warrior”, “How Do I Know”, “Until The End”, and of course, “EIFORYA”. Do you too have some personal favourites? Why are they your favourites?
Well, I can’t say that there’s a personal favourite because I worked on all the tracks and I love them all separately and in different ways. But certainly, one of the best like you said are tracks like “Dark Warrior” and “EIFORYA”. “One in a Million” works really, really well too. But “Goodbye”, I know people really like it here. But I also like a lot of more chilled out, more melodic tracks like proper chilled soundtracks – I love that kind of stuff, yeah.
You’ve also done quite a lot of collaborations with quite a few formidable names to date! Who else is on your checklist of artistes that you’d like to someday work with?
There is a HUGE list of names that I want to collaborate with and I’m working now on doing it. It’s just that..I don’t usually have that much time right now as I used to have so it’s going to take a little bit longer. But I’m preparing all these tracks for something special, I don’t know, maybe for the next album. But the next single, which is actually out today called, “We Bring The Love”, is something that I did with Sylvia and there’s another one called, “Daylight”, which will be out in May. I’m going to play a lot of them and even more than that. There are actually a few demos that are actually unfinished but I’m going to play all of them tonight!
What was the most random place ever that you’ve had an inspiration for a track?
Random place! (laughs) I won’t say toilet because..haha. I get inspirations everywhere – it can be on the plane, on the road, at a venue. Usually it’s right after I finish my set when I have that euphoric feeling. It doesn’t stay very long, maybe for like 10 – 15 minutes when I’m like, so excited! I wish I had a studio right next to the venue so that I could just go straight away. But yeah, pretty much everywhere – it’s not a matter of venue or space, it’s a feeling.
You’ve played at some seriously major festivals to date, but do you still get nervous before you go on stage and do you have a little ritual that you do to just chill out/zen before your set?
Well, of course I get nervous – pretty much all the time! Because it’s a live interaction and I think it’s normal. And if you don’t have any emotions or if you don’t get nervous, that means it’s not important to you. That means that it has become a job and a routine, I mean, that’s not good for an artiste. You need to be always full of emotions to get that feeling before a show. What do I do? Hmm, I don’t know. I just try to think of all good things, try to look into the crowd, and see how people are out there waiting for me.
Looking back at 2014, what would you say were some of your most memorable moments or achievements?
For the last year, for sure it has to be “A State of Trance”, all of the shows. Kuala Lumpur was absolutely incredible, I loved it. I also played all the big festivals – EDC, Tomorrowland, TomorrowWorld, Creamfields, Ultra. These big festivals really made me feel like I’ve achieved something but also all the clubs around the world, I loved them. As long as I see like, one fan in the crowd, I know that the gig was successful. If one person came to me after the show and said, “I really enjoyed the music!”, I’d know that the show was really successful.
Last but not least, what else is in the pipeline for 2015 for you?
We’ve just finished the “Find Your Harmony” deluxe album which will be released on 22nd May and the pre-order starts on 20th April. And it’s going to include all the original extended mixes, all the remixes, 2 new tracks “We Bring The Love” and “Daylight”, and all the music videos we’ve done so far. So it’s going to be like, a proper CD with all the materials that I have so far. And after that, new music! I’m working now on some, maybe for the next album. And also playing at more festivals and clubs around the world.
Alright. Thank you so much for the chat, Andrew!
Special thanks to our friends from Zouk Club KL for making this interview happen 😉
We’ll leave you now with Andrew’s latest release, a track titled, “We Bring The Love” ft. vocalist Sylvia Tosun.