A young Andrew Rayel started producing music at the innocent age of thirteen. As the years passed his belief system grew and solidified into a strong musical mission statement: “I believe music is a universal language that unites people with nothing but love. I intend to make sure that my tracks are all about emotions and happiness” The glue that binds Rayel’s world view together is trance. For Rayel trance is the perfect combination of melody, harmony and energy—his favorite sonic elements…
Looking back to his roots, during his youth, Rayel listened to the likes of Armin van Buuren and ATB. Growing up in Moldova these two titans dominated the radio airwaves and inspired a young Rayel to begin producing the genre. However, as the trance landscape continues to change so do inspirations.
“I honestly get inspired from all the artists nowadays, I think every artist out there is talented, and has a special unique sound out there that inspires everyone. Most importantly, daily life, average experiences, those really add a lot, a big addition, to things that inspire me when sitting in the studio.”
If musical inspiration is derived from everyday life, growing up in Moldova must have been of monumental influence—and at the heart of it the trance landscape there must look very different from that of North America.
“Since I started out the trance in Moldova has evolved big time…dance music is becoming something big, day by day in, even now, it continues to grow in Moldova. The crowd there is truly unique…they are very passionate about trance, and take pride in every artist that comes to our country including the likes of Above & Beyond , Markus Schulz, and, of course, many more! I personally released my own debut album there. That was truly a magical and memorable night…oh, and the next big event that’s happening in Moldova is coming up on May 31st which includes Armin van Buuren & Myself!”
Over the past ten years Armin van Buuren has remained a constant beacon for Rayel, and as a personal hero, that much will likely never change. However, for those who are just getting in to dance music, just who does Rayel believe are presently the most important names in trance?
“Every name in trance is important…each artist has worked hard and dedicated something to this genre in which all of us are thankful for. So, I think they should look at every artist possible in their research. Although, for sure names like Armin van Buren, Dash Berlin, and Aly & Fila stand out and have a big impact on listeners and upcoming producers.”
Conversely, from trance titans to the genre’s fletching youth, Rayel has a unique perspective from which he can pick the biggest trance up and comers of 2015. Whereas fans look from the inside out, Rayel is able to evaluate the inner workings of the trance ‘business’ before deciding who will move up to the ASOT main stage in 2015.
“Marlo, Mark Sixma, & Alexander Popov are doing an outstanding job and I love their sound and everything they’ve been doing! I always play their tracks in my sets, and every time I see one of their names in my promos I’m really excited to check out what they’ve sent me. They all have their own unique sound. Their sound is very strong and they all utilize well defined melodies which really makes them the ones that people should look out for!”
Regardless of whether you are looking towards trance legends or the genre’s up and comers, it seems as though everyone passes through the ASOT brand. Over the course of many years Rayel has been lucky enough to become an ASOT main stage mainstay. According to him, just what is the current state of trance…
“A State of Trance is really a piece of history in the world of trance. It has helped the genre in many ways and has helped so many artists grow their fan base. I think ASOT is still growing day by day and is serving the scene and genre with a lot of talented artists and quality music. ASOT events are truly something special to attend and play in. It’s always been a pleasure for me to play any ASOT event. Let’s not forget trance music has so many sub-genres, not only 138, and ASOT is so important because it truly promotes all of them!”
Looking back at this history of trance, classical music has been a major influence for the genre. Personally as a child Rayel took classic music classes, stating many times that his classical background has been a major influence in his sound. As trance continues to trend towards the mainstream do these musical underpinnings still ring true today?
“Your right, classical music to me is where things started. It’s something that has both helped and educated my musical background and in turn it gave me a positive attitude towards music and production as a whole. I tend to always use it in my productions, and I think you can always notice this. To this day the combination of classical music and dance music is something extraordinary.”
Harnessing that classical-trance hybrid sound and mobilizing it, Rayel has a unique vision for what his first solo North America stadium tour would look and feel like.
“It would be the Andrew Rayel Find Your Harmony experience…a night in which I will take people on a musical journey and leave them with nothing but goosebumps and uplifting memories of a life time. From my production to the overall vibe and ambiance, I want everything to be in place to make the night and the experience the best it can be. A night in which my fans can find their perfect harmony…in every aspect!”
While the Find Your Harmony stadium spectacle would be quite an experience staying in touch with your origin is always important. So, if Rayel stripped away all of the production, the fans, and the long set lists and he could only listen to a single track for the rest of his life what would it be…
“Armin van Buuren featuring Jan Vayne – Serenity – it is one of my all-time favourites songs, it helped bring me in to this beautiful world of trance music. The track just has an amazing combination of classical music and electronic music.”
In the exact opposite vein, for fans looking forward to Rayel’s triple event Blueprint takeover, Rayel shares his five go-to tracks.
“01. Andrew Rayel featuring Jonny Rose – Daylight (Original Mix): This is a track that I’ve been working on for more than six months. I am really trying to make this one perfect! And, finally, it is here. I think I’ll be playing this for a very long time, and hope people will like it!
Although his top five lend themselves perfectly to depicting Rayel’s signature live style, the real question is can he nail down his entire enigmatic presence into three simple words…
“Melodic, energetic, and harmonic.”
With pure upbeat trance on the mind and a level-headed perspective on the current state of trance Andrew Rayel is primed and ready to take over Western Canada on his three day triple threat Blueprint takeover. Whether you are catching him in Calgary, Edmonton or if you got tickets for his sold out Commodore Ballroom show in Vancouver—prepare for a memorable night.
– Ryan Hayes