Andrew Rayel at Dreamstate So Cal 2017

I’ve had the opportunity to meet Andrew Rayel many times. Every time I chat with him, I learn more and more and grow to respect him even more than I did already. I recently caught up with him at Dreamstate So Cal this past Thanksgiving and it was nice to see that he was feeling better after his recent health scare. We got to chat about what he’s been up to, what’s to come, and what he would do on a stranded island!

In Harmony with Andrew Rayel

Photo: Linda van den Broek

TFSF: How’s it going? You look great, I couldn’t even tell that you just went through surgery!

Andrew Rayel: Thank you! Yea, we posted that a few days ago, but the actual surgery was two weeks ago.  It’s been two weeks, now I feel good, I feel better and I was finally allowed to travel so I was right on time to make it here to Dreamstate in CA.

With all the traveling that you do, do you think that this was something that happened because of something you neglected or it came up out of nowhere?

Andrew Rayel: No, this was something that came up and there were obvious reasons. I removed two of my wisdom teeth back in March and the doctors think the infection came from there. I was feeling kind of weird since then, for about half a year on the left side of my nose. The bad part is that I didn’t go to a doctor to check what it was, because of the schedule and because when I was just going home for a few days I didn’t feel like going to any doctors. It was just like resting at home and stuff like that.  The weird thing is that I wouldn’t feel any pain up until it got really bad.  They said we have to do it now, otherwise I would have planned it around something else. They said no, we have to do it now, tomorrow.

Photo: Jake West for Insomniac

You’ve had an absolutely incredible year. You finished up your Moments Tour, of all the stops that you had, which one had the most energy and took the cake for you?

Andrew Rayel: Yea it’s been a good one, thank you! Civic Center, Hollywood Palladium, Webster Hall, Canadian ones, Vancouver, incredible shows, Las Vegas, Marquee…I mean not only in US, we did also Asia with some incredible shows. I’m blessed with so many fans around the world and it was one of my dreams to do such a tour, such a show and hopefully in the future I’m going to release more albums and do even more, bigger, harder and stronger!

Well congratulations on the success.  I’m a huge fan of your podcast [Find Your Harmony Radio], I listen to every single episode. I don’t know if you see all my tweets, but I’m always like, “Andrew I’m at the gym listening to your podcast! It’s working, doing my thing!”

Andrew Rayel: Awesome! Well you know we’re making it every two weeks now, but good news for you starting from next year it’s going to be every week. More work for me, but more pleasure for you!

You’re almost at episode 100, do you have anything special planned?

Andrew Rayel: We are thinking maybe to do one show to celebrate that, let me know guys, do you want that?  If I get feedback from people that they really want me to do this then the chances are going to increase that we will do something.  Hit me up guys, Twitter, Facebook!

I’ll be commenting every day, just so you know! You launched your own record label recently, what was the inspiration behind that?

Andrew Rayel: inHarmony Music. I’ve been in this business for quite a while already and two years ago, the CEO Armada Music, Maykel Piron, was telling me that you have to launch a label with us! I wasn’t ready, I wanted to focus on myself. I’m too busy with my schedule traveling and touring and I didn’t really feel it at that time. Now that I’ve finished my second studio album Moments, after that finished another three songs really fast and I felt really good and productive. I felt like I could do it now and it’s a good time in my career that I could launch my label and it happened! It’s called inHarmony Music, launched under Armada Music. They helped me with managing all the stuff that I don’t want to do…all the agreements, it’s a lot of work, but I mostly take care of finding talent, finding music. A lot of them are mixing and mastering because there’s a lot of new talent that have good ideas, but they don’t know how to do the last 30% of the tracks technically, that I’m doing as well.

What kind of artists are you trying to bring to the label?

Andrew Rayel: I can’t say that there’s someone with specific qualities that I want for my label. It’s just quality music, quality material, mostly trance music, but not only that. I would release stuff that I like, even if it’s not trancey. Something that you could hear feeding in my set has the most chances to be signed. There’s a couple things coming up, which are completely different. I’m not going to be playing them in my sets, but I really like the songs, and I believe in them and that’s why I will release them.

What was the reason you chose “Mass Effect” as your first release?

Andrew Rayel: “Mass Effect” was the first track I finished after the Moments album and I played it as the intro for the Moments album for the whole year, even though it did not make it into the album.  It was an intro, then it became a track, and then I was like I’ve been playing this as the intro for the whole tour, where people know it already and a lot of people were asking for it, so it made sense for it to be the first release.

Photo: Da Black Swan for Insomniac

Thinking about your career, what would you say has been one of your biggest successes?

Andrew Rayel: Wow, I don’t think there is just one defined big success.  It’s just a series of successful steps, starting from releasing my first track back in the day, then getting recognized by Armin [van Buuren], getting a track released with Armada, then signing a deal with Armada, releasing the first album on Armada Music, playing the first ASOT events, first DJ Mag entry, second studio album , Dreamstate shows…you know it’s different steps that lead to the point where we are now.

Let’s have some fun with you… If you were going to be cast away on an island, you can only take 3 things with you, what would they be?

Andrew Rayel: Piano, headphones, it’s weird to take headphones with nothing, so I guess it has to be either a phone or a laptop or something.  I have a laptop with my headphones, which I can record the piano and the birds and the waves and everything.  Sounds like a good album!

Pizza or ice cream? What flavor?

Andrew Rayel: Ice cream, chocolate. You know I would eat anything with chocolate, even pizza with chocolate.

If you could meet your younger self, what advice would you give?

Andrew Rayel: Probably learn faster, you know because I’ve been giving myself some rest sometimes and this business and career you have to move faster, and learn faster to adapt to everything that’s changing because what’s popular now, may not be popular in one year. So I would tell my younger self, maybe not learn, but adapt faster.

Favorite fan moment?

Andrew Rayel: I don’t know, probably girls asking me to marry them? I think maybe in total there were only five that has asked. Maybe a little bit more… (laughs)

To the fans listening and watching, what would you like to say to them?

Andrew Rayel: Well, I would like to say that you guys are the best! Thank you so much for supporting me. Without you I wouldn’t be doing the music, I wouldn’t be launching the label. I wouldn’t be traveling that much and going crazy. You’re the reason I’m inspired to make all this new music.  If I could stay a few weeks more back at home, I would lose my inspiration completely. The shows are the things that inspire me the most.

Photo: Linda van den Broek

Kim Tran, Blogger/Interviewer, Trance Family SF

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