After stuffing myself with all of the Thanksgiving food possible, I woke up bright and early at 8AM and began my drive down to Southern California for Dreamstate. While speeding down I-5, I began to think to myself, “Do I have enough questions for Andrew Rayel?”, “Will he think these are stupid?”, “What if I mess up?!” Out of the three, I was right about two of them: I definitely had a lot to talk about with Andrew Rayel and I definitely jumbled up my words at one point while interviewing him. I had previously met Andrew Rayel before from a meet and greet I had won, but I was excited to have an interviewer’s experience with him. I was familiar with interviewing fellow raver’s regarding their raving experiences, but not artists. It was a good thing that Andrew Rayel is well-versed and skilled at interviews because he nearly answered all of my questions after I had only asked one. I had such an awesome interview with Andrew Rayel and even had the chance to gush out my love for his radio show!
How has trance music influenced your life?
Andrew Rayel: Well, I grew up listening to trance music since I was 13 years old maybe even earlier than that. Happily enough, they used to play a lot trance music on the radio when I was young. They would not do that everywhere, probably not in the States yet, but in Moldova they used to play a lot of Armin [van Buuren], ATB, and Tiesto. That’s where I heard this genre of music and fell in love with it.
How did you decide that trance was the one for you?
Andrew Rayel: At that time I was studying music in a musical school and composing a lot of melodies and obviously with a melody you can do any genre. You can create rock, hip hop, or even trance music. From listening to trance my whole life, I decided that trance was the music I like and that’s where I want my melodies to go.
Who would you say is your biggest influences your music?
Andrew Rayel: In general there isn’t just one big influence. Obviously Armin is one of the biggest, but for sure also guys like ATB and Hans Zimmer, who is from another world. It’s just a different progression of different names that came into my life and carer that have influenced my vision of electronic music in general. Starting from Armin, Tiesto, ATB, Dash Berlin, W&W, Gareth Emery, just to name a bunch of names. I might play with them on the same stage now but back in the days I was just a kid listening to their sets at home. Now I get to do this!
How do you think your radio show has been changing over time?
Andrew Rayel: It’s obviously changing because I’m changing! I’m talking better in English. That’s one of the things the radio show helped me a lot with because I do it every two weeks and I have to write myself the script and I have to pronounce it well, read it 25 times until I record it perfectly and I’m happy with it. It started with a normal mix of 15 tracks and then we started adding in little tweaks like favorite of the moment, talent ID, the classic selection. And now I get to do a really fast mix of 24-25 tracks in an hour which is really fast mixing for a trance show so I get to mash things and make a very unique and interesting mix, not just song after song.
What makes Dreamstate special for you?
Andrew Rayel: It’s one of those events where I have to prepare more because it’s mostly about trance music and I do prefer a lot of electronic music like, big room trance. But for this I prepare more melodic stuff or edits of my tracks. I might play a lot of older music that a lot of people like. For me, it’s something more melodic, euphoric, and energetic. It’s not just normal Andrew Rayel banging set.
Photo Credit: Da Black Swan, Insomniac Events