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The Nocturnal Times Exclusive Interview: Andrew Rayel



Celebrating his birthday weekend with gigs across North America, DJ and producer Andrew Rayel hit Marquee nightclubs in Las Vegas and New York. During his NYC stop, Rayel caught up with The Nocturnal Times to discuss upcoming gigs, new music, and Find Your Harmony.




It’s been a progressive ride for Rayel since we last sat down with the breakout musician at Ultra Music Festival earlier this year. With the release of his Find Your Harmony (Deluxe Edition), Andrew has been consistently releasing smash-hit after smash-hit.


We caught up with Andrew Rayel ahead of his DJ set at Marquee New York, where we discussed his return to NYC, his Marquee residency, and what he likes most about playing at major electronic dance music (EDM) festivals across the world. Rayel offers insight and advice to aspiring DJs and producers, talks about his favorite places to visit, and more in our Nocturnal Times exclusive interview.


Photo: Pearcey Proper



The Nocturnal Times: You’re back in New York for a show at Marquee tonight. What do you look forward to most when you return to New York for a gig?
Andrew Rayel:
New York was always an amazing crowd. I’ve always sold out all the shows over here. I was very happy to find out Marquee is sold out tonight! The vibes here are absolutely amazing all the time. I’ve played Electric Daisy Carnival New York, Pacha NYC, Pier 94, Lavo, and Cielo… is there anywhere else to play?



Noc Times: We know you just came in from Las Vegas were you played at Marquee LV last night. What is it like having a residency in Vegas?
I am very proud to have this residency and that they really wanted me to play at Marquee Las Vegas. It’s a very hard market and you don’t always get to too many of your fans. There are always 30-40 percent of people that come to your show because they know you, while the rest are just Vegas people that just want to party. Its hard for me because I want to show them my music and if you can turn a random [partygoer] into a fan overnight with your set then that’s the best thing you can do as a DJ and producer.



Noc Times: Festival season is upon us and you have already played Ultra in Miami, Ultra Europe and EDC Vegas. This weekend you take on Tomorrowland. What do you love about playing huge festivals? Do any stick out to you particularly?
Rayel: Well, the best thing about it is that the fans are coming there to see you. There’s always amazing vibes at these festivals and that’s why everyone is looking forward to them. Everyone is going there happy and looking forward to your set. I’ve been playing these festivals for a few years already and they’re really packed and amazing so I can’t wait to do it all over again. EDC Las Vegas sticks out! It’s the craziest one and brings something special and unique. I didn’t play main stage, but other artists came up to us and said we had the best stage so I am really happy.



Noc Times: So we just heard your birthday is in a few days. Happy early birthday! How are you planning on celebrating?
Thank you! I actually land on the night of my birthday, and I’m going to get all my friends and do an intimate dinner or party or something like that. I actually haven’t really “done” my birthday the past three years. Last year I spent twelve hours in an airport on my birthday thanks to a cancelled flight. Sometimes you have to sacrifice things for the music.



Noc Times: ASOT at Ushuaia seems like an amazing party at a great venue. What can you share with us regarding your experiences thus far spending summer in Ibiza?
I’ve already done two gigs with Armin and it’s a great thing. I play before Armin and he is doing something new this year where he plays in the pool and the crowd surrounds the booth. Every time I play there it’s incredible because people come for the music and the vibes Ibiza gives off. The show also doesn’t finish too late and you always get so much energy from that crowd.



Noc Times: Not too long ago you played a show in your home country, Moldova, which also included a B2B set with Armin van Buuren and MaRLo. What can you share with us about that experience?
Rayel: We played separate sets right before but It was one of my biggest dreams to bring Armin to my home country. I’ve always told him we have the best crowd and great people and he would tell me “Yeah, but when do I get to play there?” So then we worked out stuff with management and when he played there he actually turned to me and said, “For real this is one of the best crowds I’ve ever seen!” He had a flight to catch but because of that he stayed an extra half hour past his set so he was able to play with us back to back. The crowd really loved it and they were going insane! So happy he made it to Moldova!



Noc Times: What cities stand out most to you? Off the top of your head, what can you recall to be one of your craziest experiences from a gig on the road?
Amsterdam is just a very cool city. It seems almost every DJ is from there. Armada Music is in Amsterdam as well as David Lewis Productions, which is my booking company. I had so much fun over there with all those guys all the years at ADE. I like New York a lot as well because it has a big history behind it. I made sure I visited all the big sites like the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, and Central Park. Los Angeles is pretty cool as well!


Noc Times: A lot of electronic dance music (EDM) fans do not fully comprehend the lifestyle of a traveling DJ. What advice can you offer to aspiring DJs and producers looking to crack into the business?
It’s pretty hard to produce, travel to all the gigs, and be healthy at the same time. With so many hours of flying, you get some weird food at the airports and no sleep. I’ve actually gotten food poisoning from airport food and had to cancel a gig in Canada. It is pretty hard to combine all these things but if you can manage them that is the key to success.



Noc Times: What are some of your personal favorite tracks from Find Your Harmony (Deluxe Edition)?
Well, they’re all my favorites. I’ve worked on them all for so long and spent all my time on them. But I like the track “Find Your Harmony” because it’s the opening, very classic and melodic. I like “Dark Warrior,” “One In A Million,” my collaboration with Armin “EIFORYA,” and I love the last track, the closing “The End At Pianoland” because its so unique and chilled out and people surprised me with how much they liked it being that it’s different.



Noc Times: If we were to listen to some of Andrew Rayel’s personal favorite tunes at the moment (on your phone) what would we find?
There are so many different and amazing things on my phone. Lots of piano covers of pop songs and classical music, just because I love the sound of piano. You won’t really find any of my music in there because I play that every night I like to hear something different when I’m not at the club.



Noc Times: Can you reveal any details to The Nocturnal Times readers regarding any plans or insight into a follow-up album?
For sure there is going to be another album. I didn’t really start thinking about it because I want to focus on the singles and it’s hard for me to focus on an album at the same time. This last one took me two years, so I don’t want to do something just to say I have it. I want it to be special and I want to take my time. This year so far, I only have two new collaborations: one with Mark Sixma, and the other with Alexander Popov. I also have an original track and a few remixes that I’ve already finished and are ready to be released as well as a few vocal tracks.



Andrew Rayel is on Twitter and Facebook.

Mason is a Senior Editor & Social Media Manager at The Nocturnal Times. Being a proud dance music whiz, Mason's passion spans the better part of his life. Mason attends occasional music festivals, eats pizza and drinks most of the time, listens to music all the time – occasionally all at the same time.


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