Exclusive interview: Ahmed Romel discusses his upcoming album, Tomorrowland & more
As one of the most influential figures within trance, Ahmed Romel continues to generate support from around the globe. With a career spanning several years, the Dubai born and raised producer has achieved a great deal during his time as an artist. From performing at Tomorrowland and Luminosity to dominating the Beatport trance chart, it’s not surprising that so many are loyally supporting the producer as he continues on his journey. This year is an exciting year for Ahmed Romel, as he prepares to release his debut album this July on Aly & Fila‘s FSOE Recordings.
Finding success in Beatport’s charts as early as 2011, the self-taught producer quickly found his feet and amassed support from leading artists. In fact, one of his earliest releases ‘Victory‘ was premiered on Armin van Buuren‘s A State of Trance Radio in 2013, and was included on the ‘ASOT Best Of 2013‘ compilation. Romel continued to be supported by the industry’s leading figures, continually receiving recognition by ASOT as well as leading producers such as Ferry Corsten, Paul van Dyk and Aly & Fila. Just last month he released ‘Sea of Sounds‘, a melodic trance masterpiece which was met by a huge amount of support, proving that he continues to strive towards greater heights with each and every release.
With a complex and wide-reaching discography to his name, Ahmed Romel continues to exceed expectations. Many of his releases have found a home on FSOE Recordings, but he’s worked with a wide variety of artists and labels over the course of his career. With so many accolades and faultless tracks to his name, he continues to consolidate his position as one of the most exciting artists in the scene.
We caught up with Ahmed Romel to discuss his career so far, his upcoming album and his plans for the future.
Can you tell us a little bit about your career so far, what made you decide to start producing music?
I’ve been obsessed with music making since I was a young kid, always researching sound waves, doing mix tapes and experimenting with what I could find from hard-wares back then, which was mainly analog synthesizers that I barely knew how to connect together and produce sounds, but it was definitely the best way to learn.
As one of the industry’s most established trance producers, can you share some of your career highlights?
The highlights would definitely topping the Beatport charts with couple of my singles & remixes including ‘Yarden‘, ‘Dust & Echoes‘, ‘Kingdoms‘ and ‘Victory‘, being featured in end of the year top track polls for example ‘A State of Trance’ & ‘FSOE Recordings’. Another highlight was collaborating with class A producers, including ‘Kingdoms’, the FSOE450 Celebrations anthem with Aly & Fila. Also, playing in some of the world’s biggest festivals and unique landmarks, for example The Karnak Temple in Luxor, Egypt, Tomorrowland in Belgium and Luminosity Beach Festival in Amsterdam which I’m returning to for the 4th year.
There is always a first-time of everything! Tomorrowland was absolutely exceptional on Future Sound of Egypt Stage ⚡️You can also download my brand new remix 'Rebirth' https://fsoe.lnk.to/ARRebirth
Posted by Ahmed Romel on Sunday, August 19, 2018
Who are your biggest inspirations in the music industry and do any of these artists influence your production style?
I would definitely say Hans Zimmer, John Debny, John Hopkins, Omar Khairat, Aly & Fila, Armin van Buuren & Paul van Dyk to name a few. They definitely had a big influence in my production style, as I always make sure to combine epic melodies & compositions in my tracks.
You were recently voted #31 in Trancepodium’s Top 100 DJs, how does it feel to be recognized as one of the world’s leading trance producers?
It’s always an honor to be featured in such polls, being mentioned among big names is always a big push to give more, knowing that people are loving my productions and giving me their support is always overwhelming.
Many of your tracks have been released on FSOE, how did this partnership come about, and what made you decide to keep working with the label?
So far I have 9 tracks released on FSOE. I’ve always considered the label bosses Aly & Fila close friends and mentors. I’ve been a huge fan of their productions and they were very supportive ever since my early productions, always giving me honest feedback. I consider them a family truly, and releasing on their label has given my productions massive exposure as it’s considered one of the best labels in the industry.
Congrats on your latest track ‘Sea of Sounds’, which is undoubtedly one of your best releases yet, and is definitely one of your most melodic. Can you tell us alittle bit about what inspired this track, and your process in bringing it to life?
Thank you, I appreciate your words. Yes definitely it’s one of my favorite tracks from my productions so far, this track was finished almost a year and a half ago. I premiered it at Luminosity Beach Festival last year, and the feedback was unbelievable. This track was inspired my last trip to Cairo, Egypt last year, we had a quick tour between the Pyramids and at that time I was working on this track slowly, I wanted to do something that captured the incredible culture’s atmosphere, combining it with euphoric melodies, so definitely that trip had a big impact on ‘Sea of Sounds’ production.
‘Sea of Sounds’ marks the first single from your upcoming album, what can you tell us about your album at this point? What made you decide to produce an album at this stage in your career?
I’ve been working on many projects over the last 2 years, and was thinking it’s about time to release a debut artist album after establishing my name in this industry and releasing more than 40 singles and remixes over the past 6 years. The album is ready now and set for the release in July with FSOE Recordings. I really can’t wait to reveal the tracklist, it has a big variety of styles including deep house, uplifting trance and even post rock!
How long have you been working on your album? Has it been a rewarding process?
I’ve been working on the album for exactly 2 years now, with almost 30 tracks completed for it, but I have selected the best 16 out of 30! Creating an artist album was definitely a tough journey, as I was experimenting with many sounds and styles over the last 2 years, and being picky wasn’t helpful at all! But I can say it’s going to be a magical journey of music, I’m really proud of the outcome.
Throughout your long-running career you’ve collaborated with a number of high-profile artists. Have you collaborated with any artists on your upcoming album?
Yes definitely, I have collaborated with quite extraordinary artists including Driftmoon, Simon O’shine, Hazem Beltagui & Roxanne Emery. I’ve worked with local violinists and guitarists also including my brother who I worked with on the outro track, it’s very interesting!
Having achieved such monumental success within the trance genre, performing at major festivals and releasing globally successful hits, what made you decide to dive into this genre in particular?
Electronic dance music was always an interesting genre for me, I don’t think any other genre can give a euphoric feeling the same way as trance and EDM. One track can make you happy, sad and excited at the same time, you can build your own story with every track and that’s what makes it very unique. Producing this type of music was extremely interesting to me, as it was very challenging, very sophisticated, and you will be dealing with more than 40 layers playing at the same time in each track. If you look into other genres, you can see bass, drums, lead instruments and vocals maybe, but in trance, the bass layers can only extend to 10 different sub-layers. Also, the ability to experiment with different instruments, sounds and synthesizers, and not depend on one sound.
Despite your trance=specific focus, all of your tracks are incredibly diverse, do you start your production process with a particular style in mind, or does it evolve naturally through its creation?
Usually I start with the breakdown and main melody, then build the other elements on top of it. I always love experimenting with different instruments to be used in my productions and not only using digital synthesizers and percussion. I’m proud to say that this made my productions more visible and built a signature sound that is recognizable by the listeners.
Last year you performed at huge festivals like Tomorrowland and Luminosity. What makes performing at festivals like this so special, and do you have any plans to return this year?
It was a fantasy for me to play at such festivals! Tomorrowland was incredible, seeing how much effort is put into one event is magnificent. As for Luminosity, it’s one of my favorite music destinations out there, you can feel a very intimate atmosphere. I’m really happy to return this year, playing on the main stage on the first day (June 27th), I really can’t wait.
What are your plans for the rest of 2019?
Focusing now on premiering my debut album, then looking into experimenting more with deep house & progressive, I find myself really enjoying this sound especially while producing it, we have great plans for touring and visiting new countries and festivals very soon.
For those eagerly awaiting Ahmed Romel’s album, get a taste of what is to come with his latest single ‘Sea Of Sounds’ below.