Yoel Lewis opens about production, collaborations, and airplanes
Constantly on the rise, Yoel Lewis has been ensuring nothing less than the most feel-good of vibes with each of his endeavours. Implementing his signature sound for each of his releases, the Israeli DJ/producer leaves no doubt to the imagination, and in turn, further acts as a stellar pillar within the electronic dance industry.
Mastering his craft for over a decade now, Yoel Lewis has become a synonym with the trance scene, whilst his hit single ‘Paradox’ was the crucial element that led to him not only gaining the recognition of trance legend Armin van Buuren, but in fact, also being signed on his record label, Armada Music.
Fusing trance elements with traditional sounds of his homeland have resulted in the most impressive of musical repertoires, whilst at the same time, each of his releases have been amassing millions of streams on a worldwide scale. With this said, we are more than thrilled to have caught up with the man of the moment, as he opens up about an array of subjects that have helped shape his career thus far.
Hello and thank you for joining us! Could you give us an insight on the main inspiration(s) and/or influence(s) that led to your chosen career pathway in music?
It is a great honor for me to be interviewed for your magazine. I’ve always loved the performing arts but if there’s one thing I never thought I’d be – it’s a music producer and DJ, at such a level that I didn’t even know what a Mixer was and what a DJ even does. But I always loved music. At the time I really liked the style of the French DJ Bob Sinclar and around 2010, he released a track that wasn’t even a hit, but for some inexplicable reason, that song when I first heard it made me want to be a DJ myself. And that’s where it all started.
Producing the most eclectic of sounds at any given time, we would like to know the overall feel of developing your unique style of play, as well as the significance of evolving your sound in the most enticing of fashions?
It took me a very long time to understand and find what my direction is and what I even like. I learned to dj at first but very quickly, I realized that I wanted to mix my own music. And the problem – if I can call it that – is that I really like all styles of music. In one of my playlists on Spotify, you can simply find everything, electronic and non-electronic. My first productions were actually more progressive house because that’s what seemed more suitable to my personality. And so my first release called ‘DREAMS COME TRUE‘ was born. Right after that, I released a track called ‘PARADOX’ which got the attention of Armin van Buuren at the time. I received a lot of messages about producing a follow up and so it was. From that day, I was put in the category of a trance artist and there I have remained until today. Since then, of course, I’ve had time to explore the trance music scene and I just fell in love with this music and its strengths. I think since then, I pretty much stayed most of the time in the same line while I’m constantly trying to develop it. It is quite challenging on one hand to stick to a certain line that is yours, and on the other hand to innovate and surprise the audience. But that’s all the fun in our profession – that I’m constantly competing with myself.
Remaining on the theme surrounding your signature sound, could you give us a further insight on the impact that trance music has had on your career thus far, as well as how this particular genre has helped in shaping the artist that you are today?
So trance is really a style I discovered on the fly. I didn’t plan to be a trance producer. But this style just changed my whole thinking about electronic music. I discovered that electronic music can be emotional on levels I never thought possible. Then you start getting to know the audience a little more and you discover that the trance audience is the audience that is most loyal to the musical style. And this is an audience that sets a very high bar, and who you cannot disappoint. Today, when I start sitting on a new track, my goal above all is for my music to move the audience – for my music to do the job that trance music is supposed to do.
Having remixed tracks for some of the biggest names within the dance scene, as well as gaining support by trance legend himself Armin van Buuren, we would like to know the impact that such achievements have had on your musical journey thus far, as well as any opportunities that have been presented along the way?
At the end of the day, when you release a new track that has gotten support from artists like Armin van Buuren, Tiësto, Ferry Corsten and many more – it’s a huge satisfaction. And following that, the highlight was when I got an invitation to perform at Armin van Buuren’s own A State Of Trance festival. I really can’t put into words how it felt to play this festival. But in the end, I chose to make music to give 5 minutes of pleasure and fun to people who choose to listen to my tracks. To try to make them feel good in the way I can and of course because I just love what I do.
Blending modern trance elements, with those of your homeland, we would like to know the significance behind the infusion of modern and traditional music, as well as your own take on the uniqueness of each track?
I don’t think the word ‘significance’ is the right one because I don’t necessarily come up with some kind of statement when I work on or release a new track. In my case, it mainly stems from where I come from. I am Israeli, I grew up in Israel and I am proud to be Israeli. It is the name of a country that unfortunately brings with it a lot of politics. I have the honor to engage in music whose purpose, certainly in the electronic scene, is to unite. To unite us as human beings, no matter where we are in the world, with everything that distinguishes us and what sets us apart. And my way of showing where I come from is through my music. All this ethnic, Mediterranean, desert style. This is where I come from and where I belong. And still I gave many of my tracks names of places around the world. Because in the end, it doesn’t matter where each of us is from, we are meant to live in the same world together.
On another note, you’re also a pilot! Could you tell us a bit the story behind it?
So this may disappoint some people but my first love was not music, but airplanes. The first time I got on a plane, I was 4 years old. That day I knew that one day I would be a pilot. And that’s what I did. I got to fulfill perhaps the biggest dream I’ve ever had. At the same time, these days I am working on my commercial license and probably soon I might also become an aerobatic pilot. Just like in the studio, I also like to challenge myself in the air. I actually like to fly on airplanes that are difficult to fly, that will require effort from me because that’s the only way, like everything in life, to achieve excellence. And this is perhaps the moment to thank my dear partner, and my other half Einav, who, despite all my adventures, is always here for me to support me even though sometimes it is difficult to keep up with my rhythm.
With your latest release ‘Just Like That’; with EL Waves now out under Armada Music, could you give us a little insight on the main thought process behind the production of this certified hit, as well as an overview regarding the music video that accompanies the track and the message that it portrays?
This is not the first time I have worked with Elizabeth (EL Waves). The previous one I released, ‘PATH OF LIGHT,’ was actually a collab with her. I was drawn to her as a singer and as a person from the first moment, and I knew I would do another track with her. I didn’t know it would be so soon. ‘JUST LIKE THAT’ is actually a follow-up to the previous track. I sent her a very basic sketch, and as usual, very quickly she sent me a vocal that just caught me from the first hearing, and the rest is history. So here too, the truth is that there is no statement in the clip. In the last two clips I shot for ‘Dubai’ and ‘PATH OF LIGHT’, I chose to do something a little artistic, with very talented local artists, and I wanted to stay in the graffiti field this time as well, but in a different way from the previous clips.
Performing at some of the biggest stages and festivals worldwide, we would like to know the overall feel of connecting with fans from around the globe, as well as the ability of sharing your unique music to the most captivating of audiences?
Wow.. Just thinking about these moments already gives me goosebumps. It’s just hard to describe. I remember my first show, I wasn’t sure if the crowd even knew who I was, or not. And it turns out that they not only knew who I was, but also knew all my tracks, which for me was a complete surprise. And the amount of people who asked for selfies afterwards, who simply told me they enjoyed the music and sent me messages afterwards, it’s an amazing moment. This is always the same feeling for after a show, or even when I just receive a message on Instagram from someone who just loves one of my tracks. And again, this is for me the source of energy to produce music. We all eventually like to receive this recognition. That’s why I really try to reply privately to almost everyone who takes the time to send me a message. Because I exist thanks to the fans and that’s the least I can do for them.
Enhancing your presence at any given chance, could you provide us with an insight on any future plans, as well as any new Yoel Lewis releases that may be on the horizon?
My plans are very simple: just keep doing what I love and that means making music, performing and flying. When I sit in the studio, I myself don’t know where it will go at that time, so I always manage to surprise myself as well. But in the short term, more tracks will be released, some in my current line of sound, and some different. But I’m not going anywhere ;).
Check out Yoel Lewis’ brand new single ‘Just LIke That’ with EL Waves below and make sure to follow him on Instagram for all of his latest activities.