Q+A: 5 minutes with Hevi Levi

Hevi Levi is a much-supported producer from Tel Aviv, Israel. He is not only a DJ, though he sports the heavyweight accolade of being a resident DJ for Manchester United Football Club, but also a label founder and an educator, with his brand, which he has named Joy, being the medium through which he expresses his love of craft and live performance. At the heart of his numerous creative endeavours is a philosophy of love and humanity. In our interview with him, he had some words on this subject, which you can read below for a more vivid picture as painted by the musician himself. Also, don’t forget to listen to his newly released collaboration with recognized producer ASHER SWISSA.

Stream / Download: Hevi Levi & ASHER SWISSA – ‘My Oasis’

Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

I can’t help it, I have 2 master’s: one in computer science and mathematics and one in technology business, but I love to make people happy with my music.

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

Idea, no doubt.

Does your material feature any collaborations?

Yes, I have one coming in July with Asher Swissa, but I do like collaborations so more will be ready soon.

What’s on your current playlist?

It’s a mix between Melodic Techno, House, and Trance tracks that have this specific energy.

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

My connection with my fans when I play is everything to me. We become one. When I play, at this moment, nothing else is important, at the same time I look at each and every one of them in the eyes, I feel their heartbeats, I hear their thoughts, and I can taste, hear, smell, feel, and see what they do. I’m alive for these moments only.

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?

I use mostly analog instruments, and I never use reference to my sounds.

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

I take inspiration from everything around me, so every time I’m in the studio I have Ideas. It all starts with writing the track’s story in my notebook, then I write melodies and harmonies on my piano, record the vocals and when I’m happy with that, I go to my computer and build the sounds around it. Then I throw it all into the garbage and start over; I never had a track in my life that I can say I finished, only after I play it live on a show it gets a name and goes to my “ready to release” tracks.

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?

I was 14 when I helped (carrying the speakers) my friend DJing for his classmates. During the party there was an electronic problem with the amplifier and the music stopped. Somehow I managed to fix it, and the music went back on. The light I saw on their faces was enough for me to understand what my life goal is.

What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?

A bottle of water and a hedgehog puppet that my son gave me for luck.

Any emerging artists on your radar?

There are so many artists blooming as we speak, so it’s a long list, but I put my money on my label’s artists.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Everything around me, anywhere from a sound I hear in the street, a word someone says, a smile on someone’s face or a scene from a movie; I get creative very easily.

Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

I’m a Cubase producer, my gear has some Moog synths, Roland Synths, 808 drum machine, 2 pianos (one in every room), an Apollo sound interface, some guitars, BetterMaker Mastering Limiter, PMC monitors, some SPL interfaces, and many more gadgets, but my most precious gear is my turntables.

Any side projects you’re working on?

Nope. I’m focused only on my music and my label.

How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?

I had so many changes, starting with ‘90s/2000 Trance, moving to Big Room EDM, then to pop and House and now I’m here making something that incorporates it all under progressive melodic vibes.

Break down the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

Many releases, maybe an album, and a lot of weird collabs.

Famous last words?

I’m not doing what I do because I love music, I do it because I love how music makes people feel.

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Image credit: Nick Passman