The Israeli producer Maor Levi has been fine-tuning his talents for more than a decade after becoming fascinated by Tiesto's In Search of Sunrise at the age of 12. In 2005 he released his first single "Lital" on Anjunadeep records, the sub-label to Above & Beyond's world renowned Anjuanbeats and was named "Trance Artist of the Year" by the group. Showcasing his more progressive and deep house side he's dabbled in the many sub genres of electronic dance music through various aliases which include 123XYZ, M.A.O.R., Maori, MLV, Pillow One, Roam L and Verny. He was forced however, to take a three year break from his musical aspirations to serve in the Israeli army.
In the face of adversity Maor Levi came back stronger than ever as he redefined himself and his sound playing what he calls "everything step" an inventive genre-crossing modern take on EDM today. Now the rising star is co-headlining his own Anjunabeats "Summer USA Tour" alongside OC natives Norin & Rad. The tour makes a stop at Exchange LA tonight as part of their Insomniac "Awakening" nights before coming back to Sutra September 14th. We caught up with Levi after a special Above & Beyond show at Sutra this week to find out how life has changed for the young artist as a part of the Anjunabeats family.
"It took a while for me to perform in front of a serious crowd," Levi says. "I used to play music I didn't like at local clubs just to make money. It doesn't feel real until you play your own stuff and see fans sing along to your music." With hits like the impressive collaboration with Boom Jinx "When You Loved Me" featuring vocals by Ashley Tomberlin, Maor Levi has become a staple in festival sets by the likes of Armin Van Buuren, BT, Arty to Knife Party, Nicky Romero and Morgan Page. "Ashley Tomberlin and I are really good friends," he says. "We have this great chemistry when we make music and she's the most laid back artist to work with." She's one of the many artist to get to work with Levi.
The perfectionist is selective with his singles because he's always comparing them to the last. Yet, under his new management, he's being pushed into the spotlight to work with artist like The Killers, Usher and Dido. "I feel like I'm busy which is good because I don't like being static and doing nothing," says Levi. "Now I'm getting a salary and working hard - it's paying off," In between gigs at clubs all over the world and festival dates with his Anjunabeats family Levi works tirelessly in the studio making tracks so fast "it feels like a factory producing their product," he says. When asked what sounds inspire him the artist says, "I love bass (like the title of his podcast Maor Bass) and melodies."
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See also: Norin & Rad: A Pair of Local DJs Putting Trance on the Map
Maor Levi combines everything he likes, making his sets as unexpected as his witty jokes on Twitter. Yet despite his world renowned success, he claims to be a regular dude. "I love partying at techno parties, but I'm also really laid back and love chilling." Currently based in San Diego, he uses music as his escape and is currently working on several collaborations with his tour buddies Norin & Rad which they will debut at tonight's show in LA. "That's the whole point of this tour; to present the label and play music with my really good friends." Expect a really good crowd, energetic melodies and some electro inspired synths from today's top EDM hits at tonight's show as Maor Levi and Norin & Rad plan love to give their fans what they want.