Hey IZREAL, welcome to Techno Mood. Could you introduce yourself for our readers?
Hello, I am IZREAL. I’m a techno DJ and Producer from South Korea. I’ve been a DJ for about 6 years and producing my own music for about 3 years now. Nothing makes me happier than when I play music and I am so excited to share my debut EP with you!

Who were your biggest musical influences growing up that have shaped your sound today?
Actually, my greatest inspiration is my closest friend. I believe that great, simple melodies come from listening within and using the music as a means to understand the heart of a friend. I am also a big fan of the Adana Twins. Their sound just brings me so much joy.

Are there any non-electronic musical artists that inspire you?
Usually, I listen a lot to a new-age pianist called Jay M. I really like the calming sound of piano music.

When did you first start producing Techno music? Have you always wanted to make this your career?
I’ve been listening to techno ever since I was a child. Somehow, I’ve always found that I am happiest and most at ease when I listen to techno music, so starting to produce my own tracks just seemed like a natural progression. I’ve been a DJ for about 6 years and producing my own music for about 3 years now and to finally be able to release my debut EP feels like such a huge milestone in my career.

Can you tell us about your new debut EP ‘현진 [HYEONJIN]’? Is there a story behind the tracks that you can share with us?
The story behind the EP is all about personal growth, and it also reflects my own story of pursuing my dream of becoming a professional DJ, as well as the hardships I have had to overcome along the way. Each track on the EP tells its own part of that story, starting with “In Motion” which is about a kind of ‘wake-up’ moment, realising that the world as you thought you knew it is no more and that the only way to change your current situation is to move forward and leave your old self behind. “Rainy Day”, which was also my first ever release, is a song about those gloomy days when everything feels difficult, and you are ready to give up, but somehow you still manage to find the motivation to keep moving forward because you know that there are brighter days ahead. “Work On Yourself” is pretty self-explanatory, it is simply a song about doing the work and finding yourself. The last track, “Journey Into Now”, is kind of the one song that ties it all together. It is a song about coming out on the other side of all the hardships, stronger than ever, ready to start anew. The name “Hyeonjin” is not only my actual name, but in Korean it can also have the meaning of “moving forward”, and that is what this EP is all about. I believe that since this is my first release there has been a lot of love and affection poured into making it, which makes it even more special.

What has the feedback been like so far?
So far, the feedback on my music has been really good! Especially when I have explained the deeper meaning behind the tracks, people have really seemed to resonate with the stories behind the songs.

Do you have a dream festival or event that you’d love to play at in the future?
My dream is to play the UMF Resistance stage in Miami. I believe that’s the stage that all techno DJs seem to dream of.

If you could collaborate with any artist in the scene right now, who would it be?
My dream collaboration would definitely be to work with the Adana Twins! They have always been such a great inspiration of mine and I just really love the energy in their music.

What have you got planned for the rest of the year that you can share?
Although I just finished the work on my debut EP, I am already working on songs for my second EP, as well some exciting collaborative tracks that I hope to share with you in the next few months. In the future, I want to keep making great music and continue to evolve as a DJ.

Do you have any parting words for our Techno Mood readers?
Keep enjoying the music! I am IZREAL and this is real. Thank you for supporting my music and I hope to see you at a festival or dancefloor soon.