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The Angels: “Nina Simone is one of our favorite vocalists of all time, and her unique journey through music is inspiring”

“To recreate a classic everyone loves, you either have to be totally insane or out of your mind.” When Israeli production duo The Angels decided to take Nina Simone’s well-loved ‘Feeling Good’, cover it with one of India’s most exciting vocalists Shrii, and give it an organic house spin, naturally, the team at Swedish record label House Music With Love, or HMWL, was beyond thrilled.

HMWL’s latest three-track release of The Angels’ ‘Feeling Good’ also features two remixes: an energetic Latin party hit by Cuba’s first female electronic duo PAUZA; and an irresistible hip shaker from Venezuelan afro-house duo Band&Dos.

The Angels are your not-so-average DJ & Producer married couple Moran and Steven. Based in Tel Aviv, the duo has been spreading their love for techno and house in all the best clubs in the city, spicing up the packed dancefloors with their unique blend of Latin, Afro, and Oriental vibrations. Their popularity is evident since clinching the #1 spot on iTunes Israel Dance Chart with their release ‘A Way Out’. Equally impressive is that their music has garnered over a million digital streams and topped Beatport’s Afro House chart in over ten countries.

PAUZA’s remix turns the original track into a tale of adventure colored with an unmistakable Latin bounce, smoothened with their suave Cuban flair. The country’s first-ever feminine duo to hit the electronic music scene, Zahira Sánchez and Paula Fernández are making headlines with labels Get Physical and Anjunabeats, including climbing up to the Top 10 in Beatport’s Afro House chart.

Venezuelan talents Band&Dos, consisting of two renowned Caracas artists Yirvin and Luis, are the next heavy-hitters to put their own touch on this EP. From the Movida underground to topping charts and a successful tour through Mexico, Colombia, and Spain, Band&Dos’ remix takes the party even higher with deep, sonorous percussion and the picante Latin flavor.

EG caught up with The Angels to talk about a productive pandemic, BIG life changes, and just how good they are feeling.

EG: Hello Angels! Heard from a little bird that you’re expecting a new member of your family next month! Congratulations! What’s the baby’s name going to be?

The Angels: It is considered bad luck in the Jewish faith to tell the name before the baby comes… but we can tell you the name we think of will represent new beginnings, natural flow, and prosperity. And of course, it will be an international name which works well with the DJ title before it :-)

EG: Must have been a productive pandemic for you two. And of course, congratulations again on the release of the Feeling Good EP coming out on HMWL. Did you listen to a lot of Nina Simone growing up? How is her original ‘Feeling Good’ special for you?

The Angels: Nina Simone is one of our favorite vocalists of all time, and her unique journey through music is inspiring for us. We felt we could do something special with Shrii after hearing her voice, and talked about this with Alex who made the connection and requested Shrii to provide her unique touch to this timeless song.

EG: This EP can truly be called a “global collaboration”, from India to Tel Aviv, and Cuba to Venezuela. Was the process made more complicated by the pandemic? Have you met any of the artists personally?

The Angels: Sorry to say we haven’t met any of them in person! We chatted a lot with PAUZA & Band&Dos and were talking about a collaboration for a while, just waiting for the right opportunity, which happened finally! The pandemic didn’t stop us from making music, and nothing will!

EG: Covering the vocals of legend must be a lot of pressure. Why did you pick Shrii to work with?

The Angels: We loved her unique vocals and touch. She also brings something Indian influenced musically, with her tone, which makes her vocals pitch not 100% western, in a major or a minor key. She brings an ethnic touch to her vocals, which makes her version of ‘Feeling Good’ very unique.

“We loved her (Shrii) unique vocals and touch. She also brings something Indian influenced musically, with her tone, which makes her vocals pitch not 100% western, in a major or a minor key”

EG What do you feel about the remixes of PAUZA and Band&Dos? How have they made it unique with their own styles?

The Angels: We got what we expected from these mega producers! We just love the remixes! They each bring their unique style, and as a whole – this EP has a version for each DJ and any dancefloor! Whether it is a sunset, sunrise, or warm-up set – every DJ can find the best version for their set!

EG: Was there a lockdown in Tel Aviv? What was the toughest part of the pandemic besides not being able to play at clubs and festivals?

The Angels: Tel Aviv had times when it was very strange outside. We live near the beach in Tel Aviv, near a very central place – which has people around all day and night – and suddenly going outside and seeing NO ONE, not a living soul, was kind of spooky. Not seeing friends and family was the hardest thing.

EG: For our fans who have never been to Tel Aviv, please introduce them to some of your favorite bars and clubs.

The Angels: Tel Aviv nightlife has changed over the past few years, and covid also led to this change, that smaller “multipurpose” venus opened – venues that combine a lounge that turns into a club night.

ARIA LOUNGE is a cool place to hit, for some fine dining and clubbing, Phi Garden is a half-open-air venue with good house music and a great LGBTQ vibe, and if you’re here in the summer you have to get to SPOONS, the biggest open-air party in Israel during the summer.

EG: There’s a huge Psychedelic Trance scene in Israel, with some of the world’s biggest artists. Do you like Psytrance? Would you like to collaborate with any of the artists in the scene?

Steven: Psytrance is huge in Israel! We love psytrance and I had a psytrance project called AKOT, signed to Phantasm Records UK, one of the biggest labels. That was at a younger age. Guess I liked faster beats then :-)

We would love to collaborate with Simon Posford, Raja Ram, and also with Skazi or Ace Ventura – could be some interesting collabs.

“We got what we expected from these mega producers! We just love the remixes! They each bring their unique style, and as a whole – this EP has a version for each DJ and any dancefloor!”

EG: What was the last track/set (not your own) you listened to?

The Angels: After hearing MAJOR LEAGUE DJZ in New-York at a Deep Root Records party – we were blown away! such a great duo! deep, emotional vibe with super slick groove and really true to African Music legacy. They are such innovative producers, lovin’ their music at the moment.

EG: If you could work with anyone on this planet, dead or alive, which artist would it be?

Steven: Carl Cox! Pharrell! mm… I would love to do a song with Lauryn Hill on vocals! That would be great!

Moran: Carl Cox yes! I would also love to collaborate with Honey Dijon and with BLOND:ISH!

EG: You work together, play together, rest together. What is the greatest joy, and the not-so-good part, of working together with your spouse?

Steven: There is absolutely no downside! We know each other so well – it’s a pleasure! Moran has her own unique vision of music – which is very similar to mine in some aspects, but different in others.

Sometimes we want to pass around new music we discovered for our gigs, and we find out that we bought the same tracks… and sometimes, it’s like “this is definitely going into our set!” – so we each give space for the other’s vision – which makes the overall result 100% “us”. We feel that making music together is another part of our relationship, where we can show love and respect to each other.

EG: With the arrival of the newborn, would you two be taking a break? What can we look forward to in the next few years in terms of your music?

The Angels: Yes, we will be focusing on the baby for a while, but planning to get back to it in a few months, with a tour in the US. We are having interviews for nannies, if you know somebody that wants to go on tour with us :-)

We feel that a child shouldn’t make the parents give up on who they are. We want to be an example that you can have a healthy family life in the music industry. If this would have happened 10 years ago, it would have been very frustrating to take some time off. But in this day and age – we realize you need to balance your life with your career – in a way that keeps you mentally happy. Balance is key.

The Angels & Shrii’s ‘Feeling Good’ is out now via House Music With Love. Purchase your copy here.

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