“Follow your dream no matter how hard it might be to accomplish it.” -Udi Levy
Udi Levy creates some of the most unique and inspiring guitar music I have come across. His instrumental rock ballads amaze me with their complexity and seductive melodies. But face melting guitar riffs aside, the inspirations behind Udi’s music are much more down-to-earth. TLV recently caught up with Udi to discuss his music and his inspirations.
What (who) does your act consist of?
Udi: I am playing the guitar, Enrique Mancia is on bass, and Juan Pablo Pastor is on the drums.
How did you and your band meet?
Udi: I met both of them at a jam session in one of the clubs in New York. We loved each other styles and I asked if they would be interested in playing my original music.
Where are you and your band from?
Udi: I am from Israel, Enrique from Honduras and Juan from Argentina.
Thinking back to early childhood, what was your first experience with music?
Udi: My oldest sister introduced me to music. She had a lot of cassettes in her room. I remember ‘stealing’ her collection and listening to Charlie Parker, John Lee Hooker, Anita Baker and more.
What type of music did you hear the most growing up? Is it different from what you listen to now?
Udi: As a teenager I listened to a lot of heavy metal. I still do, but I expanded my library and added many genres such as country, jazz, blues, fusion and more.
What made you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in music?
Udi: When my father bought me my first electric guitar at the age of 13, I sat on the bed, plucked the six string, and on that day I realized that I will do that for the rest of my life.
How did you become involved in the type of music you play/sing now?
Udi: Back when I was a teenager I was introduced to rock instrumental by my best friend. I was truly impressed and amazed how the electric guitar can sing and the emotional impact it had on me.
For those who have never seen or heard your music before, how would you describe your music for the public audience?
Udi: Rock based instrumental with tons of influences from all the styles and genres that I used to play over the years such as jazz, country, blues and funk.
Would you rather play live performances or be in the studio?
Udi: I enjoy both equally, with live performance you get the energy and the excitement from the crowd, but in the studio the process of recording new music is like bringing new life to the world.
Have you ever entered any contests to enhance your musical career?
Udi: I played with two local bands in New Jersey, helped them win first place and we got featured on a TV show.
Have you been involved in any benefit performances?
Udi: I once performed for the president of Israel, at the cancer research benefit.
What do you think your greatest accomplishment has been so far in your musical career?
Udi: Two of my jazz singles entered the top ten in the Smooth Jazz charts.
If you had to categorize your music, what genre would it best fit?
Udi: Rock instrumental
What are your songs about and what general themes do they talk about?
Udi: My songs are about what happens in my private life, all the emotions, the ups and the downs.
Why do you choose to focus on these themes?
Udi: My music is the reflection of me, therefore being inspired by the events in my private life seems natural.
Are there any stories surrounding your songs that you’d care to share?
Udi: I never was a fan of the fuzz guitar sound, but still wanted to try it out, I bought a fuzz pedal and decided to write a tune about it called “Fuzzy Feelin’”.
What has been your strong influence to continue performing?
Udi: I love the excitement and the adrenaline on stage knowing that each and every time we are playing the songs sound and feel different.
Does anyone in particular influence you?
Udi: Albert Lee, Danny Gatton, Steve Jai, Joe Satriani, Wes Montgomery, Michelle Cusson, Jean Mary Acay, Vinnie Moore, to name a few.
What are your immediate music career goals?
Udi: To promote my newest CD Addictive Substance.
What has been the biggest challenge for you or the group?
Udi: To perform the song “For The Hate of The Devil” exactly as we recorded it.
What type of fan base do you have?
Udi: Anyone who’s interested in guitar driven kind of a music.
Music tends to appeal to everyone, young and old. Do you have any advice for the youth of today?
Udi: Follow your dream no matter how hard it might be to accomplish it.
Do you have other interests or talents you would like to share with us?
Udi: I’m an excellent lover. Ha!
What do you do with your time away from music?
Udi: I teach music! I’m never really away.
As an artist, is there anything special you hope to be able to accomplish?
Udi: Win the Grammy