The Face Behind: Interview with Freedom Fighters
Updated: Aug 20, 2021
Shahaf Efrat, A.K.A Freedom Fighters, is one of the most promising and interesting artists in the trance scene.
On one hand, he is only 29 years old. On the other hand, his first gig outside of the country (Israel) was before he celebrated 18 moons!
But that's not what makes Shahaf one of the most interesting artists in the scene; Its the unique sound that this guy produces: Sophisticated, dark, deep sounds with a charming and fat Kick-Bass.
Shahaf already performed on almost every festival the Trance scene has to offer around the world: Ozora, A State Of Trance, Rainbow Serpent, Voov, Dreamstate and Universo Paralello and believe me, no one stay indifferent when he hears a Freedom Fighters Track.
In my opinion, that unique sound signature is Shahaf's greatest skill.
My little story:
I was present in a Freedom Fighters set many times in my life (Actually, the last one was in the famous Israeli Festival, Desert Adventure by someone- DJ Darwish) and every time I was amazed by what I'm listening to. I don't think I have ever played Trance somewhere without playing at least one track of him.
That said, we've never met in person.
Not long ago, on a night I went out to party @ The Block, I came across Shahaf and took the opportunity to tell him about this blog and offered him to be the next artist here.
Shahaf accepted my offer to reveal himself in your beloved project: The Face Behind The Artist.
I bet you are happy for that...
Well, There it is...
Interview with Freedom Fighters
Where did you grow up Shahaf?
I grew up in Lehavim which is located in the southern part of Israel.
What can you tell about your childhood?
I always loved to hang around with friends, play football, PlayStation, computer games.
Basically, the standard things you know...
I also love dogs very much since I was a child :)
Fortunately, I grew up in a good and supportive family and had a quite good and solid childhood.
How trance music came into your life?
I was collecting and listening to music from a very young age.
Around 2003, I got a CD from a friend with lots of music, also Trance music of that days: Astrix, Zorba, 1200 micrograms, Pixel and more...
When you heard it, back then, did you know that it is going to take such a big part of your life?
I didn't think about it that much, I just did something that I love with a lot of passion and, as I have said, I was lucky enough to have a supportive environment.
What kind of music do you listen to?
Anything psychedelic; whether its Techno, House, Trance, Bass Music, Chill, Progressive Rock.
I prefer darker and melancholic music, that’s for sure.
I must ask- why won't you produce Techno?
I produce music…I let people decide the genre. I just believe in good music with no boundaries.
So, how did you evolve to be a DJ?
When I was a teenager, I went to an agricultural school where we had a music studio.
I started playing around with Cubase when I was 15.
I fell in love with it and found my self producing in front of the screen for 15-18 hours/day.
I was playing to my friends and they liked it.
From there, one thing led to another and at the age of 17.5 I had my first show out of Israel, in Russia.
On my prom, I was already on tour in Brazil :)
Why did you choose the name ‘Freedom Fighters‘?
I came across a V/A compilation by Paul Taylor (who was a DJ I loved) called Freedom Fighters and the name resonated with me.
Additionally, My name is Shahaf (Seagull in Hebrew) and birds remind me of Freedom. In general I think we ALL fight for our freedom on a daily basis.
Let's talk about music...
For me, when thinking on Freedom Fighters, a sense of darkness mixed with a magical feeling pops-up.
I'm wondering what inspires you when you're producing?
I am a great fan of series' and movies and I get a lot of inspiration from watching them.
I like to take things that are not related to Trance into Trance.
(At 1:50 min: the sound for Million little Pieces from Transformers: Age of Extinction)
Basically, I get inspired from everything.
Correct me if I'm wrong here, but, until the last year or two you mostly performed in America and less in Europe.
Can you tell why?
My music was perceived mainstream in Europe but today it also catches the Europeans ears as well.
Additionally, until the last year or two you weren't perform too much in Israel.
Is there a specific reason for that?
Yeah sure, I was abroad :)
What do you think about the Israeli trance scene?
I think its a beautiful scene that is going through hard times at the moment. The government along with the police and the courts of so called “Justice” are trying to END the trance scene in Israel and we will not let them. We’re gonna fight for our right to party.
On top of it, I think that the scene in Israel is in a cycle: Trance is raising up, becomes a main-stream, then goes underground, and raise again...
It is a similar cycle rolling every couple of years.
Let's avoid talking music again...
What fulfill you the most these days?
Food! I'm a foodie :)
As mentioned: dogs (I don't have one since I'm not at home often), movies, friends and family.
I love to travel and get stuck for some time and record there.
Recycled was written in a hotel lobby in LA.
You have to talk about music ah? so passionate about it, that is inspiring!
What track can you use and it will always do the job? Union Jack - Two Full Moons & A Trout (Freedom Fighters, Domestic & Pixel Remix)
What's your favorite Track?
A DJ you would like to play with?
Captain Hook, Dusty Kid, Merkaba (they are doing a collaboration now, which is the first collaboration of Merkaba ever- RESPECT!)
What is your peak moment as a D.J?
My set at Ozora 2018.
(Freedom Fighters Set @ Ozora 2018)
Everybody says Ozora, this is unbelievable.
What can you do... this is the heart of Trance
What is the most embarrassing moment of yours as a DJ?
I had the honor to play at State of Trance Festival.
During the set, the computer felt for 5 min.
These 5 minutes felt like eternity!!!
After that festival, I literally threw away that computer, copied all my music to Drivers and since then, when I can, I play without a computer.
If you were a pop star, what star would you be?
Zvika Pick or Freddie Mercury.
Yes, I'm a colorful unusual person.
Tell me something no one knows about you:
Freedom Fighters branded with Crocodiles because I love dogs, and when dogs are exhausted they open their mouth, and as a child, it reminded me a Crocodile.
Message to the audience:
Be patience, I am playing different!
Each artist is an individual, not all artists play to 'knock you out'.
In a personal note, when he played @ desert adventure- I know someone that got a knock out...
Thanks you Shahaf!