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Poll 2021: Timmy Trumpet

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From: Sydney, Australia

Rising star DJ/producer of 2021: “Shouse."

Australian musician, DJ, songwriter and record producer Timothy Jude Smith is better known by his stage name Timmy Trumpet. An accomplished musician, Timmy won ‘Young Musician of the Year’ when he was just 13 then progressed to lead trumpet in the Australian All-Star Stage Band, beginning his music career playing at some of the world’s most famous jazz festivals. 

He first got into dance music by playing his trumpet along to Daft Punk on the radio, then having a series of releases on Australia’s Hussle Recordings in 2011. By 2019 he had joined the top-level EDM DJ circuit, appearing on releases by the likes of Steve Aoki and DJing at events like Tomorrowland, Ultra and Creamfields. Timmy plays and produces huge festival-EDM tunes, from hardstyle to more pop-flavoured electro-house, all topped off of course with his live trumpet playing, and it’s a combination that has won him a massive global fanbase. 

Timmy recently appeared live at the Top 100 DJs virtual festival for UNICEF, playing an hour of entirely unreleased material. Prior to clubs and festivals reopening, the Australian has been “spending time with family and friends, writing, producing, and getting more involved in the blockchain technology space”. Now emerged from lockdown, he is getting right back on the DJing circuit, bringing his high-octane DJing, live trumpet soloing and unforgettable dance moves to some of the world’s biggest stages. 

Timmy’s had another prolific twelve months in terms of production. He kicked off the year in inimitable TT-style by releasing the frankly bonkers ‘Tarantino’ featuring STARX with Steve Aoki, a trumpet-laden hardstyle re-make of Dick Dale’s ‘Misirlou’ from the Reservoir Dogs film. He appeared on Flo Rida’s super-catchy ‘Summer’s Not Ready’ track alongside INNA and also collaborated with Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike with Edward Maya on the summer anthem ‘Feel Your Love’. DV & LM’s Smash The House label was also home to Timmy’s extremely catchy vocal track featuring Lovespeake, ‘Another Level’.

On the remix front he put his signature sound on Faul and Wad Ad with PNAU’s ‘Changes’, and the hardstyle/electro-swing hybrid of his Steve Aoki ‘Mambo’ remix was big for him this year too. Timmy also put his magic remix touch on Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike’s Pink re-work ‘Get In Trouble’, creating an epic dayglo crowd-pleaser. Talking of re-works, this year Mr Trumpet also dropped his skyscraper-sized version of the ’90s Felix classic ‘Don’t You Want Me’ on Armada Music in July too.

2021 also saw Timmy put out a searing collaboration with Armin van Buuren in the shape of their Latin-flavoured ‘Anita’, he released ‘Camelot’ featuring San Jose rockers Smash Mouth, and if that wasn’t enough he went live on TikTok for the first time this year to his two million followers. And his plans for the next 12 months? Timmy answers in his inimitable style: “Touring again now that the world is opening up. I can’t wait to be back on stage! Let’s rage!”

How was your first gig back after lockdown? 

“Unbelievable. It was the biggest global event since lockdown and the energy was electric.”

How have the last 18 months changed how you view your work/life balance? 

“It’s definitely changed my perspective on the importance of looking after yourself, both mentally and physically.”

What further steps should the industry take to combat climate change? 

“I don’t have the answers, but I know we all need to do much more.”

What’s the best bit of tech you’ve added to your studio or DJ setup this year? 

“I finally treated my studio with some Primacoustic London panels instead of my old mattress and pillows.”

What’s the best album you’ve heard this year? 

“Illenium ‘Fallen Embers’.”

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2021-10-05 13:04

Style: 
“Lunatic.”
Best known for: 
“Playing trumpet live during my DJ sets.”
Tune of the year: 
“David Guetta, Morten, John Martin ‘Impossible’.”

Poll 2020: Timmy Trumpet

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Timothy Jude Smith, the Australian DJ, producer and musician better known as Timmy Trumpet has finally cracked the top ten in 2020’s Top 100 DJs poll. He's been on an upward trajectory for a few years now, steadily moving up each year from No.75 in 2016 to this year’s top ten rankings. In that time, he’s become infamous for his full-on, no-holds-barred performances, high-energy delivery and of course for his live trumpet skills – he’s actually an accomplished musician who has been playing his instrument since he was four and was Australian Young Musician of the Year at the age of 13.
 
Timmy Trumpet first broke big with his twelfth release, the luminescent ear-worm ‘Freaks’ featuring rapper Savage in 2015. ‘Freaks’ went on to blow up internationally, garnering hundreds of millions of streams and going multi-platinum, propelling Mr Trumpet into the upper echelons of the global EDM high rollers and massive-festival circuit.
 
He’s since maintained a prolific recorded output on labels like Spinnin’, Armada, Ultra Music and Ministry Of Sound including collaboration with the likes of Carnage, KSHMR and Hardwell. Timmy can turn his hand to a number of styles and although he is best known for boshing electro-house and hardstyle, he’s also successfully dabbled with psytrance and hip-hop too. 
 
Pre pandemic, Timmy maintained a crazy global tour schedule and had spent much of last year on his 60-date ‘World At Our Feet' tour, taking in clubs, festivals and events in North and South America, Europe and all over Asia. As a DJ, he’s played main stage sets at pretty much every large EDM event you can name including Electric Love, Creamfields, Airbeat One, Tomorrowland, Electric Daisy Carnival, Rio Music Carnival and many more. 
 
However, 2020 for Timmy Trumpet has been all about production as he’s continued to turn out banger after banger, including collabs with Charlott Boss, Ghost, STARX, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike with ’The Anthem’, and with The Toneshifterz on ‘Fuck Yeah’. He’s also released a series of originals and remixes too, including a few tracks with lyrics that reflect the current global situation: “This year has been about making music that speaks to and for my fans, who I call family, who I’ve become closer to more than ever before. Tracks like ‘Mars’, ‘Diamonds’, and ‘The Prayer’ all relate to what we were going through.”

It’s clearly been a productive time for Timmy as come the end of the year, he’ll be delivering his fans a Christmas present in the shape of his first-ever full-length album: “I’m about to drop my debut artist album ‘Mad World’ this December as an ode to this year and the crazy rollercoaster that is 2020,” he says.
 
 
What three things have most helped you through Coronavirus Lockdown? 
 
“My friends and family, the connection I have with my fans, and the amazing gift of gratitude that my parents instilled in me. So many people are suffering and unable to escape the effects of the pandemic. My heart goes out to the heroes of 2020.”
 
 
What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis?
 
“That playing music for a living is a privilege and should always be respected and NEVER taken for granted. We have the best job in the world and not just because we play music — because we travel the world and connect with people.”
 
 
What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene? 
 
“Listen, learn and try to understand how we got here and where we need to be. Music has the ability to bring people together and unite people of all cultures.”
 
 
What industry changes are you personally pushing for to make the dance music scene more inclusive?
 
“One thing this pandemic and technology has taught us is that the entire world is one live stream or video call away from connecting on a deeper level through music. We need to continue to find new ways to bridge the gap between our cultures and make dance music available to everyone, not just the people who can afford to buy tickets.”
 
 
What’s the greatest dance music track of all time? 
 
“Robert Miles ‘Children’.”

 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2020-10-20 10:22

Style: 
“No rules, no boundaries.”
Best known for: 
“Drinking trumpet and playing vodka.”
Tune of the year: 
"Joel Corry x MNEK ‘Head & Heart’.”

Poll 2019: Timmy Trumpet

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Timmy Trumpet is a man who literally likes to blow his own trumpet, usually on stage while standing on a table. In 2019, however, the Australian EDM star reached new heights, again literally, by playing on a zero gravity flight. With the trip organised by German promoters BigCityBeats and aided by the European Space Agency, it also managed to pack in the first goal scored in zero g thanks to the inclusion of French footballer Sébastien Haller amongst those onboard. 

To turn to more prosaic matters back on the ground, Timmy says he’s “made music with my idols”, releasing huge tracks alongside Carnage and Steve Aoki, and continued to bring his brass to new countries, this year ticking Romania, Brazil and even Nepal off his bucket-list on a tour that lasted nine months, arriving home just in time for his dad’s birthday. “I can’t wait to play more places I’ve never been before in 2020,” he adds. 

Do you submit your DJ set lists to the relevant royalties collecting society?

“Sure do. Artists need to support artists to keep the party going!”

What more can we do to combat the mental health crisis in our scene?

“Have an open and non-judgmental heart, listen to the people who are suffering and reach out and help wherever we can.”

Are you personally doing anything to improve the gender balance of line-ups?

“Not enough, but I think promoters should pay attention to the talent coming through from all genders. I’m sure some promoters already are.”

What changes have you made this year to be more environmentally friendly?

“I ride share wherever possible. I haven’t driven my own car in ages. I leave a carbon footprint much larger than most as a touring DJ that plays in three or four countries per week, so it’s the very least I can do.”

What was your favourite toy when you were a kid?

“Nintendo 64.”

What’s your guilty pleasure?

“Vodka, always and forever. Party till we die.”

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2019-10-17 15:48

Style: 
“Lunatic.”
Best known for: 
“Drinking trumpet and playing vodka.”
Tune of the year: 
Meduza ‘Piece Of Your Heart’.”

Poll 2018: Timmy Trumpet

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From: Sydney, Australia
DJ style: “Explosive!”
Best known for: “Playing trumpet live with electronic music.”
Fave tune of 2018: “Marshmello feat. Khalid ‘Silence (Illenium Remix)’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “Sub Zero Project.”

Where do you start with this Australian tour de force? Debuting in the Top 100 DJs poll just two years ago when his inaugural world tour and a fi ve-times platinum bomb in the post-sales era catapulted him into the global spotlight, Timothy Jude Smith is right to be proud of his accomplishments past and present.

Starting the year delivering one of his trademark live instrumentation performances to a home crowd as Ultra landed Down Under for the fi rst time in the festival’s history, since then it has been a whirlwind 2018. “I released more music than ever before and toured non-stop, hitting some of the biggest stages out there such as Tomorrowland, Creamfi elds, Ultra and EDC,” Timmy enthuses. “Collaborations with Maddix, Lady Bee, Max Vangelli and the mighty Hardwell are just a few stand-out production moments.”

We could namecheck plenty more, though, considering the man in question has hit a career high when it comes to quantity of releases this year. The fact quality hasn’t dropped despite the relentless output only makes it all even more impressive. Jumping ten places this year is the icing on the cake.

Words: MARTIN GUTTRIDGEHEWITT

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Becca Antoon - 2018-10-11 12:56

Poll 2017: Timmy Trumpet

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Debuting in the poll last year after a triumphant first world tour, it’s safe to say there are few artists as unique as Timothy Jude Smith. Once on course to become an alumni of the Sydney Conservatorium Of Music, until his expulsion, that classical training has informed the development of a style which is halfway between live instrumentation and a traditional DJ set — namely, combining deft skills on the trumpet with a keen ear for mixing tracks.

With labels such as Pacha, One Love and the Spinnin’ sub-label headed up by KSHMR, Dharma Worldwide, having released his work, clearly production is another forte.

Enough copies were shifted of 2015’s ‘Freaks’, a collaboration with New Zealand rapper Savage, to go platinum five times over in his homeland, hit the Top 20 in charts across Europe, and become reportedly the biggest single of all time on Ministry Of Sound. Even so, it’s in the flesh that his talent really shines, hence a sell-out UK tour this past spring, with more headline dates across the planet further evidencing what a monumental year it has been fro the Trumpet-Man.

“The greatest thing about 2017 has been playing in countries that are new to me, and to meet and connect with people that love music as much as I do,” he tells DJ Mag.

 

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Jon Dommett - 2017-10-17 10:21

Poll 2016: Timmy Trumpet

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From: Sydney
DJ style: “Electronic music /live trumpet.”
Best known for: “Bringing live trumpet to DJ sets.”
What’s the next new big track? “Hilight Tribe ‘Free Tibet (Vini Vici Remix)’.”
Your Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2016: “Marshmello.”

You don’t see enough musical instrumentation in house and techno these days — that is unless you’re watching Timmy Trumpet in the mix. Timothy Jude Smith, to use his full name, has been responsible for putting a little ‘live’ back into the DJ booth, and lighting up the scene in his native Australia in the process. Don’t think this is just a case of right place, right time either. The man in question attended the Sydney Conservatorium Of Music, and received classical instruction during his time there, so yeah he can read a score sheet and much more besides. 

No doubt much to the disappointment of his elders at the time, but to the benefit of four-four lovers everywhere, Timmy’s enrolment at the coveted institution ended in tears — or at least an expulsion — after he played a prank that didn’t go down particularly well. Unperturbed, he went on to produce tracks for labels such as Pacha, Ministry Of Sound and One Love, while sharing honours on line-ups with the likes of Swedish House Mafia and Armin van Buuren, all of which is before anyone mentions 2014’s No.1 hit, ‘Freaks’, featuring the rapper Savage. Still, no point in looking back when the future is this bright.

What have been the new frontiers for you this year?
My first world tour including Tomorrowland, Creamfields and EDC Las Vegas.

Is electronic music taken seriously enough as an art form?
You only have to look at the charts to see that it’s taken seriously. Say what you will, but electronic music in whatever form it comes in is the dominating sound right now.

What’s the best new bit of DJ/production technology, and why? 
Serum because you can create sounds that haven’t been heard before. Check out Quadrafuzz if you want to add some colour and flavour to sounds also.

If you had to switch your style to another genre, what would it be?
I’ve been switching genres since I left the jazz scene. Good music is good music and I’ll continue to play and write whatever’s inspiring me. 

As a fan, what is the top price you would pay to see yourself DJ?
I think it all comes down to the experience. I would prefer to pay a premium price if the production value is there. If it’s just a club show, I don’t want my fans to pay an unreasonable amount for tickets but when you are playing for promoters that really care about the experience and invest in the production, it’s worth the extra coin.

What can be done to prevent drug-related deaths at dance music events?
I’m not educated enough on what is and isn’t being done to prevent this so it’s hard to comment, but as long as this is happening, we need to do more.  

How can we increase diversity in dance music?
I’d like to see more trained musicians embrace electronic music. Early in my career, I was frowned upon by so many talented jazz and classical musicians that refused to break the mould. As Miles Davis says “If anybody wants to keep creating they have to be about change.”

 

WORDS: MARTIN GUTTRIDGE-HEWITT

Questions Top100 DJs 2004 - Jon Dommett - 2016-10-17 15:00