Remember how Jason Derulo had that song “Trumpets” and Pop song lovers belted out the trumpet like they can actually play it? Good times. If that was up your alley, without a doubt, you’ll be in love with funky pop artist Spencer Ludwig. He’s making trumpet the thing you can’t sleep on.
As a former member for Capital Cities, Spencer Ludwig is coming into his own as a solo artist with hits such as “Diggy” to his latest single, “Just Wanna Dance.” Combine his vocals with his trumpet solos and you’ve got yourself someone who cannot not make you dance. Or, at least hum along to his songs. We had a chance to chat with Ludwig to find out how the trumpet became his weapon of choice, what it’s been like as a solo artist, and he even mentioned a few details about his upcoming single, “My Trumpet.”
The Young Folks: How were you first introduced to your instrument of choice and how long did it take you to master the art?
Spencer Ludwig: When I was in the 11th grade my college counselor asked me what I wanted to major in and naturally I said music but at the time I was a jack of all trades. I could play a little bit of everything but I never thought to master any one specific instrument because up until that point, I didn’t really have to. I was playing a lot of French horn as a way to participate in the school band but I never thought of that instrument as what I wanted to pursue professionally. Also, at that time, I was introduced to and fell in love with the music of Miles Davis. The timing of that was perfect because it inspired me to drop everything and focus entirely on mastering the trumpet. I’ve been on that mission since my senior year in high school and I am still on it today. I will never master the art of the trumpet, which is what I love and hate about it.
TYF: A lot of people may or may not know that you were part of Capital Cities! From hopping into that band into a solo project, how was the transition like for you to once be playing with Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian at the forefront with the vocals to now you being right there center stage singing your heart out too? Was it hard to get used to at first?
Spencer Ludwig: Since day one of my transition from Capital Cities to solo artist, every part of the journey has been extremely rewarding knowing that every step forward is a step that I’ve earned through my own original artistry. Sure, there have been a lot of learning curves but to be honest, I’ve always felt like I had a leg up on a lot of things having learned so much from my experience of working with the band over the course of four years. But every moment that I’ve learned something has been equally as valuable as any other moment since going solo. I appreciate the challenging moments because now they are mine to own and once I get to the other side of them I am a wiser and stronger solo artist because of it. Every moment before becoming a solo artist had been leading up until this moment for me so I do not take a single second for granted.
TYF: When you do get on stage, what is your first thought or goal you wish to accomplish by the end of the show? What do you want the audience’s last impression to be?
Spencer Ludwig: I like to repeat a little mantra…I tell myself “make them feel something and give them something they’ve never seen before” — my goal is for them to feel good and to get them dancing.
TYF: How do you get inspiration for each song you release? They’re all so feel good and all hits, so you’re definitely doing something right!
Spencer Ludwig: Thank you! My goal is for the music to first make me feel good and to make me want to dance. If I can accomplish that for myself, I believe I have a stronger chance at accomplishing that for the listener. It’s all about being able to relate. Apart from relating to the feeling of the music, it’s also very important that you can relate to the message of the lyrics, which is why I try to write from personal experiences. When I write from this perspective the songs usually write themselves. I don’t really have to try so hard to tell the truth.
TYF: Your latest single, “Just Wanna Dance”, for sure makes anyone want to dance. What’s your go-to/must-have dance song when you hit the dance floor?
Spencer Ludwig: Anything Prince, Michael Jackson or Earth, Wind & Fire. I love “1999” by Prince, “Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough” by MJ and “September” by EWF to name a few.
TYF: Can you tell us a little bit about your brand new single “My Trumpet”
Spencer Ludwig: “My Trumpet” was written shortly after one of my all-time favorite performances at the Boom Boom Room on the top of the Standard Hotel in NYC. The room was packed and everyone was dressed to the nine hence the lyric “top to bottom fancy, shining like a Gatsby”. There were so many people there that night that I had to perform on top of the bar and the energy was so electric that it kept me high for weeks. My co-writers on the song, Corey Chorus and Kenna Funken, were there that night and when we got into the studio we wanted to try and capture the scene and the feeling and put it into a song. As we reflected on all of the imagery from that night, in the end, our goal was to write my anthem. Corey and Kenna remembered me as being powerfully seductive performing on top of the bar with my trumpet and so we combined all of the imagery from that night into seductive love story that is a mixture of all of our experiences from that night. After we finished the song, we felt that a Latin rap feature during the bridge would be the perfect complement to the track, which is how MC Davo came into the picture and he killed it. MC Davo is one of Mexico’s coolest new up-and-coming rappers and I am so excited to have him featured on the track.
TYF: With all these new singles, can we expect an EP or full length album anytime soon?
Spencer Ludwig: For now you can expect a new single and video every other month for the foreseeable future. Once I build up a large enough fan base to support an album release the album will come. It’s ready.
TYF: I just had to ask.. And it might be weird but that’s OK but do you have a name for your trumpet?
Spencer Ludwig: Actually I don’t. I’ve never been into naming my things. Sorry!
TYF: I feel as if you’re always on the go or at least doing SOMETHING. How do you unwind or pause whatever is happening to take some time for yourself?
Spencer Ludwig: Quality time with my girlfriend and family come first. When I’m alone I like to cook, read, journal, ride my bike, practice my Spanish, watch Netflix & chill. I also love to snowboard in the winter.