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Exclusive Interview With Matt AKA Sick Trumpet


Sick Trumpet’s emotive sound and dynamic live shows have led him to spend the past few years on the road performing in nightclubs from Ibiza to Aberdeen. He has featured on big stages at major festivals including Reading, Leeds, Download and Main Square and has recorded live at Maida Vale for BBC Radio 1.

We had the chance to interview Sick Trumpet via Instagram to talk more about his music career, musical influences, and challenges faced while growing up in the music industry.

Hello Matt, Thanks for coming to Honk Magazine to talk about your career.

Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Pairing the trumpet with dance music is a pretty unique combination. I was classically trained and for a long time only stayed within the realms of ‘normal’ trumpet playing; Classical, Jazz, session work etc. It had never particularly occurred to me to perform with DJs. I was playing at an event in London when I got a call from Sean Monk (Viral Music UK) a few days before NYE 2018. He asked if I played with DJ’s and if I was available to perform at a couple of club nights in Leeds that New Years Eve. I blagged it a bit and said yes I did perform with DJ’s and was available. I did the events in Leeds and completely fell in love with the rush you get from performing in that deeply charged environment. That’s been it for me ever since.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

I had to get rescued off a mountain in St Anton, Austria at the beginning of 2020 (start as we mean to go on). I was over there playing an event for Powder ‘Ibiza to the Alps’ and everyone had decided to go skiing. Never even having looked at a pair of skis but desperate to impress, I went up the slopes only to realise that I am the most inept skier of all time. I also didn’t realise you needed gloves so you can imagine how cold that was. It took me hours just to get down the first slope and a blizzard swept across the mountain just as I was halfway down. Wandering around half blind I thankfully managed to find a dude with a snowmobile. He took me back up to the top of the mountain (so I could get a cable car back down) with his little siren blaring away. Pretty good laugh for everyone up there as there was a massive crowd of people waiting at the top for the storm to clear.

 

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Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I thought it’d be really cool to play a solo using just the trumpet’s mouthpiece and a microphone at a gig. For reasons unknown to me, doing that is not the best shout. My vision went briefly and I fell over! Again, good laugh for all involved.

 

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I’m working on setting up some regular events in Dubai over the winter. I can’t wait! I’m also planning on releasing some new music with Dutch producer Damaui and I am in the process of putting together a new live show where I DJ as well as play trumpet.

 

 Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

A few weeks ago I performed at Chester 7s Festival alongside a DJ called Jake Smith. Jake suffers from cerebral palsy and DJ’s from his wheelchair but it hasn’t stopped him from fulfilling his dream. He’s a great guy, a real inspiration and a brilliant DJ. It was a privilege to get to meet and perform alongside him.

 

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Hair of the dog. – No, seriously it’s something that I have struggled with coming out of the pandemic and I’m still not getting it quite right. I’m planning on trying to take a week out after University Freshers in October, lie on a beach somewhere sunny and turn my phone off.

You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?

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I think it’s far better to try and fail than to spend the rest of your life thinking ‘what if’.

 

Can you share with our readers any self care routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body, mind or heart to thrive? Kindly share a story or an example for each.

So I try to practice trumpet for 2 hours a day when I’m not performing. It’s difficult because it’s an instrument where you make the sound with these tiny muscles in your face. Those muscles get unfit for me within 48 hours of not playing. Louis Armstrong famously said, ‘if I don’t practice trumpet for a day, then I know. Two days and my band knows. If I don’t play for three days, the whole world knows.’

 

I also try to workout 5 days a week but have been slacking recently as the summer has been so busy.

 

Mentally for me the best therapy is performing, so no shortage of that since lockdown has eased.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Say yes to as much as possible, particularly at the start. I was asked to do a recording session for a band I’d never heard of a few years ago. I wasn’t particularly keen on making the journey up from (Brighton at the time) to Worcester, but ended up doing the session and from that day I spent the summer touring round the UK and Europe playing at festivals to thousands of people every week with the band, recording live at Maida Vale for BBC Radio 1 (a dream) and playing on 4 more tracks with them on their next record. In my uni days there were so many instances where I didn’t say yes when I should have, for various reasons.

 

Just go for it. You’re never going to know if you don’t try. It’s easy to spend lots of time planning, thinking and talking but not actually doing anything productive.

 

Don’t be too harsh on yourself. It’s taken me a while to appreciate my successes as well as delving into my failures.

 

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Not to stress about not being exactly where you want to be really early on. I was always wanting to get to the next stage and be more successful etc but it happens at different times for different people and while it’s great to have that drive and ambition, it’s much better to do away with the anxiety that’s caused by striving for more.

 

Stay in the present. What’s the point in dreaming of the future if you’re not happy with where you are in the current moment?

 

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

‘Do not fear mistakes. There are none’ (Miles Davis). Any ‘mistake’ I’ve made has only better informed me and helped me progress and advance.

 

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

So many people; family, friends, teachers, colleagues but special mention to Sean Monk and Matt Saxx from Viral Music who gave me my first shot at performing in nightclubs and have supported me ever since.

 

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

It’d be great if every child had access to musical instruments and tuition whatever their means or background.

 

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

Emilia Clarke, need I say more?

 

How can our readers follow you online?

linktr.ee/sicktrumpet

@sicktrumpet on all social media & streaming services.

Grace Walker is the founder of PlexFeed and the official Interviewer of Honk Magazine. She shares stories of inspiring entrepreneurs from all around the world and tips to create a better life & business.

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