Tim Smith, better known by his stage name Timmy Trumpet, is one of dance music's most successful anomalies. Whilst growing up in Australia he became part of the country's jazz scene, landing himself the role of the leading trumpet soloist in the Australian All-Star Stage Band in his teens and touring the world covering some of the biggest jazz festivals on the planet.
After taking a liking to house music, he turned his musical hand to producing and in recent years has worked his way up to being ranked as Australia's busiest DJ, his 2011 track 'Freaks' became Ministry of Sound's highest ever selling single.
Incorporating trumpet solos into live dance music during an Ibiza season was a gamble that paid off, his USP earning him headline slots at some of the world's biggest festivals, including EDC and Tomorrowland. We caught up with him ahead of his shows in Birmingham and Liverpool this month to talk jazz, collabs and what makes UK ravers so great.
Hi Timmy, for anyone who's unfamiliar with your background, can you fill us in on how you got started with the trumpet, and how that transitioned into dance music?
My Dad gave me his old trumpet and it started with jazz and I hope it ends with jazz. It was jazz improvisation that got me jamming over everything and anything, mainly stuff on the radio. It wasn’t long until I discovered house music, met a DJ, then played my first gig. I drove home that night knowing this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
In the UK we have a lot of orchestra club shows, were big dance music tracks are recreated for an audience using a full orchestra, where do you see the similarities between classical music and modern dance music? Why do you think it works to mix them both?
That’s what I love about music! You can take a melody and change the style to fit any genre. The main thing I like about classical music is that it has stood the test of time.
We need to talk about your new track 'Punjabi' with Dimatik, it's such a big anthem at the moment, why did you decide to opt for Indian musical influences for the song?
I’ve never done an Indian track before and I’m always trying to do something unpredictable that challenges me. I’ve always loved Indian culture and was interested to see what it sounds like with a hardstyle twist.
It hit the top of the Beatport charts, is it important to you to see results like that, or are you more concerned about crowd reactions?
Crowd reaction is the best result, the charts are just a bonus.
I'm sure you will have had time to reflect over summer now, what were your highlights?
Tomorrowland was definitely a highlight but 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.
Apart from your own productions, what track is without fail making its way into your sets at the moment?
You're a global superstar now, playing to massive arenas to thousands of fans, but what's the weirdest/funniest fan moment you've ever had?
Landing in Budapest after a 24-hour flight, to a crowd of fans at the airport with trombones and pots & pans. It was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. I didn’t even know 'Freaks' was on the radio overseas.
You've got two headline UK shows coming up later this month, what do you love about the UK crowds?
The UK can out-party just about anyone; they’re the right kind of ravers. Creamfields is something I’ll never forget, so I can’t wait to see what the Birmingham and Liverpool shows have to offer.
What else have you got coming up this year?
I’ve got new collaborations with Blasterjaxx and Vini Vici, plus some new solo records on the way. I’m also excited about my first ever show in India coming up later this year.