Trumpet Grrrl hails from the small state of Maryland known for its rural towns and historic caricature. She has since created the Trumpet Grrrl LLC and is now licensed to publish her music for sync-based reasons. Her grafting in the, as she puts it, “oversaturated market” is paying off with the better quality she is looking to add to her music. She will be touring the East and West Coast for the release of her EP, as well as playing solo shows around Manhattan and Brooklyn, with a summer tour in the works. So who is Trumpet Grrrl for those who do not know?
Trumpet Grrrl’s swaying has always been to the rhythm of music; and from 10 years old, her endeavours have always been to be a professional musician. Her achievements in music have been varied, from performing with the National Symphony Orchestra (at the Carnegie Hall) to receiving her bachelor’s degree in Trumpet Performance at the University of Maryland in 2008. Her tastes and influences in music stems from many a genre: “In addition to classical music, I grew up listening to rock of all kinds, old school R&B, pop music, electronic, rap music that’s not degrading…pretty much everything but country“.
Trumpet Grrrl as a whole is unapologetically hard working, with the vast amount of her music releases being funded by herself and friends, and supporters of what she does. She mentions that she makes music that is created truthfully to heal and inspire those to listen, and her new EP Just Listen is for listeners to simply do that. To round off her beginnings quite smoothly, Trumpet Grrrl says:
“I grew up classically training, playing in orchestras and other classical ensembles in addition to solo playing. During my final months of college — where I studied trumpet performance, I formed a rock band name La Coterie. This is where I began songwriting, playing piano and singing. After that project ended a couple years later, I became Trumpet Grrrl and here we are a lil’ over 5 years later!”
Going back five years ago, Trumpet Grrrl was indeed still very much active. Back in October 2010, she released The Basement Tracks, which was recorded and completed as a set of demos that, in a month or so, turned out to be her completed first album. From the record, she released the single “Amaryllis” which went on to get featured in the Washington City Paper’s ‘One Track Mind’.
The 7-track record, which was created in such a limited and short space of time, deserves a round of applause for even constituting work of an interesting listening capability. It has my ears sharply listening to each word she is singing. Trumpet Grrrl possesses such a deep drowning voice that drops to the point of inaudible but it’s so unique, with no comparison coming near to her voice at all.
Trumpet Grrrl launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2012 for her second album, It All Starts Here, but she classes it as a major disappointment. The whole album and its content were made using a computer, Blue Snowball Mic, and a Yamaha keyboard. This project was 100% funded by her and at the time, charitable donations from friends helped it come about, She felt that many lacked the true vision of what she was trying to do and saw the “asking of money” as a negative towards her music and herself.
“I did not enjoy doing the Kickstarter campaign, it was an insane amount of work, for an amount of money that only partially funded the album and in the end it was friends who made large donations that got the album funded, which wasn’t my desire at all. Not to diminish the epic awesomeness of everyone who was cool enough to support even with a simple retweet. Or to even suggest that people are obligated to care about my music. However, the campaign honestly left me with the impression that most thought I just wanted money from them and that I don’t really have anything to offer musically“.
The goal with her new EP Just Listen, which is to be released in June, is to produce a professional sounding product that is like the release of a major record label. Keen to be taken seriously, this album has a welcomed addition in the name of Grammy Award-winning producer Scott Jacoby – who vibes with and understands her work comfortably. She describes her work as “her baby“, and Scott doesn’t hamper with that feeling or her independence. His stem of knowledge seems to be one that works in the pair’s favour.
In regards to the difference between her new record and previous releases The Basement Tracks and It Starts Here, it seems Trumpet Grrrl knows the exact changes that she needs to bring about: “Besides the professional quality, the biggest change people will notice is the rock band! I’ve always envisioned more than just me on my albums but couldn’t afford to hire a band on the first two“.
“In the same vein of my response to the previous question regarding working with Scott, bringing in experienced musicians (and their perceptions of my music), always adds in fun unexpected elements. I also worked with different guitar and bass players for some of the songs so you will hear different personalities and styles. Otherwise I’ve grown in all areas; songwriting, singing, trumpet/keyboard playing, as consistent practice over time will do”.
Two singles have already been released from the forthcoming Just Listen EP – “Rain Boots” and “Love/Hate NYC”: “I’ve already released two singles from the EP; ‘Rain Boots’ and ‘Love/Hate NYC’, there will be five tracks total. Additionally ‘Afghan Palace’, which was recorded at Converse Rubber Tracks in Brooklyn, will be mastered at The Lodge along with the rest of the EP. The two songs we’re finishing up now are about how I love to play trumpet and not finding love of the relationship kind. In typical me fashion, you’ll hear a lot of different styles and emotions. I’m also super, duper excited about having a band on this album and get ready”.
Both videos picture a Trumpet Grrrl of now and then. On “Rain Boots“, she is quirky, cruising on her skateboard, merry, cheery, and vibrantly singing away, while “Love/Hate NYC” is a more serious and deepening Trumpet Grrrl, being almost a polar opposite in message and tone. The dancers and choreography are artistic, with Trumpet Grrrl pressing away on her keyboard looking mournful, which is perhaps another side to the smiley and happy go lucky Trumpet Grrrl – maybe an indicator of the seriousness she can depict. This year indeed will be full of surprises and promises for an artist who is so passionate about what she does, and sees the relationship between the listener and performer as a symbolic one that is lots of fun.
I advise you all to ‘just listen’ and to grab a free EP when she unveils them for consumption. For all those looking to keep up-to-date with her music, tours, and EP releases can do as Trumpet Grrrl says: “The best ways to stay up to date with my tour dates and the EP release are; to sign-up for my e-mail newsletter by sending an email to [email protected], follow me on Songkick or social media, or just check out my website at www.trumpetgrrrl.com“.
Photo Credit: Richard Louissaint
Words by Christine Reynolds