Q the trumpet’s Expansive Approach to Music
Q the trumpet details the differences between his public and private selves, how he incorporates empathy and variety into his work, and more!
For those who have not heard your music before, how would you describe it to them? How would you finish the sentence “Q the trumpet is ___” or “Q the trumpet’s music is ___”?
“Q the trumpet’s music flows.” I don't want to make music that distinguishes between genres or categories. I’m interested in various genres based on jazz. I want to create my own genre that fits the trends of the times or the emotions that I want to express. I don't want to be tied to one genre.
What is the story behind your stage name, and did you consider any other stage names before deciding on “Q the trumpet”?
To be honest with you, the name was not originally made with a fantastic meaning. I simply wrote down my Instagram ID for no reason. But from day one, people called me “Q the trumpet” when they introduced me for any performance! So I just [chose] “Q the trumpet” as my stage name and later gave it the meaning of “Q is the trumpet itself.”
When did you first develop the desire to pursue a music career? Was there any specific person or experience that inspired your passion for music?
When I was in middle school, I was part of the wind orchestra. At that time, I was new to music, and I mainly played and listened to classical music rather than popular music. It was just a hobby. A few years later, [when I reached] the age [of enlistment] in the military, I immediately took the test [to get into the military’s band]. There were members of the unit who majored in popular music and jazz, and as I encountered various music through them, I realized, “This is my path.”
Out of all of your songs, which one..
… took the shortest amount of time from start to finish?
“Relativity of Time” (ft. J.UNA and Meego). Without any heavy thought, the piano riff suddenly came to my mind, and the theme came out right after the beat was completed! As for the features, J.UNA and Meego recorded [the song] with almost no editing.
… was the most challenging and/or took the longest time to make?
“Complicated” (ft. Kim Mi Jeong and Olltii). I had a “complicated” and hard time back then, so I changed the melody several times and changed the lyrics a lot. As for the beats, I tried to do them all by myself, but in the end, I was so dizzy [and] realized I would never be able to organize them, so I asked [producer] UGP for help.
… has the most personal meaning to you?
“내일은모르지만오늘을위로하고싶어” (with slowminsteady). It's the first song in the history of my music, and I think [it has] the most important meaning [to] me. I wrote this song hoping that listeners would feel comfortable while listening, and now I feel that while I’m listening. That’s why I care about this song the most, even though all my songs mean a lot to me.
… went through the most changes before the final version?
“Mood Washing” (ft. Yun Seok Cheol Trio and Park Ki Hun). Yun Seok Cheol Trio and Park Ki Hun played for me based on my rough draft, but I lost the confidence to re-listen to what I made for the first time ever... I realized that it's a blessing to have people who master the music.
… has gotten the strongest positive feedback?
“Good Night” (ft. paulkye, Kid Wine, and Jay Moon). Everyone likes “Good Night” a lot, probably because listeners find this song relatable. I tried to make this song cozy and soft, [putting in] the real stories of my friends without any refining process. Now, I know the emotions of my friends well.
… would be fun to turn into a collaboration?
I personally like the [instrumental] of the song “PAPER PLANE” so much that I think it would be fun if there was content that various rappers participated in [with it]. The beat came alive so well that I wonder what it would be like if they [added] other rappers.
Do you view Park Junkyu and Q the trumpet as different people? In other words, do you view “Q the trumpet” as a separate persona or more so just a different side of Park Junkyu?
It can be said that there is Q the trumpet in the person named Park Junkyu. I don't think that Q the trumpet created its ego from nothing, but it’s a medium that contains the most outgoing, enjoyable, and honest side of my heart. That’s why I don't make a big distinction between Q and Park Junkyu. But the reason why I say that Park Junkyu is a bigger persona than Q is because this is the only way to fully embrace and care about Q. No matter how bright Q looks, there is a dark side behind it. Just look closely into the lyrics and you'll know!
What is the best advice one of your past collaborators has given you about music, or what is a big lesson you learned through working on a collaboration?
So many wonderful artists have worked with me on music. Among them, there are people I am very grateful for. The producer UGP always gives me a lot of positive energy, such as “You're doing well,” “I like it,” and “I miss you.” Every time I have doubts and difficulties, he corrects me, sympathizes with me, and leads me back to the surface. Thanks to his energy, I could become a positive man again. I learned the lesson that spending time with good people produces good results!
Do you have any 2023 New Year’s resolutions, music-related or otherwise?
Somehow, I got an image of a hustler, but this year, I'm thinking of reducing [that reputation] a bit and increasing the density [of my work]. I want to release each song with more sincerity. And starting this year, I plan to focus a little more on my individual activities. Please look forward to [them]!
Lastly, is there anything else you want to say about your music?
I want to be a “flowing artist.” That's why I'm not a person who acts with only one thought. There is no guarantee that current thoughts will continue the same in the future, so I want to understand all possible thoughts without making any assumptions. I try to investigate different opinions from mine, and I try not to think those are wrong. In the flow of [time], I want to tell various stories, comforts, and expressions. If you look at all my future songs, I hope that you notice my biography through them. I hope you enjoy my life! I hope 2023 will be full of great things. Thank you!
Keep up with Q the trumpet on Instagram!
Answers have been edited and condensed for clarity. Photos courtesy of DANIEL PROJECT.