Explorer Spotlight: Spencer Ludwig

Photos: Alex Merrell

Photos: Alex Merrell

After a stint as the original trumpet player in the multi platinum band Capital Cities, Spencer Ludwig has successfully bridged the gap to a bold solo career. Bolstered by campaigns for brands like Apple and Tommy Hilfiger, music festival performances and singles racking up Spotify streaming numbers in the millions, Spencer is forging an original path as a trumpet wielding pop icon for the modern generation.

When he isn’t in the studio or touring, you can find him crowd surfing on a golden dragon pool float while throwing pizza to the audience (yes… that happened - photo evidence in the story below) at his monthly party at Freehand in Brooklyn. We caught up with the music maverick to talk about everything from Russian dolls to duck fetus.

Photos: Alex Merrell

Photos: Alex Merrell

Full name (as appears on passport)

Spencer Robert Valencia Ludwig

Miles traveled last year


What is your earliest memory of falling in love with travel?

I fell in love with traveling when I first started touring as the trumpeter in the band Capital Cities in 2012.

Photos (T-B): @hotelelganzo // @spencerludwig // Christine Siracusa

Photos (T-B): @hotelelganzo // @spencerludwig // Christine Siracusa

Given the choice of anyone in the world, who would you want as a seat neighbor on a plane?

Living? Elon Musk. Diseased? Prince.

Thoughtful planner or spontaneous adventurer?


Ideal vacation

Beach day every day + Mexican food.

If you could change one thing about your travel habits, what would it be?

I’d like to fly first class everywhere but… you know…

Packing Style

Night before. The strategy is to roll each item into individual burritos.

Carry on or Checked

I wish I could fly with just a carryon but unless I’m going on a short vacation (rare) I have a ton of musical gear and am forced to check hella bags. That said at least I travel in style thanks to my friends at Tumi!

Photos: @spencerludwig

Photos: @spencerludwig

Travel uniform

Black jeans, black hoodie, black leather jacket, black boots and long underwear otherwise I freeze!

Always in your carry on

Three little wooden Russian dolls. Each one represents a member of my family.

In flight routine

Water bottle in my seat back pocket, shoes off, eye mask on and ear plugs in.

Best travel accessory

MacBook Pro + Headphones.

Current plane read

“Meet Me In The Bathroom” by Lizzy Goodman

Best travel hack

Einstein Bagels serves eggs all day. Thank god.

Photos (T-B): @spencerludwig // Faena Hotel // @spencerludwig // Alex Merrell

Photos (T-B): @spencerludwig // Faena Hotel // @spencerludwig // Alex Merrell

Best place to ring in the New Year


Favorite hotel

The Faena Hotel in Miami & Hotel El Ganzo in Cabo.

Favorite hotel bar

The Living Room @ The Faena Hotel in Miami.

Favorite beach

Low key: South Beach, Miami.

Room service order

English breakfast.

Favorite workout on the road

Morning trumpet practice with a view of an ocean.

Current travel playlist

“Funky Feels” a Spotify playlist by Spencer Ludwig.

Photos (T-B): Alex Merrell // Leonard Cotte

Photos (T-B): Alex Merrell // Leonard Cotte

Place you’d like to go next

All of South America again.

Best quality in a travel partner

Down for whatever and up for adventure.

One city you’d like to live in 


Strangest thing you’ve eaten in a foreign country

Duck fetus

What is your most treasured possession from your travels?

My one and only trumpet came from a trip to New Jersey back when I was still living in Los Angeles.

If you could only visit one more place before you die, where would it be?

My childhood home in Los Angeles where I grew up because that’s where I started and that’s where my heart is.