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Q&A with TREVOR HALL Who Talks About His New Album: Chapter of the Forest, Spiritual Retreats to India & Nepal and More!
Posted On 02 Feb 2015
Trevor Hall began songwriting and performing when he was 16 years old. He burst into the music scene with the song “The Lime Tree” which was featured on the Shrek the Third soundtrack. Hall’s captivating live performances and growing popularity have led to sold out tours across the country as well as touring with such artists as Steel Pulse, The Wailers, Jimmy Cliff, Matisyahu, Michael Franti and Colbie Callait. In 2009, Hall released his Vanguard debut which featured the single “Unity,” a song written and performed with longtime friend, Matisyahu. The self-titled release debuted at #7 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and Hall was cited by MTV’s ‘Subway Fresh Buzz’ Series as “one of the 20 emerging artists for 2010.” His follow up album Everything, Everytime, Everywhere debuted on iTunes Rock Chart at #3, iTunes Top Albums at #12 and #8 Amazon Movers & Shakers. The featured single “Brand New Day” was used as the music bed for the reformatted CBS This Morning Show.
Trevor recently surprised his fans with the sudden release of his new 12-track album Chapter of the Forest, a collection of songs born during a yearlong sabbatical when Trevor returned to his beloved India, Nepal, Vermont, and Maine, and spent time in deep reflection.
“This album is inspired by simplicity, by the roots of life, and by the beauty that one finds in solitude and in nature,” says Trevor.
Chapter of the Forest was released on June 17th and debuted at #3 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart and #17 on the iTunes Overall Albums chart. Read more in All Access Music writer, Nicole DeRosa‘s Q&A with the talented singer below:
Hi Trevor! How are you? What’s on the agenda today besides our interview?
I’m well thanks. Coming to you from Maui at the moment. Lots of good spirit here. During this time of being off the road, just focusing on resting up. Visiting a lot of waterfalls, jumping in the ocean, eating good food … feeling blessed.
For those not as familiar with you and your music, how did you get involved with music as a career? Who or what was the catalyst or inspiration?
My father was the main influence for me getting into music. He is a musician himself and music was always around the house. He had this epic record collection that I used to explore as a kid.
When I was 16 years old, he surprised me for my birthday and took me to his friend’s recording studio to make my first album. My family has definitely been a shining light in my career and have supported me at every step.
Your new album,”Chapter of the Forest” was released in June this past year. It debuted at #2 on the iTunes singer-songwriter charts, and #17 on the iTunes overall albums chart! That’s pretty awesome! Congratulations! Can you tell me a bit about the new album? What did you learn between albums that you wanted to infuse in this new one?
“Chapter of the Forest” is a very very special album for me. Before making this record, I was really in a low place. I was completely exhausted from being on the road so much and my health was starting to break down. For the first time in my career, I said “stop” and took a year long break.
“One of my many inspirations, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, once said that one could not be in the world continually. He said that from time to time, one had to retreat into solitude. It could be for a day, a month, a year.”
It could be in the forest or in a corner of a room. I took these words very literally and traveled up to the mountains in Vermont and to the Northern Woods of Maine. In that solitude and space, I was really able to reflect and clear my head. It was during this time that all these songs came out. I wasn’t writing them in the sense of “I want to do another album.” They were just coming out naturally. It was a really healing time for me. At the end of that year, I found I had all these songs and said to myself, if these songs have helped to heal me, maybe they can do the same for others. I knew I had to share them.
I understand your “Small Is Beautiful” Tour partnered with professional snowboarder, Kevin Pearce and his “Love Your Brain” Foundation. Can you tell me a bit about that and why you wanted to join forces with Kevin and LYB Foundation?
I met Kevin’s brother Adam up in Vermont. It was about 2 weeks before we were to start the “Small is Beautiful” tour. I had seen Kevin’s movie “The Crash Reel” and was really effected by his story. I admired his strength and perseverance. He said that yoga and music were the strong foundations of his healing process and Adam explained to me how he and Kevin wanted to bring these healing instruments to other brain injury survivors. I knew then and there that we had to collaborate. It was all Divine arrangement … As most things are.
Who are your musical inspirations?
I have so many and they constantly change, but these days they are: Midnite, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Xavier Rudd, Haradhan Das Baul, Parvathy Baul, and many others. Bob Marley and Ben Harper have always been there and were really influential especially in my early years.
Harper_TWTLDo you remember the first album you bought for yourself?
I don’t remember the first album I bought, but I do remember the album that really changed things for me. It was Ben Harper’s “The Will to Live”. That album changed my whole game up.
What was the first song you fell in love with and why?
In keeping with the previous question, the first song I heard off of Ben Harper’s “The Will to Live” was “I Shall Not Walk Alone.” The simplicity and honesty of that song … even when I hear it now, it just seems to set everything right.
I understand you recently returned from a yearlong sabbatical traveling to your beloved India, Nepal, Vermont, and Maine, and spent time in deep reflection. I would love to hear more. Would you mind sharing with me in what ways did your journey enlighten and inspire you?
India and Nepal are my places to really recharge spiritually. To be honest, I’m not sure how they teach me … I’m still unpacking lessons from my first trip! Their way of life and philosophy really resonate with me. I’m always learning. As for Vermont and Maine, I think that story is told in your third question. The woods are magical. They just have that “thing”. Just listening to them teaches so much.
You have been on sold-out tours and festivals alongside other talented musicians such as Matisyahu, Steel Pulse, The Wailers, Jimmy Cliff, Michael Franti and Colbie Caillat. What has been your most memorable show or festival so far and why?
Most recently, I toured Australia with my good brother Nahko Bear. We played a place called Queenscliff … a small little town near Melbourne. That place was just so beautiful, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. I was playing solo and was scheduled to play the main stage at 11:45 am on the last day. It was a massive stage and seemed weird that they would put me all by my lonesome up there. I also thought that nobody would show up at 11:45 in the morning for some one that they have never heard of.
I had never toured Australia. Luckily it was really hot that day and the main stage was covered by a huge tent. To get out of the heat, everybody came inside the tent to get cool. It worked out in my favor! There were a few thousand people in there and they listened to every single word. I was so humbled. It was a really fun, surprising, and special show for me.
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Andrew Keegan, one of the founders of Full Circle Venice. Have you performed yet?
I’ve known Andrew for a long time. He’s kind of like my big brother. However, I have not played Full Circle. I visited there one time as they were building it, but have not seen it since its been finished.
What’s on tap for you in 2015, Trevor? What are you most excited about in 2015?
2015 seems to be shaping up as the year of festivals. We are playing a lot of festivals this year which I am really excited about. Other than that, working on a lot of new music here in Hawaii and will most likely be recording a new album sometime this year.
To stay up with the latest, visit TREVOR HALL here .