ALL THINGS GIRL
the Moment: Trevor Hall
My senior year, I signed a record deal right as I graduated high school, and after that I was on this record label for about two years - three years - and I recorded two albums for them but none of them came out and at the end of that process they told me they were going to drop me from the label, and at that time we kind of just did our own thing, and made a record on our own, and that’s when Vanguard picked us up, and we just finished our first record with them, which came out this past summer - so that’s kind of the gist in a very quick form.
Your first Vanguard album is the self-titled one? “Trevor
I’ve been listening to it as part of the prep for this
interview, and I’ve really been enjoying it. I’ve noticed
that there are a lot of different musical styles that inform your
work. Can you tell me a little bit about that?
Well, the big influence is reggae music, just because ever since I was a kid that’s the music that’s stuck with me the most. So that’s kind of the foundation of it all, but I’m influenced by a lot of world music and hip-hop and rock - kind of a fusion of all those, but the reggae is, for me, the foundation for it all.
Various reviews of your music have compared you to people
like Peter Gabriel, Bob Marley, and even Jack Johnson. Do you count
any of those people among your influences, or do you feel you’re
truly your own person, musically?
I’d like to talk about two of the songs on the “Trevor
Hall” album. The first one is the very first cut - “Internal
Heights.” Do I hear sitar music in that? And the second is “Unity.”
Tell me a bit about each of them?
As far as “Unity” goes, it was a song written with Matisyahu, a friend of mine. We were on tour together, and it was the time of the terrorist shootings in Mumbai, India, and he had some friends, or people that he knew there who had passed away, and we were on the road together at that time, and it affected us greatly, so while we were on tour we were always talking, reasoning about all this fighting in the name of God and how upset that that made us. So that song was born out of that tour, and those experiences.
You’ve mentioned spirituality, and your lyrics certainly
have a sense of spirituality that comes out of them; is that something
important to you? Do you consider yourself more spiritual or actually
You’ve been chosen by MTV as one of 20 emerging artists
for 2010. What does that mean to you personally and professionally?
And I was like, “What?” But I didn’t really get to watch it, or see anything happen until I got back. I haven’t really been able to see the results of it, but I feel very honored to be one of the artists that need to be known, I guess, you could say?
Hopefully it will help the career and help people learn about the music.
And I think that’s a good teacher for me, to not get attached to anything. It’s like you’re going through a market place but not as a buyer. You’re just kind of observing life, and seeing all these different people and how they live and how they communicate their ideas, and - it’s just a wonderful teacher.
The other high point of it is, now whatever city I go into, I know people. It’s like I have friends in almost every city, and that wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for music. That’s been a really nice thing to see over the years - how friendships have grown.
But traveling so much - it does wear on your health, and it can get really tiring, and you do lose your ground sometimes, but it’s important to talk to loved ones, or keep up with your meditation, or whatever you do and just try to stay healthy and remember your goal. You just try to remember that you’re doing this for people. That you’re serving people.
Speaking of serving people…y You’ve used your
music to support some important charities, like the Rainforest Action
Network and The Hunger Site. Talk to me about your involvement with
those organizations. Is social action important to you?
I feel very blessed to be able to use my music to not only entertain people, but also to raise money for this cause or that cause…
The Rainforest Action Network is something that happened through my manager. My manager’s friend was on their board, and we ended up doing a concert for them, and I was really taken by all the good work that they’ve been doing for the environment, so I said, “Hey, let’s try to do something with these folks.” It’s been a real pleasure working with them, and supporting each other.
The big thing, though, that I love and am inspired by is children. I love kids, and I love serving kids that are in need. And by going to India - I stayed in one temple over there, and it was kind of like an orphanage, and I became really attached to these kids and seeing how pure their hearts are, and I just wanted to help in any way I could, so I’ve started a little thing - a very small thing - where I’ve been trying to raise money at shows for their clothing and food, and stuff, and this past trip I was able to go back and see what the donations have done, and it’s just been such a wonderful thing to see over the years.
It’s just…it’s just such a blessing to be able to serve.
How wonderful that you’re doing something so personal
and meaningful. Speaking of doing things, though…you’ve
got this tour about to start, an album that just came out…what’s
next for you? More trips to India…or…?
We’ve talked about music and good works and your plans
for the future. Is there anything else that you’re really passionate
about that you want to share with us?
I feel like it’s really unfortunate, and I hope that in the future, maybe through God’s grace, that there’ll be some cooks, and that it will be easier for kids to find that spiritual side of themselves, and get out of this physical, material life that is kind of engulfing us - especially America.
I feel like there’s another whole world out there that is incredibly beautiful, but right now, I don’t feel like there are many ways for youth to tap into it. My one prayer is that this will change, and I believe music is one of the ways to transmit powerful messages, and to make people feel something.
So, I hope that it will come from music - not necessarily me - but anybody - as long as it helps youth with their spiritual connection.