I was introduced to Trevor Hall‘s music about five years ago and since then he has been with me during many of my days in a very positive manner. I know this is something that thousands of people feel as well. His music is deeply touching and meaningful to so many of us.
The purpose of this interview with Trevor is to introduce his music and message to those of you who have not yet heard of him. I believe that we are highly influenced by our surroundings and it is important to listen to meaningful messages through our music. At the same time it’s important to avoid putting words into our minds that bring ourselves and others down, whether consciously or subconsciously. Trevor’s music is a beacon in this manner. Through this interview I also aim for people who already are fans of Trevor to get to know him a little better. Lastly, I’d also love for this interview to be a resource to help people through the difficult times we’re in and to help them down the path towards a higher quality of life.
For people that don’t know you, and perhaps for people who do know you but haven’t gone deeper than the surface beauty, what is the mission of your music?
For me, I don’t necessarily have a particular mission with my music. For me, music is a process of getting out of the way and getting out of my own story. In some way, I feel like if I have a mission with my music, I’m involving myself, I’m involving my ego, and that’s not necessarily what it’s about for me. Of course, I want people to feel positive things when listening to my music. I’d like people to go deeper within themselves, be inspired, be joyful – all of those things, but as far as having a particular mission, I try not to attach too much importance to that. For me the music has a spirit of its own and will do whatever it wants to do. By allowing that space and allowing that freedom, I trust that it goes where it needs to go and does for people what it needs to do.
For those looking to awaken themselves and initiate positive change, what are a few songs of yours you’d recommend people start with?
The first one that comes to mind is You Can’t Rush Your Healing. I feel that all of us in some way are trying to heal something within ourselves and most of us are trying to heal it quickly. One of the things that I’ve learned in my own journey is that those things can’t be rushed, and when we surrender to the timing, ironically the healing can be more powerful and happen faster.
For those struggling in these difficult times that we face, what are a few songs of yours that you’d recommend people to listen to?
(I’m thoroughly livened up by Moon / Sun from The Fruitful Darkness album right now).
Moon/Sun would definitely be a song that I would recommend, being that it is about the eternal space within the heart that is not affected by anything, that is always luminous, always joyful. Another one that I would recommend would be What I Know. Times of uncertainty tend to scare a lot of us, including myself, but if we can surrender to the not knowing there’s a beautiful shift that can happen within ourselves, within our lives – we can return to the place of childlike wonder, and live with more presence than before.
What are your favorite musicians you are listening to now that you think the world needs to hear?
One of my all time favorite bands is a band called Midnite. The lead singer recently unexpectedly passed away and it was a great loss to the community, but the songs and words live on more than ever now. He was a very prophetic person that spoke of love and unity and I believe his music and presence will remain timeless.
You have been playing for over 15 years now. What were your early experiences that shaped and influenced your music.
My father was my main influence growing up. He’s a musician and growing up we always had various instruments around the house. He also had a very extensive record collection. I remember being a kid and pulling out different records and putting them on the stereo, not knowing how they would sound or what style of music it was, but by doing that, I got a very wide range of influence. It was my dad who surprised me for my 16th birthday with letting me record my first songs at his friend’s studio where I grew up in South Carolina. Having that foundation from a parent or a loved one is priceless and I wouldn’t be here today without the support of my family.
Your music seems to really align with your life. What are the early practices that transformed you into who you are today?
For me, my music and my life are one and the same. What I do in my life comes out in my music and my music influences what I do in my life. When I started practicing yoga and meditation, my music took on a different shift. It became more of a tool to explore my inner landscape. Questions that I had within myself were answered in the music. The music became like a guide for me, as well as a playground of imagination. Having music in my life allows me to be more spacious and free.
Everyone I know that has met you in person has had incredibly positive things to say about the experience. This is not something I come across every day. In the times we live in I greatly admire people who stay humble and pure, even with a lot of eyes on them.
What helps to keep you in balance when you are on tour, overwhelmed with too much work or when things just aren’t going according to plan?
The people you know that have met me obviously don’t know me very well! I am extremely moody and have plenty of ups and downs. In regards to staying humble, I would have to attribute that to my parents and my upbringing. I guess it was just the way I was raised. In regards to keeping balanced on tour or being overwhelmed with too much work, it is really a day to day thing for me. What works one day may not work another day and vice versa. Most of the time I am unbalanced and overwhelmed but the thing that helps me most is just to surrender to where I’m at. If I’m always hankering to be in a balanced state or be calm and peaceful, it almost makes it worse. When I can surrender to the present moment and my own feelings, it creates a certain space around them that allows me to ironically find a place of steadiness.
Your spring tour was postponed. Have you found any silver linings in the chaos and what will you be doing in the months to come?
Obviously we’re very bummed out that our tour had to be postponed, however, we knew it was the right thing to do given the situation that we all are in. This is a very unprecedented time and in a lot of ways is new for all of us. Again, I just try to take things day by day and use my time wisely. I am one of the lucky ones who have the freedom to stay at home and continue to be creative, however, my heart is pained and broken for all the people who are out of work right now and struggling to make ends meet. It is really hard to comprehend. In the months to come, I hope to use my time wisely, continue to hone my craft and hopefully use some of my inspiration for the good of others.
How are you using your music to support people on this Earth? Could you tell us a little bit about your work in India?
I hope and pray that the music itself is a support for all people. Music is a great healer and transcends all boundaries and language. It has the power to uplift and inspire. I hope that my music continues to be a source of healing, upliftment, and inspiration for people always. As far as our work in India, it is a very simple work. We’ve been raising money over the years, on tour and through our album sales to support our ashram there. At our ashram, our teacher takes care of many underprivileged children who are either abandoned or orphaned. The funds we raise supply them with their education, clothing, food, and housing. Over the years we’ve raised enough money to build a girls ashram as well that is now housing anywhere from 10 – 12 girls at a time. It’s been an amazing experience to see the power of community and what it can do.
Your new single Put Down What You Are Carrying featuring Brett Dennen just came out. Do you remember where you were when these words came to you? Was there any particular inspiration behind this song?
Yes, I remember it very well. The words “put down what you are carrying” came to me on one of my trips to India. I was staying alone in a forest near the Narmada River and had an experience that I won’t go into the details of, but those words came to me then, and I continued to hold onto them for many years, trying to put them in a song. After my grandmother passed, I heard the words “don’t war with yourself”. These words found their way into the song. We were on tour with John Butler Trio the summer of 2019 and had a day off in a small town in Washington and that was the day we recorded a demo of this song in the hotel room. That’s where this song was born. After it was recorded, I asked my brother Brett if he wanted to sing on it and we were very blessed to have him agree. Hoping that the song can inspire all of us to release anything that isn’t serving us, and provides some space in this emotional time.
I’ve listened to Brett Dennen for over a decade. It’s great to see you two together. How did that come about?
I’m not exactly sure of where I met Brett for the first time. We had a lot of mutual acquaintances through playing music. We did a tour together with Michael Franti and Soja one summer called the Soul Shine Tour. I think that’s where we really bonded and got to know each other. Since that time we’ve really kept in touch. Brett’s always been a big musical inspiration and it’s always been a desire of mine to collaborate in some way so I’m very grateful that I’ve now had that opportunity to do that with him. I hope there are many more songs to come.
I asked people who follow my page if they have any questions for you. Here are a few:
How do you define your connection to Great Spirit and allow that connection to flow through your music?
I look on my connection as a child to its mother. I don’t know anything but my mother knows everything. I find it hard to “define my connection”. I think Bob Marley said it best saying “who feels it, knows it”. It is undefinable for me and therefore is hard for me to put into words. As to allowing that connection to flow through, it is not up to me to allow. That Great Spirit is the operator and we are all the machines. It will do what needs to be done, it’s not up to us.
What’s one of your favorite mantras to repeat and why?
One of my favorite mantras to remember is “let it happen”. I find that as we go through life we tend to like to be in control, however, certain moments in our lives will teach us that we are not in control and that we must surrender to the flow. The words “let it happen” provide space in my mind and heart and allow me to let go.
And one last question from me: Do you have any words for everyone going through difficult times right now?
I’m not sure what I could say as each person has a unique journey of their own. From my own experience I try to look on difficult times as blessings and necessary moments in life to ripen the Spirit. Every moment, every happening, every instance of our life is grist for the mill of awakening. If we can remember this in the turmoil of our difficult times I think it will help us surrender to the journey.
Trevor Hall is on tour August – September through the United States, UK, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland and The Netherlands. Visit his website for tour dates and tickets.