Trevor Hall Chats His Never-ending Spiritual Journey


Trevor Hall, now on the Soulshine Tour– the first-ever music and yoga lifestyle tour–with Michael Franti & Spearhead spent some time chatting with Nicole Hanratty about his upcoming new album. Check out Trevor Hall’s interview with Life of a Rockstar below and see him at upcoming So Cal dates at the Santa Barbara Bowl on June 19th as well as at the Greek Theatre on June 20, 2014. Trevor Hall’s new album “Chapter of the Forest” out now.

Of the new album, Hall says he secluded himself in Vermont and Maine, “Off the grid and watched the wind.” Amongst the quietude of the trees Hall says he was able to take a break from music and touring to, “Listen to the sound of Mother Earth and get recharged.” What unintentionally emerged from the forest was the makings of new album “Chapter of the Forest.” The folk sound of Hall’s music carries a reggae introspective influence while his smooth whiskey meets velvet voice tells stories of life, growth, love, hope and pain.

“I believe a forest is kind of place of peace and silence and solitude in everybody within themselves. You know, there’s like that internal forest and this chapter of my career is definitely about my reflections on that place and trying to get there. I’m really excited, I think this is the album that I’ve put my heart and soul into.”

Nicole: You’re headed to L.A. soon, have you ever played the Greek Theatre before?

Trevor: No, I haven’t. It’s been on my list of venues to play one day so I’m really really excited.

Nicole: Your music is highly introspective. You talk about waking up to sing and living your life in song “Brand New Day.” Could you tell me how you think self discovery inspires your music and to what extent you think your music inspires personal growth?

Trevor: [Music] comes from inside us so to that extent to play music as a tool for self-discovery or self-inquiry can be really powerful. It can be like the voice of our subconscious or the voice of something else speaking to us. For me, it’s just been such a wonderful way to quiet my talking chattering mind and listen to something else, a teacher. The songs really teach me every time I listen to them. …No matter who we are, no matter where we’re from, the color, anything–even language–music can go beyond all that. At the end of the day, we can’t box it up we can’t hold it in our hand it’s just a mysterious thing.

Nicole: It’s incredibly healing. Can you share an experience where music has healed you or you’ve witnessed it heal someone close to you?

Trevor: One of the most rewarding things is when you’re playing a song and you see somebody get emotional or they come up afterwards and tell you, “That really helped me through this difficult time.” It’s interesting when people do that because…I really don’t feel like I’ve done anything. This is just something that came through me. For me, as far as music healing me, one of my biggest influences is Bob Marley. No matter where I am, no matter what time of day, no matter what is going on in my day…whenever I turn on a song of Bob’s I’m put in this mood right away. I can always rely on that no matter what I’m going through and that is such a comforting feeling.

Nicole: Do you have a favorite song of his?

Trevor: Of Bob’s I have so many favorites! “Small Axe,” “Guiltiness,” “Natural Mystic” …lots and lots of songs.

Nicole: Many emerging artists dream about being signed to a label and some seem wholly unaware that being signed is not the end of the climb. I know your personal experience was that you signed with Geffen and you made records that weren’t released. I’m wondering, if you could give advice to an emerging artist what you would tell them?

Trevor: Yeah, well, I still haven’t really figured it out myself. [laughter] It’s a constant constant learning process. For me, I was so young when I signed the deal, I was so immature. Still am pretty immature. [laughter] but even back then, I was in my senior year of high school. I thought, ‘Oh, I’m gonna sign this deal and everything is just gonna happen.’ It was just the complete opposite. On the external there’s all these lights and people smiling at you and offering you all these things but behind everything it’s just nothing’s happening and you’re stuck. It was a really frustrating time for me. But I didn’t stop. I just kept on playing shows. I kept on playing live and they ended up dropping me and it was actually a blessing in disguise. No matter what’s going on nobody can stop you from picking up your instrument and playing for somebody. …Just keep playing, doing what you love cause that’s gonna come through. At the end of the day that’s what it’s all about no matter if you have a big record deal or not.

Nicole: If life is a journey, how would you describe your journey so far?

Trevor: It’s tiring, it’s incredibly beautiful and at the same time very painful. It’s just life. Everything is everything. It’s all there. Our mother is the mother of the virtuous and mother of the wicked. The mother of darkness, mother of light. Everything is there. I think as long as you stay humble and as long as you have sincerity and those virtues and moods then you’re gonna be fine. You just gotta have patience…

Nicole: You’ve travelled so much, do you think you could choose one place that mystified you the most?

Trevor: That would definitely be India. In high school I got kind of sucked in to the spirituality over there and I ended up going there for the first time eight years ago. That was it for me, I just kept going back every year. It just changed everything for me. It changed my music, it changed my whole life, how I do things and stuff that happened there on my first trip you know I’m still unpacking to this day and probably will forever. That’s kind of my promised land.

Q: Which song title would you say best describes your personality?
A: “Chapter of the Forest” I think all of us are changing, our personalities are changing all the time so it kind of depends what period you are in but I think that right now I would say on my new album, [the title track] “Chapter of the Forest.” I think that’s where I’m at right now. I’ve just been really introspective and kind of trying to stay in that space even though I’m running around in the cities or playing shows. That’s kind of where I’m at right now, just trying to be silent and in a good meditation.

Q: What is the last album you downloaded or purchased?
A: Midnite “Beauty For Ashes” For the last six months I haven’t been able to listen to anything else except this one band. It’s such a good band from St. Croix, it’s a reggae band. Their lead singer is just this amazing person, I mean he’s so much spirit. I’ve been really into watching his interviews and hearing what he has to say. It’s also given me a different perspective on the music. It’s just such amazing music, I love it!

Trevor Hall supports Ubuntu and attended a recent gala for the children’s charity in New York.
Hall shares, “I was so moved by this charity and the story and what they’ve done. It was really inspiring.”
Ubuntu Education Fund is a non-profit organization that provides world-class health and educational support to the orphaned and vulnerable children of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Ubuntu’s mission is simple, all-encompassing, yet radical: to help raise township children by providing what all children deserve—everything.

Trevor Hall’s career quickly broke through the music scene with a song placement on the Shrek the Third soundtrack, as well as Trevor joining a series of sold-out tours with artists such as Steel Pulse, The Wailers, Jimmy Cliff, Matisyahu, Michael Franti and Colbie Callait. Trevor’s self-titled debut album peaked on Billboard’s Heatseeker chart at #7 in 2009, he was named one of the “Top 20 New Artists” by Music Connection magazine, MTV named him one of the twenty emerging artists for 2010, and in 2012 CBS used his hit “Brand New Day” for the promo of their CBS This Morning show. His most recent album, Everything, Everytime, Everywhere, reached #80 on the Billboard “Top 200” chart. Trevor is scheduled to release a new album later this year.


By Nicole Hanratty
June 15, 2014