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A Conversation With Trevor Hall

For singer/songwriter Trevor Hall, music is not just a passion, it’s his life’s work. Hall’s oeuvre, a unique blend of roots and folk, is further inspired by his own yoga and meditative practices, paired with an ongoing fascination of Eastern Mysticism. The 10,000 spoke with the singer about his influences, songwriting process, and the power of music as a force to uplift and empower. Read on and scroll through for a healing-themed playlist, curated by Trevor Hall.

What was it like growing up in South Carolina, and how did you first get involved in music and songwriting?

It was a great experience. I grew up in a really small town which really helped me understand how special community is. I had a wonderful support system around me which allowed me to follow my dreams and passion of playing music. My dad is a musician so that’s how I really fell into it all. He plays the drums. He had an epic record collection that I would spend hours roaming through. It exposed me to a wide range of genres. However, it wasn’t until I was 13 or so that I really started writing my own tunes. 

Tell us about your new song “Put Down What You Are Carrying,” and the experience of collaborating with other artists to produce the track?

“Put Down What You Are Carrying” is a song made up of a few different experiences. Some songs are written in an hour and some songs are written over a few years. This song was one of those songs that was written over a few years. I kept it in my back pocket for a while because I hadn’t fully finished it. This past summer, we were on tour with the great John Butler Trio and found ourselves in the middle of Washington on a day off. We spent the day in the hotel room finishing the song and laying it down on my drummer’s portable recording system. John gave me a tattoo while we were recording which was pretty fun! Great memories all around. After laying down the demo, I really wanted another voice on the track and was lucky enough to have my good friend Brett Dennen sing the second verse. It’s really a song about letting go of the things that hold us down. Hoping it brings some peace and healing to whoever gives it a listen. 

What are some creative challenges you face while songwriting, and what is the most rewarding part?

I think it’s different for every artist, but the challenges for me have to do with overthinking. Music is so healing for me due to its power of getting me out of my head. Sometimes, that logical mind tries to come in and ruin things. That’s when I have to really get out of my own way. As for the most rewarding part, it would have to be at a live show when everyone is in the same space as a listener, including myself. When it’s all really flowing, distinctions and labels fall away. There is no more “audience.” There is no more “performer.” Everything kind of melts into the sound and becomes one. It is a good feeling. 

Your music has been described as a blend of roots and folk, imbued with a deep love of Eastern Mysticism. Where do you find inspiration when writing and creating music?

I think as an artist it is important to always be open and alert when it comes to inspiration because you never know when it’s gonna hit you. You can be at a gas station or in the most beautiful place in the world … you just never know. For me, I draw a lot of inspiration from nature and from the mystic poets of the east, as well as people I meet in my everyday life. The main thing for me is just to constantly remain open and aware to the best of my ability. 

Is there a favorite moment in your career so far and, if so, can you tell us more about it?

I think my favorite moment of my career was being able to play my grandmother the album that she inspired before she passed away. Without it being planned, I found myself in my hometown on the day my album “KALA” was being released. She was the one who really gave me the inspiration for that album and it was an absolute joy and blessing to be able to play it for her.

Music has the power to heal and elevate spiritual awareness. Which of your songs and those of artists you like or are influenced by fall in the category of healing music and good quarantine vibes?

That is a good question … There are so many that elevate awareness in different ways. I guess that is the glory and universality of music. As for my own songs, I hope they all have the ability in some way to elevate peoples’ spirits!!! Some that come to mind in this moment are “Jagadeesha,” “Chapter of the Forest,” “What I Know,” and “Everything I Need.” As for other artists that liven my spirit, I’d have to go with Midnite, Xavier Rudd, and Kumar Gandharva. 

Trevor Hall photographed by Emory Hall
Trevor Hall photographed by Emory Hall
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