Learning harmonica at age eleven, music quickly became Trevor Hall’s most intimate companion, guide and creative outlet as he began to write his own songs and perform.
At age sixteen he recorded his first record, and the following year he left South Carolina to study classical guitar at Idyllwild Arts Academy, an international boarding school east of Los Angeles.
There, Trevor was introduced to yoga and certain spiritual practices found in India that greatly influenced his music and his life journey. During his senior year, Trevor signed a record deal with Geffen Records and his career as a musician formally began.
Hall burst onto the world stage when his song Other Ways was featured on Shrek the Third Soundtrack back in 2009. Committed to making meaningful music with conscious lyrics, Trevor Hall is one of the featured performers at this year’s Uplift Festival.
Music first came into my life through my father. He is a musician. He had a massive record collection that I would explore as a young boy. Having that freedom at such an early stage was really a blessing and helped give my ears a good education.
How do you think music can change people, or the world?
Music, or sound, is the universal language. We see it everywhere. It is the glue. It brings everyone and everything together and that’s what we need if we want to make a change… we have to come together. We may all come from different paths and different walks of life with different culture, language, etc. That doesn’t matter. What matters is our intention. We have to come together in our intention. Music can help us do that.
Why do you think connecting with music is so powerful?
I believe everything and everyone came from sound. Everything around us and inside us is vibration. I believe our connection with music is so powerful because it helps bring us home to that original sound, our eternal home.
What are the messages you try to convey with music?
To be honest, I’m not exactly sure. I don’t like to think at all with music. I think too much in my daily life so with music I don’t want to think. I’m not speaking or conveying anything with the music. Rather, the music conveys messages to me. It helps me go inside, communicate with things I don’t see, and learn. Music is a mystical thing for me, but it’s also when I feel the simplest.
What are the issues that you are most passionate about?
I think I am most passionate about culture and how different cultures relate to spirit. Unfortunately, today a lot of these sacred cultures are slowly disappearing. Their stories, myths, and legends, which hold the connection to everything and everyone, are dying. The more we lose these things, the more we are lost.
How did being in India and Nepal affect you spiritually? Did it change the type of music you made?
India and Nepal are where I feel most at home. It’s where my heart is. The lessons and gifts they’ve given me are too many to tell. Because I love them so much, the themes and sounds naturally come through in the music. I don’t think about it too much. I just try to let it all come out through the heart.
How has it been touring with Michael Franti?
Michael is one of my uncles. He has been such an inspiration and friend to me over the years. Touring with him is always an adventure. If you want a calm, boring, basic tour, don’t tour with Michael Franti. Touring with Michael is always super action packed, surprising, and most of all, fun. He’s always got new and crazy ideas and is always a joy to be around.
Why do you think there is a movement of musicians/creatives towards more universal ideas of love?
I think as a people we’re all just tired. We’re tired of the way things are and tired of nobody speaking up. Music is such a powerful weapon in that respect to bring everyone together and send out a message. I’m just grateful to be a part of it.
What should we expect for your show at Uplift?
With my shows, my only prayer is to inspire. However that inspiration comes to the crowd and how they use it is up to them. I’m just grateful to be able to share the stories.
He plays with Mark Eliyahu, Deva Premal & Miten, Hamsa, Sacred Earth, Lua Lesson, Kirk Nugent, and Carlos Andres Gomez at Uplift Festival in Byron Bay, 11–14 December at the Byron Sport and Rec Centre.
Go to upliftfestival.com for program and ticket information.