Music has such an incredible power to inspire, influence, move, and heal people. I have been blessed to have seen it and experienced it first hand. With my music, I hope it probes people to look deeper within themselves and find out who they really are in their truest essence. When we find that innermost self and realize that in our highest truth we are birthless, deathless, eternal and radiant … that vibration will extend to everything around us. I believe that to find that place within is the ultimate good.
I had the pleasure to interview Trevor Hall. Raised on an island in South Carolina, singer/songwriter Trevor Hall realized at a young age that music was more than just a passion — it was, rather, his life’s art. Hall’s music is an eclectic mix of roots, folk, rock, reggae and Sanskrit chanting which echo with the names and teachings of divinities. His music maintains a refreshing and universal message that has captured the hearts and ears of fans around the world. While on the road, Trevor sees the stage as his moving temple, a place where he can share in the experience of his spiritual journey with his audience. Trevor’s annual trips to India also continue to serve as a source of creativity and motivation for his music. Beyond his intention to spread love and healing through music, Hall also collects donations to support children’s education in India and has continuously donated to charities and relief funds. Follow Trevor Hall on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.
Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your music career?
It’s hard to say. I’ve had so many amazing, crazy, blessed experiences. I give thanks for all of them. However, the most important moment of my music career is when I got to play my album KALA for my grandmother before she passed away. She was the inspiration behind the whole album. A few years before she passed, I was with her when she said, “Isn’t time such a wonderful gift?” That phrase became the seed for the whole project. Fast forward to when the album was being released … the record company told me the release date would be August 21st 2015. I agreed and didn’t think much of it. A few months later, we found ourselves out on tour. When we’re on the road, it’s hard to remember where we’re going or where we’ve been because everything is moving so fast. So I had no idea that we had a day off on August 21st and also had no idea that our day off was right next to my hometown of Hilton Head. It was crazy. I got to go home on the release day, totally unplanned, and play the album for my grandmother. To be with her on that day and to give back to her what she gave me was truly the most blessed experience of my musical career.
Who are some of the most interesting people you’ve interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
I’ve been so blessed to have toured and played with so many amazing artists and people … from Stevie Nicks to Steel Pulse and so many more. I’ve learned from all of them in some way or another. One of my most cherished interactions that I’ve had is actually with an Indian singer named Parvathy Baul. We were lucky enough to have her come and stay at our home last year. She stayed for three days and all we did was sing, drink chai, and sing some more. She is an incredible person upholding a very spiritual tradition ins such an authentic way. Just to be in her presence was so uplifting. I literally forgot about the world for those 3 days.
Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?
Bob Marley is one of my greatest inspirations. When I first heard his music … it moved me on a level I couldn’t explain. I was so spiritually hungry at such a young age and Bob helped to satisfy that hunger. He showed me that you can music for all kinds of things, but most importantly, one can use it for spiritual expression and for the spiritual quest. He’s been such a foundation for not only musicians but for so many people all over the globe … always putting out a message of positivity, unity, and love.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
My main focus is to give back to the land which has given me so much. For me, India is that place. I don’t know why it is that way. I’m from a small town in South Carolina and never expected in a million years to travel halfway around the world to a place like India. Let alone, fall in love with it. But that’s just how it all took place.
There is a saying in India, “A moment with the Beloved, and the river changes course.”
During my years in high school, my best friend gave me a book called “Miracle of Love” which was a book about an Indian saint named Sri Neem Karoli Baba. That was definitely the moment when my river changed it’s course. I became so inspired by this saint and wanted to know everything about him. Because he was from India, I wanted to know more about that magical land.
After graduating high school, I found an Indian temple in Southern California and would frequent it as often as I could. In fact, I later moved into that temple and lived there for about 5 or 6 years. The monks from that temple traveled to India every year and that is how I first journeyed there in 2007.
On that very first trip, we stayed in an ashram that takes care of underprivileged children. The children are either orphaned or come from broken homes. The ashram takes care of all their food, clothing, shelter, education, and also teaches them yoga and meditation. Most of these children go on to be married and become priests which is a very respectable occupation in India. Because the head of the ashram is a monk, their only form of income is through donation. Therefore, over the years, we have been raising funds for them at all of our concerts and shows. A few years ago, we raised enough funds to build a girls ashram just across the river from the boys ashram. It has been so incredible to witness the children’s growth and to see them thrive in their lives.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger 🙂
I believe that we are already in the movement. The movement of MUSIC! Music has such an incredible power to inspire, influence, move, and heal people. I have been blessed to have seen it and experienced it first hand. With my music, I hope it probes people to look deeper within themselves and find out who they really are in their truest essence. When we find that innermost self and realize that in our highest truth we are birthless, deathless, eternal and radiant … that vibration will extend to everything around us. I believe that to find that place within is the ultimate good.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share and feel free to share a story with each.
1. “Don’t overcook it.” — A buddhist monk told me this in response to a really intense question I had asked him. Instead of an intense answer, he just simply said, “Don’t overcook it.” I can have a really intense mind and take things so seriously that it’s very easy for me to become rigid and overthink things. I’ve learned that it’s extremely important to PLAY and HAVE FUN in this business and also in life. Don’t overcook things too much 🙂
2. “Be who you are.” — I wish someone told me this when I was just starting out in the music business. I had so many record folk telling me … do this, do that, be like this, be like that. The sad thing is that I believed them and all it did was take me away from my own heart.
3. “You’re going to mess up … and that’s what’s supposed to happen.” — IT IS OK TO MESS UP! I used to think that I always had to have it right with every decision I made. That’s just not a good way to live.
4. “Be a devotee but don’t be a fool.” — A great indian mystic said this to one of his disciples. I trusted everyone when I first got into the music business and boy was that a mistake. This mystic puts it so beautifully … “God is in everything. Even a tiger. But are you going to go up and hug the tiger? No. Salute the tiger from a distance.”
5. “Everything is going to be ok.” — When we’re young … we take everything so seriously and think that it is the end all be all. The worst things that I’ve gone through in my life … I look back and see that they were great blessings on my path. Everything passes. We just got to keep on moving.
I have been blessed with the opportunity to interview and be in touch with some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast with, and why? He or she just might see this, especially if we tag them 🙂
I would have to say the Dalai Lama. I mean … to be with a person who has faced incredible amounts of hardship and tragedy and still is joyful and at peace. HOW DO YOU DO THAT?!?! lol. He has always been such a huge inspiration on so many different levels. To be in the presence of a person who truly only wishes good upon everyone and everything … I don’t think I could have a better breakfast date than that:)