(OMTimes| Liane Buck) Trevor Hall is an American singer/songwriter. With his wife, Emory, he founded the Where the Rivers Meet Foundation which focuses on humanitarian efforts in India and Nepal. Trevor Hall’s music, a blend of roots and folk music with touches of electronic elements, is imbued with a deep love of Eastern Mysticism. His latest album is In And Through The Body.
Interview with Trevor Hall by Liane Buck
Trevor Hall is a talented American singer-songwriter and guitarist. 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 his life’s art. At sixteen, he recorded his first album. Hall left South Carolina for Idyllwild Arts Academy in California, where he studied classical guitar and was introduced to the practices of yoga and meditation, which would greatly influence his life and his musical compositions.
Hall’s music, a blend of roots and folk music with touches of electronic elements, is imbued with a deep love of Eastern Mysticism. This powerful symbiosis fostered a deep connectivity with his growing fan base. Trevor quickly matured into a leader of the burgeoning conscious musical community. Along with numerous pilgrimages to India, he has sold out the historic Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado as a headliner. He also completed a series of sold-out international tours with Ziggy Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Michael Franti, John Butler Trio, Matisyahu, and Brett Dennen.
IN AND THROUGH THE BODY, Hall’s latest record, releasing September 25th, 2020, presents his most mature sound yet, touching on the timeless human themes of love, struggle, growth, and redemption. Hall uses a palette of genres that span from folk, roots-rock, indie, and electronic, all with a consistent wash of authentic far-Eastern influence.
OMTimes was very fortunate to sit and talk with Trevor about his new Music, his Spiritual life, and His passion for the Ocean.
OMTimes: Trevor, undoubtedly, You are one of the rising stars of the conscious Music here in the United States and globally. I would like you to tell us how did you start your journey as a singer?
Trevor Hall: I was blessed to have started my musical journey at a very young age. My father is a drummer, so I grew up in a very musical household. There were always instruments around. My father had quite a massive record collection as well. I remember that I would love to explore all the different albums, pull one out that caught my eye, and then play it over the stereo. That’s really how I got exposed to so many different genres of music.
OMTimes: I know the ageless art of Kirtan that you’re performing nowadays is essential art – both through the devotional singing and the grounding of energies. How did Kirtan happen in your life? How this came to be?
Trevor Hall: I was first introduced to the practice of Kirtan in high school. When I was in 10th grade, I became friends with a boy named Sam Markus. His father and brothers were in India in the 1970s with the great mystic Sri Neem Karoli Baba. Sam was the One who introduced me to Maharajji and, consequently, to Krishna Das. After hearing Krishna Das chant for the first time, I quickly became addicted to the practice and wanted to start chanting independently. The practice has continued for me to this day.
OMTimes: What you think would be the role of sacred Music in the Aquarian Age?
Trevor Hall: I’m not sure about the Aquarian Age and what exactly that means … I just like to sing no matter what age we are in. I believe that music and sound were here before all of this, and it will continue for all time. It is eternal and is eternally sacred and healing.
OMTIMES: Please tell us the role played by the Indian Guru Neem Karoli Baba played in your awakening in your spiritual life and musical career?
Trevor Hall: It is hard to put into words my feelings about Neem Karoli Baba. As we all know, usually, the unique things in one’s life are the hardest to explain. I cannot tell you why or how I fell in love with him, especially at such a young age. I grew up in a small town in South Carolina and never expected to become attached to a man in a blanket that lived in India before I was born! I owe it all to his grace. Ever since I came in contact with him, my river has changed its course for the better. He has always been my foundation, one of my greatest blessings and one that I will cherish forever.
OMTimes: Do you define yourself as a Soul Activist, or more of a Zen Warrior (or both)?
Trevor Hall: I’m not sure, haha! I just like to sing about what’s in my heart. That is all. In fact, a lot of times, I feel like I am not singing the songs. Instead, they are singing me. The songs are my eternal home, and maybe by singing about that place … others my find their eternal home.
OMTimes: Can you tell us a little bit about your work with the Surfrider Foundation?
Trevor Hall: I was fortunate to have come in contact with the Surfrider Foundation at a very young age. Growing up on an island in South Carolina, I was a surfer and deeply connected to the Ocean. To have had the opportunity to support a foundation that looks after and cares so deeply about our waters is a great blessing. We all have to do what we can in whatever way possible to support our Mother Earth.
OMTimes: Something that always puzzled me, in the chants, the prayers, the meditations, how important is it to have a correct pronunciation of these sacred words? In other spiritual practices out there, they put the emphasis on the intention. The intention is what is important. What is more important in your point of view?
Trevor Hall: That’s a good question. I do believe both are important, but in my own opinion, I would lay emphasis on the intention. One could have the absolute perfect pronunciation of all mantras and sounds, but if one’s intention is not pure and good … what does it matter? On the other hand, if one’s purpose is sincere … that One who is receiving our prayers and mantras will see that. Also, if one has good intentions in one’s practice, they will naturally want to learn how to pronounce the mantras and prayers correctly, not out of being rigid and strict but rather out of one’s love for the Divine.
OMTimes: What are the roles your private devotional practice and personal life experience play when you are creating and performing sacred Music?
Trevor Hall: Firstly, I don’t see a difference between my devotional practice and singing. My devotional practice IS singing. They are no different from me. Even if I saw them as two separate things, they are still significantly linked. Sri Ramakrishna says that if one eats radish, one will belch radish, haha! Therefore, what One takes in is what one will put out. So, I try to take in what is good so only good will come out. However, it takes constant practice.
OMTimes: In one of your previous interviews, you said: “It’s been a journey to get to this point. The spiritual path is like a razor’s edge.” Do you have a specific mystical path or personal philosophy of life that guides you?
Trevor Hall: I don’t like to reject anything. I don’t like to cut any branches off the tree … I want to let it grow. It’s like … I don’t like one genre of music in particular. I like all genres!!! I want to be able to play in many different ways. Because of that, my path is made of so many other things. Obviously, it is mostly inspired by the sacred traditions of India and Nepal. But I want to keep all doors open. Everyone is invited.
OMTimes: How do you keep this delicate balance between Music and spirituality when creating and songwriting? Do you have any particular routine for songwriting?
Trevor Hall: As I have said before, I don’t see a difference between singing and spirituality. They are one. To be honest, I feel the most connected to spirit when I am singing. I don’t have any particular method or routine when making music. The most important thing for me is to get out of my own way. As Ram Dass would say, to “become nobody.” I just try and listen and not insert my own ego or selfish desires. That’s all. Of course, it doesn’t ALWAYS work, but hey … I’m still practicing!
OMTimes: I genuinely believe that the style of Music that you and other artists are performing through the Ancient tradition of Kirtan might help change the frequencies in our society, transforming the bulk of the energy that we need to transmute in this planet. I think that mantras and sacred chants are like transmitters that can help us open our hearts to the language of the Universe. What does it feel to be a “Frequency changer,” and how it feels to share this connection with others?
Trevor Hall: I’m not sure I am a frequency changer! Haha! I just sing what I receive. I am blessed to witness a healing take place not only for others but also for myself. To feel that connection is such an amazing feeling. It is hard to describe.
OMTimes: What Is the importance of old Traditions such as Mantras, Kriyas, chants, and devotional poetry for a western world, especially for those that have problems distinguishing the Religious from the Spiritual Traditions?
Trevor Hall: I believe that all of these sacred practices purify our minds and bring us into our hearts. They help reveal our true nature. In our western world, we prioritize career, money, power, possessions, etc. We don’t put enough importance on the qualities of the heart and Self-Realization. If more of these practices were incorporated into everyday life … perhaps things would change more positively. It doesn’t have to be a rigid, dogmatic, religious thing. It can be an intimate relationship with One’s true Self.
OMTimes: Do you hold a Mystical Vision for our World. What would you like to see manifested in our collective reality now?
Trevor Hall: I’m not sure if I have a mystical vision of our World. I just try and see everything as the Divine Mother’s Cosmic Dance. I try to surrender to that. If I could see something manifested in our collective reality now, I think it would be that people would realize their own blissful nature, their own divinity. As Swami Vivekananda said, “All the powers of the Universe are already ours. It is we who have put our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark.” We have to remove our hands from our eyes and see it!
OMTimes: Tell us a bit more about your next creative projects and how people can follow you and know about your events?
Trevor Hall: I am very excited to have a new record coming out this year! We have been releasing songs over the past few months and will continue to release songs leading up to the full album. I can’t entirely reveal too much at the moment, but all news and updates will be on our website www.trevorhallmusic.com as well as our social media.
OMTimes: Trevor, what is it that you think we could do as a spiritual community as embracing with all the colors and all the different paths, how can we collaborate to the birth of a new Earth, at least, a more compassionate Earth?
Trevor Hall: In my opinion, a real change must come from within. We must cultivate our own positive qualities first and foremost. We must realize our own divinity and oneness before going out and trying to change things. Our own Self Realization is at the root of everything. If we can make this journey into our own hearts, everything else will happen naturally and of its own accord. It’s like … no matter how many zeros you write down, it will always add up to zero. But put a one before that zero, and it makes all those zeros worth something. That “one” is our own Self Realization.
OMTimes: How do you explain the healing power of your chants? And do you believe this is your way to Pay Forward to the World?
Trevor Hall: The power of mantra and prayer has existed well before me, haha! They have always carried healing energy since the beginning of time and will continue to do so long after we are gone. As for me, I just try to share what I’ve been given.
OMTimes: Tell us a little bit about your Book of Poetry and the inspiration behind its creation. Do you have more plans for publishing books?
Trevor Hall: Ever since I became interested in India, I became fascinated with the mystic poets of the bhakti tradition. I began to write poetry inspired by my own devotional feelings and collected them over time. Writing poetry was another way of exploring my own spirituality and all the ups and downs that come with it. Most of the poems were written on my travels to India and Nepal. My wife put them all together and made them into the book that is now “Rampriya Says.” It is one of my favorite projects that we’ve worked on together as it really brings me back to all of those beautiful times and experiences.
To learn more about Trevor and to buy his new Cd, please go to https://www.trevorhallmusic.com
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