Trevor Daniel | 5 Minutes With

“My last made me feel like I would never try again

But when I saw you, I felt something I never felt”

I remember the first time I heard these opening lines of ‘Falling’ in my bathtub with a guy I picked up at a bar looking for a song to set the mood. I knew right away Trevor Daniel would be ‘a chart breaker’ artist like what he is referred to nowadays. 

Two years later, after ‘Falling’ was released, even though my bathtub buddy is long gone, thank god, ‘Falling’ managed to live through two viral lives on Instagram and TikTok. For a record by an artist quite knew to the scene, it is impressive the lifespan ‘Falling’ has had; much longer than my previous hookups, that’s for sure. 

Contrary to popular belief, it is the follow-up release that will make your career, not the massive hit that put you on the map. Trevor Daniel was patient with the release of his debut album, and honestly, I believe the timing couldn’t be better. Yes, there is a global pandemic, but people stream more music and are more open to discovering new artists. 

Trevor Daniel’s debut album ‘Nicotine’ is out, and he talks us through what made him commit to music, the music he listens to, and the reason behind using the metaphor of nicotine as a description of love. 

Getting dropped off at the Guitar Centre by his dad is what every day looked like for Trevor Daniel. He used to hang out there, play drums, and other instruments until picked up by his dad when ready. Due to his loyalty, all the employees knew his name, but Trevor wasn’t fully committed just yet. 

“The second I came out of my mother” s womb, I knew that it was what I wanted to do. However, it really clicked whenever Harvey hit Houston, and I only saved my music equipment. That’s when I really knew that it’s what I needed to do, not just what I wanted to do”, who would’ve thought that the devastating hurricane Harvey will be of such a significance for Trevor’s career. 

After listening to ‘Nicotine,’ you wonder what artist initially influenced Trevor’s sound. You can hear his signature trap rock sound along with a nostalgic guitar and straightforward, captivating lyrics. He answers: “I have a lot of musical influences, however lately, it’s been movies because I’ve been inside watching a ton of those. I really want to make a soundtrack for a movie”.

“I listened to the most random music ever growing up, and I still do, one day I’ll probably release a playlist of music that I’m listening to at the moment and people can really see why there are so many different sounds in my music. I just listen to everything, and everything influences me musically. There’s something beautiful in all genres”, Trevor clarifies and claims his admiration for all genres. 

Usually, when an artist is inspired by love and relationships, they never admit to how lonely it is to make the music that’s a result of falling in love or heartbreak. Trevor puts it straight: “Relationships tend to be a big topic in my music. I think that’s because it gets pretty lonely just making music all the time and I like keeping it interesting with another friend around, and usually, I have feelings for them. That’s at least how it starts”.

Getting to witness the growing viral success of ‘Falling’ must’ve been exciting. Whereas Trevor uses a different mindset: “My reaction to ‘Falling’ blowing up was almost a sigh of relief because I knew if it reached the right amount of people, my music could make an impact,” he defines. It exhibits how patient he was, but still confident in his talent. 

“Falling is about this girl that I met right after telling myself I’d never get in a relationship again, but she was different. I had a lot of back-and-forth in my head, and I feel like a lot of people have that happen to them. This is where the falling is about”, Trevor portrays the story for the haunting lyrics we can’t get out of our head. 

Working on a global wavelength, ‘Falling’ caught the attention of fellow artists like blackbear and the R&B sensation Summer Walker. Trevor reveals how these remixes happened: “Most of the remixes just came about by them DM’ing me saying they liked the song and wanted to make a remix of it. Being fans of both of them, of course, I wanted them to remix it. It just sort of worked out naturally”

When you listen to an artist’s discography, you can hear their growth, sonically, and personally. Trevor’s perspective on comparing his 2018 debut EP ‘Homesick’ and debut album ‘Nicotime’ is the following: “My debut EP, ‘Homesick’, was a lot of me learning what I wanted to do musically. Whereas my debut album was me being more comfortable with myself and writing a story and diving in as much as possible to the feelings and emotions that I was feeling during the time period of which I was writing about”.

‘Nicotine’ is a ten-track long project, where Trevor was able to showcase his abilities, his feelings, his blending production with no song left without a purpose. “There is a direct story that I’m writing about. However, getting into details makes it messy, so I called it nicotine because of loving something that was bad for me. It’s completely metaphorical, but there was a girl last year that I began to realize wasn’t good for me”, he reveals the backstory of ‘Nicotine.’ 

He continues: “I named the album nicotine because the metaphor of loving something that’s bad for you really resonated with me, and I feel like a lot of people struggle with nicotine addiction, and it feels like something that’s good for them when really, it’s bad for them.”

The lead single is ‘Past Life,’ on which Trevor worked with the Grammy Winning songwriter Finneas O’Connell. Trevor elaborates on how this came about: “Collaborating with Finneas was really cool. He taught me a lot in the session; he pushed me to hit notes that I never thought I could hit before. We also had other collaborators in the room, and they all brought special elements to the song, and ultimately it was a huge lesson for me. I loved that session”.

Trevor Daniel is no doubt a rising superstar. For some strange reason, his career seems to thrive in a natural disaster like the hurricane Harvey when he decided to commit to music and now this global pandemic. When asked about his future and what’s next to come, Trevor replied in a calm manner that could create some comfort for everyone struggling these days: 

“I’m not really sure what’s next for me and my music. However I know whatever it is, it’s supposed to happen exactly the way that it’s going to happen. I think we’re all just in a place where we are curious about what’s going to happen for the future of the world in current times”. 

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Words: Karolina Kramplova