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Home / Brunch / Life lessons with Trevor Daniel: When faced with adversity, how to rise and shine

Life lessons with Trevor Daniel: When faced with adversity, how to rise and shine

American Singer Trevor Daniel, 25, waded out of hurricane-hit Texas and released a duet with the pop princess of heartbreak, Selena Gomez

brunch Updated: Jul 19, 2020 07:58 IST
Karishma Kuenzang
Karishma Kuenzang
HindustanTimes
Singer Trevor Daniel, 25, released a duet with singer Selena Gomez
Singer Trevor Daniel, 25, released a duet with singer Selena Gomez

Imagine waking up one day and finding your life turned upside down due to a natural disaster (or a pandemic). Panic and anxiety would be what most people would try to avoid drowning in. Later, the survival instinct will take over and you will try to rebuild what was lost.

But for Trevor Daniel, 25, who waded out of his Texas home with two things – a duffel bag of clothes and his music equipment – after Hurricane Harvey devastated the area in 2017, the disaster was a wake-up call.

Ring, ring

It was an alarm that seems to have worked, because the self-proclaimed “pop prince of heartbreak” as he describes himself on his Instagram page, has just released a duet with the pop princess of heartbreak (or at least one of the contenders), Selena Gomez, titled Past Life. This has made his 300K IG followers, 965K TikTok followers and 927K YouTube subscribers very, very happy.

Artist Trevor Daneil hopes to visit India next year
Artist Trevor Daneil hopes to visit India next year

Begin again

“I wasn’t pursuing music because I wanted to make other people happy. But once the flood happened, it was weirdly refreshing for me because I lost everything else and I realised music was all I needed to be happy in life. So I quit my job, and gave myself no other option,” Trevor reminisces. To help himself do this, he dived deep into his diet of artistes such as Kanye West and Kid Cudi, besides “punk and trance chopped and screwed sounds,” to find his own voice.

Dear diary

Now, it’s the scribbles in his diary of what he’s going through and what he sees in people around him that shape his lyrics.

“I use my songs as a journal with the hope that people get comfort in knowing they are not alone in whatever they are facing,” he explains.

Heartbroken heartbreaker

This is a characteristic shared by the other singer of the song, Selena Gomez. “The track Past Life is about letting go of toxic things in the past, and growing as a person. Selena recently mentioned that she felt the same way and could relate to the song. I’m blessed to have her as a part of it,” Trevor explains.

Finneas, the cheerleader

Trevor is no alien to working with supremely talented people. Take Finneas O’Connell, who has co-written Trevor’s 2020 album, Nicotine. “One thing I specifically remember was thinking that I could not hit a certain note. And then I would see him, so excited in the other room, pressing the talkback button and screaming, ‘You can do it!’ Since he believed in me so much, it really motivated me, and once I hit the note it made me realise I should never doubt myself in any situation. He gave me new perspective on how to push myself in the studio,” reminisces Trevor about Finneas, who picked up a couple of Grammys in 2019, with his sister Billie Eilish.

“I use my songs as a journal, hoping that people get comfort in knowing they are not alone in whatever they are facing”

YouTube vs TikTok

What’s this millennial’s favourite platform to release content? Everything, it seems! “I love that we have the option to use social media to push our art,” Trevor laughs. “The reach of both YouTube and TikTok is the same, as far as I have observed. But you are catering to different crowds. YouTube has proven to be a long-term platform for artistes, as everyone loves watching videos.”

When it comes to the rapidly-evolving TikTok, there’s always the risk of not knowing whether something is going to work or not.

“It’s unpredictable and people can use your sound whether you like it or not,” he says. Trevor also hopes to visit the country next year, and has already acquired a taste for butter chicken at an Indian restaurant in Houston!

Well, wait till you taste the dish in Delhi. 

Follow @KKuenzang on Twitter

From HT Brunch, July 19, 2020

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