Trevor Daniel on Selena Gomez, Mental Health and his Grammy Dreams
“I’m extremely thankful to everyone who’s supported me thus far, ” says the American singer-songwriter
Twenty-five-year old American singer-songwriter Trevor Daniel — who released his debut album Nicotine in March and landed his first spot on the Billboard Hot 100 with the song “Falling” — was also recently seen collaborating with Selena Gomez on his song “Past Life.” Shot like an Instagram Live, that seems befitting during a global pandemic, the track that serves as the second single to “Nicotine” stands out because of its lyrics that talk about how one should let go of toxic relationships. In this interview with Rolling Stone India, the musician discusses his favorite bits from the album and future plans.
What’s the best compliment you’ve got for your debut album so far?
I feel like the best compliment I’ve gotten thus far would be my fans’ reception of the album as a whole.
Which one is your personal favorite song from the album and why?
I don’t know if I can have one singular song that I would say is my favorite because I enjoy the entire album but “Past Life,” I feel, will always be a standout for me because I was able to be in the studio with Finneas (O’Connell, co-writer and co-producer) and I learned a lot from him when working on that record.
Is there a common factor that binds the songs together?
There definitely is a common factor within all the songs in the sense that they all speak to the storyline of where my headspace was with someone at a certain time in my life… from the moments before we met, when we met, and through the end of our time together. I really wanted to bring everyone along that journey.
Which musicians would you say played an influence while creating this album?
My friends and I were really just jamming out when creating the album, so they play a huge part in the inspiration of how the album comes together. There are a lot of different elements to the album that I feel make it very tasteful.
How was the experience of collaborating with Selena Gomez on the song “Past Life”?
The experience was amazing, collaborating with her was a dream come true. I remember telling Finneas when working on the song that she would be perfect on it.
“Past Life” talks about overcoming a toxic relationship and taking care of your mental health. How important is this subject to you?
This subject is very important to me. Overcoming toxic things and taking care of your mental health is crucial and I feel blessed for having a platform to voice that.
What was the concept behind shooting the song’s video in an Instagram Live format?
Part of the concept was us wanting to be safe given the state of the pandemic and the other was to show a creative way to still do visuals during this time.
Your most successful song to date, “Falling,” was apparently written for one of your exes. While writing it, did you expect it to be such a chartbuster?
I really felt like the energy when creating “Falling” was right, and it honestly came together fairly quickly. I feel like it would be safe to say everyone in the room felt that this song was special and to see the growth of this song is a blessing. I’m extremely thankful to everyone who’s supported me thus far.
“Falling” also went viral on TikTok. Do you believe this Internet trend will last?
The Internet, especially TikTok, is always changing and there’s a lot of trends out there. Even if the internet trend doesn’t last, I feel like the song will continue to last.
How has growing up in Houston helped your understanding of music?
Growing up in Houston helped me because of the music influence in the city which helped me appreciate music in general. I would listen to a lot of chopped & screwed, punk, trance and embrace the sounds I hear throughout my day even if it isn’t music.
Is there an artist you’d love to collaborate with next?
What’s that one song you listen to when you’re in a solemn mood?
I will usually find myself turning on live lo-fi on YouTube on loop when I’m down or in my head.
What do you hope to achieve by the next decade?
By the next decade, I want to continue to put out the best music I can, go on a world tour, be nominated for the Grammys, and hopefully snag a win. Also, continue to help people to know they aren’t alone in their thoughts and try to bring them comfort through my music.