Rising Star Trevor Douglas On American Idol, Black Lives Matter, and The Status of Music
Updated: Dec 3, 2020
COVID-19 has affected everyone around the world. One industry that has been hit especially hard is the music industry. Most rising musicians make their money by playing gigs, and with shelter in place orders and large gatherings being banned, this has become more difficult. Making a living from live performances has become almost scarce (speaking from Texas here).
We sat down with Dallas-native and former American Idol contestant, Trevor Douglas, to talk about how he has been spending his time during the pandemic. It got deep as we touched on the Black Lives Matter movement, losing a steady income, and getting innovative with his musical talents. Continue reading for the full interview below:
Q: Tell us about your story.
Trevor Douglas: I am originally from Ft. Worth, Texas and I went to fine arts schools growing up. Eventually, I auditioned for American Idol by chance, there was a casting director in my class which launched my career. I've been playing shows forever which has made me as comfortable as I am now.
Q: So you talked about American Idol, what was your experience like with that?
Trevor: Overall positive - the worst thing was that I was a picky eater at 16 and I didn't like the food. I honestly didn't eat because I didn't like the selection. Everyone was really nice. Obviously, during Hollywood Week they would ask about other contestants but I don't blame them because they have to make a narrative out of nothing. I would not be in the position I am in now had I not done American Idol.
Q: How has COVID affected you and your music, and how have you had to pivot from what you usually do?
Trevor: Well my income was just playing shows. I played music full time and that's how I made my money, but then there were no shows. I had to find other ways to make money. I've started teaching lessons online. Gigging was how I promote stuff and met fans. I would play a show in L.A and network but now networking looks different. There is no meeting people and them doing favors, that's how I would get by and now I have to find other ways to do that. I'm not going to lie and say it hasn't been a struggle, but it's been an excuse to make content.
Q: Do you think once things begin to shift back to normal you'll continue to do the things you are doing now?
Trevor: Oh yeah, I would love to! All my students are really cool. It's honestly a great supplemental income and really easy. I've also been doing production work which is really fun.
Q: Do you think your musical process has changed?
Trevor: Songwriting has changed for sure. Might be because I have a girlfriend now so it's kind of hard to write sad love songs. I mean I experience less life too. I recently wrote a song with a friend Rayvon Owen about being mentally and creatively frustrated. I've been writing a lot more personal songs because I am not experiencing human contact in the same way. Which is great exercise because I have been very incapable my entire songwriting career of writing anything other than a love song.
Q: Do you feel with everything going on in the world that the music industry better support artists?
Trevor: I think the government should support us a little better. I don't think it should be relied on private companies. I am sure many people have been dropped and many projects have been put on hold if you aren't a major artist. It would be great if the labels did more, but I would have personally liked to have received more than one stimulus check. From what I have seen the music industry has done some pretty cool stuff. I wish there was a cooler way to do concerts. I honestly don't know the solution, it's a very complicated problem.
Q: Are you using your platform for more than just personal stuff right now with voting, Black Lives Matter, human trafficking, COVID?
Trevor: Oh my gosh yes. I try to post on my story. I've gone to protests which is stressful obviously you don't know what the police are going to do to you and you are in a pandemic. I think it's weird when a celebrity shares their opinion and people tell them to stick to their acting or music. I am also a citizen of the United States, so I can comment on this. I think people do look to their idols for help.
Q: What does UPROAR mean to you?
Trevor: I think it's causing a riot. Doing what needs to be done to get their point across.
Q: Love that, so what is coming up next in your world?
Trevor: I literally just put out a music video for "Think of Me". The person I live with, Seth Lee, recorded it. We did have neighborhood watch called on us, very stressful, but I think it is the best thing I have done in a very long time. I am going to be putting out a collection of remixes of "Think of Me" at the beginning of September. Then I think I am going to put this out either September 30 - October 1 but I wrote a Halloween song! It's a collab with Paul Flint then Seth and I will do another video for it.
Make sure to watch the video above for the full interview. You can find Trevor's music on all streaming platforms and catch him at shows all over Nashville, Dallas, and LA after COVID.
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