Fresh off the debut of his newest single “Kill Me Better” with Don Diablo and Imanbek, Trevor Daniel spent an hour with us on this week’s L.A. Weekly podcast to open up about the realities of being a chart-topping artist with host and Publisher Brian Calle.
“Whenever I make fun songs [like “Kill Me Better”] nine times out of ten it’s just me and my friend in the studio jamming out having fun … and we hope that’ll spread to other people too,” explains the artist of his latest song’s vibe. “Everybody likes to have fun.”
If anybody knows how to get people smiling, it’s Trevor. Almost a year after the release of his debut EP, Homesick, the young artist reached #1 on the U.S. Viral 50 with the project’s first single “Falling.” It was this hit that would later usher him into the Top 40 in over 20 other countries, peaking at #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts.
Does he feel that because he’s had such a successful song and album so early in his career, that he has to keep hitting that same high bar?
Honestly? Not really. “I don’t feel that much pressure,” he shares. Fans are constantly pressuring him to make a “Falling” part two, but he doesn’t want to make the same thing twice and get limited by the confines of others’ expectations of his sound. “I don’t limit myself too much on the type of songs I’ll make,” he explains. It depends on what he’s feeling that day. Some days he’s got an ’80s vibe going, other days he’s recording over Amy Winehouse tracks (which we really want to hear).
“There’s a time and a place for a really massive song,” he tells Brian. Not every song has to be a huge hit, people are still going to get something from it regardless, which is all he wants.
Inarguably authentic, Trevor opens up about the difficulties of navigating his work as an artist while managing the expectations set by public perception.
“I’m super appreciative of my fans. I love them to death – I wouldn’t be here without them,” he makes clear. “But sometimes I don’t understand why people build other people up in their minds and create idols of them … ride or die for them … I’m not the perfect human. If I do something I don’t want to influence other people [just because of who they think I am].”
He explains that it’s a hard thing for an artist to keep from speaking their mind and expressing themselves fully for fear of influencing people the wrong way. There’s certain aspects of his influence that he hopes people will find a positive message in but there’s other things he hopes they understand is just him as a human, going through his emotions as we all do.