Interview: Trevor Wesley – On R&B, Chivalry and Style

March 15, 2016

Maybe it’s something about growing up in constantly amazing weather, but South California-raised Trevor Wesley can show just about anyone a good time with his music. A modern R&B/pop crooner, Wesley has produced, written with and performed alongside artists like Ne-Yo, Wale, 98 Degrees, and Joe Jonas.

Trevor has wowed the TuneCore Live goers of Los Angeles before, and we’re psyched to have him holding it down for us during our Austin Takeover this week. You can catch him at our Indie Artist Forum Day Party on Thursday, March 17th at the Vulcan Gas Co, and if you’re less familiar, get to know him in our Q&A below!

Tell us about how you started singing and performing. Who were your earliest influences?

Trevor Wesley: I started singing and performing at an early age because I just loved to do it. It wasn’t an idea I came up with, I just did it. My Mom played all kinds of jazz music like Ella fitzgerald and Nat King Cole and my Dad liked the rock side like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Singing to a girl in school was a realization in it’s self.

Similarly, what have you been digging lately for inspiration or just chilling out? (New or old!) 

I mostly always get inspiration from something older… Ain’t nothing new under the sun! (laughs) I could hear anything really and get SOMETHING I like out of it. I love taking pieces of inspiration from all different kinds of things even non-music related, like shapes and colors. Music is all patterns shapes and colors arranged in a fashion that your ears can transcribe.

I really get inspired from a lot of my friends these days… My boy Ruslan is a beast on keys…I like his playing. He has an album out and also coming out soon.  My friends in New Genesis (band) are all super talented and I’m always inspired hearing or hanging with them. BJ the Chicago Kid is a new artist I dig. Nice voice and raw sound.

Of all the genre-resurgences, new trends in R&B have been very exciting. What are your thoughts where R&B and soul are going in 2016?

Well R&B music is the true “baby makin” music lane. There are so many ways to tackle that, (no pun intended). I like to make “love making” music: music that feels like love. Right now I don’t feel too much “love” on a lot of the popular records I hear. I know there are a lot of artists who are working hard at making R&B music in hopes to bring back the love.

Your newest project is titled Chivalry Is Dead – do you think modern music is doing a good enough job covering romance realistically in the Tinder age?

This question can tie into my last answer. No, a lot of modern music aim’s on being “cool” than being a man for a lady. Guys seem like they are singing to other guys (fans). I’m singing to women. The women who don’t take sweet guys for granted and the women who value themselves.

You’ve worked with some high profile artists on the production and writing front. What have these folks taught you that you can apply to your own music career?

I’ve had the pleasure of working with very talented people. I’m always blown away when I sit back and humble myself to learn and observe the greatness in the room. Sometimes you feel the need to always want to show what you can do with your talent when the best thing you can do is be a sponge and soak up everything that’s happening.

You’re a pretty stylish dude. How important do you think image and style is when it comes to the music you’re making, as well as performing in general? 

Thanks for the compliment! We have more than one sense of hearing/listening. Got to appeal to the other senses! Visually, it’s important to entertain as well. I like to dress in ways that make me feel good and in ways that make me feel like me. What you wear says a lot about who you are.

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Since this year isn’t you first SXSW trip as an artist, how do you plan to make the most of it?

No I’ve been before. I have a feeling this trip will be a bit more official and also excited that it’s in line with my team over at Believe and they will have a chance to check me out.  I’ll make the most of it by singing my heart out and by tending to the awesome people.

What have your past experiences at SXSW taught you and how do you plan to apply that to your trip this year?

Number one is always have fun. How you feel is a reflection of how you make the crowd feel. If I put my heart in it, and hopefully the crowd will resonate with that.

What advice do you have for artists who are interested in producing, writing and performing but might have a hard time balancing and focusing their efforts?

My advice is do what’s in your heart and what you feel. Do something because you enjoy it and you want to, not because it might make you money. I haven’t made much money in the ten years I’ve been in this industry, but I do it because I love to.

Tags: chivalry is dead featuring interview SXSW sxsw 2016 sxsw2016 trevor wesley tunecore vulcan gas co