“There are so many phenomenal singers here,” he says. “[But] I think one of my strong suits is stage presence.”
Trevor — a 16 year-old actor, musician, science geek and Buddy Holly look-alike from Dallas-Ft. Worth — is one of the most memorable personalities of season 14.
Jennifer Lopez praised his “quirkiness” after a spirited audition in Nashville. (He performed Ed Sheeran’s “Sing.”)
I had a chance to sit down with the Texas teen just before the holidays to learn all about his musical training, busking outside concerts and the time a much older woman grabbed his butt!
Tell us about yourself. How long have you been making music?
I think the first song I remember ever singing when I was really young was “Go The Distance” from HERCULES. I went to a fine arts school. Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts. We just called it FAFA. That is when I really started doing things.
So you are “properly trained”…
I hope so. I actually started out on the violin when I was really, really young. At 3 years old I had always wanted to play the violin. Then I picked up piano. Then I picked up guitar. Then I dropped guitar and I picked up drums. And I did drums for a little bit. And that really helped with… ‘Cause I have a loop pedal. Like, I can make a band. I can make a backing track live on stage in front of everyone.
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So if you cloned yourself you could pretty much be your own band and producer…
I wish. It would be cool to clone myself. We would have so much fun, me and my clones. We would go out and do guy stuff. My guitar… I actually named my guitar a [guy’s name]. His name is Melvin. You know, when you are with girls you gotta put on your polite face and you gotta be nice. You gotta buy them dinner. You gotta give them compliments all that time. And that is good. It is the right thing to do. Hold the doors. But with my guitar, I wanted to have guy time. Do bro stuff. Fist bumps. Manly things. Work out. I work out all the time. Obviously.
Where are you from?
I am from Fort Worth, Texas. Dallas-Forth Worth. DFW. I go to school in Dallas, but I live in Fort Worth because I go to another fine arts school, Booker T. Washington.
Has music always been the dream or did you want to do something else?
I also really enjoy science. Science is so interesting. The world is just so fantastic. If music doesn’t work out, I would love to be like a singing Bill Nye. Just because, you know, Bill Nye isn’t doing it anymore. He’s not writing books and debating people. He’s not that science figure that is like “Science is awesome!” And so we need someone to make sure kids know that science is cool.
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You could have your own TV show…
“Trevor Dude, The Science Fool.”
What would it mean to you to become the next AMERICAN IDOL?
Oh, it would be so great. It really… Just to make it to the live shows. People would see my music. I just want to get in front of people. I do a lot of shows on street corners, after concerts mainly. there are already a large amount of people there and they are already hyped up from that show they just saw. So I just get in front of them.
You work for tips?
How does that go? Do you make a lot?
No. But I get enough. It is not really a job because my mom supports me.
Have you ever met a girl while you are busking?
No. I meet girls, but I have not met a girl that way. I am not that smooth. There are some pretty smooth guys here. They just open their arms and I don’t know, feremones are released that call girls. And they just come running. I don’t know how they do it.
Are you single at the moment?
No. But they are still a lot more smooth than I am.
What else does the world need to know about Trevor?
I really like Swedish fish… [laughs] My glasses are real. I used to wear fake glasses for a long time and I was like, ‘No. I can’t do this.’ I felt like a poser so I took them off. Then my mom was like, ‘Hey we are going to go get your eyes checked’ and I needed glasses!
Do you think the glasses make part of your identity?
Oh, definitely. It is also different. I think one of my string suits is stage presence. I am not the best singer. There are so many phenomenal singers here… What AMERICAN IDOL looks for [is] someone who is marketable. Someone who they can trust to go out on stage and make people have fun. And I feel like doing those shows outside of concerts really helps with that. ‘Cause there is no barrier. Anything could happen. One time I was doing a show outside. I believe it was a U2 concert? An older concert so people could drink. And there was this older lady. 30 or something like that. And she was like [slurring], ‘Can I take a picture with you?’ And I was like, ‘Of course!’ So we are taking a photo and I smile and then she like just grabs my butt! I didn’t know what to do. I felt like if I said something it would make it more uncomfortable. But I just decided to ignore it. She stopped once we finished the picture, but it was uncomfortable.
AMERICAN IDOL airs Wednesdays and Thursdays on Fox.
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