The Voice's Trevin Hunte on Up-Tempo Risks, Doubting Teachers, Big Dreamgirls Moments
Trevin Hunte may have specialized in big, booming ballads during Season 3 of The Voice, but don’t try to slap a label on him in his post-show career.
“I just want to create feel-good music,” says the soft-spoken fourth-place finisher. “I definitely love my R&B and soul, but I want to make different types of music that connects different types of people.”
TVLine caught up with Trevin to talk about his big musical moments on The Voice, the emotional bonds he formed with his Battle and Knockout Rounds rivals, and that certain former teacher of his who wanted him to give up on his dreams.
TVLINE | Obviously any conversation about your Voice journey has to start with your Blind Audition to Beyonce’s “Listen.” You had a lot less experience going in than a lot of your competition. How did you settle on that song, and how nervous were you when you took that stage?
I actually sang “Listen” when I was in the ninth grade, at my high school talent show, and I won that year. But coming into the Blind Auditions was very nerve-wracking to me because it was the biggest stage that I ever stepped my foot on, the biggest platform
TVLINE | We saw before that audition an interview package where you talked about having had a teacher at one point who told you to give up on your music dreams. What was it like seeing that story told on national television? Was it weird in any way? And did you ever hear from that teacher afterwards?
It was definitely emotional and weird at the same time. It was like, “Wow, I am actually on TV pursuing my dreams,” and just to hear my story and to be a testimony or an inspiration to teens out there that are going through the same thing, that was great. I mean, I haven’t heard anything back from that teacher, but it’s okay. I’m not bitter about the situation anymore because, in all honesty, I have to thank her. I took her negative comment and turned it into something that was very, very positive for me and in my life .
TVLINE | Your Battle Round duet with Amanda Brown on “Vision of Love” was pretty legendary. Did you realize Cee Lo went into that matchup viewing you as the clear winner and her as cannon fodder? And how early on did you realize how good she actually was.
From the time I saw Amanda’s audition, I knew for a fact that she had more inside of her. But you know what? We sat down and we talked before we ever practiced or hit the stage. We didn’t want to make it look like a battle. We wanted to make it a duet and I felt like we did that. At that moment in time, yes, I wanted to stay on Team Cee Lo. But it wasn’t a competition to me because we grew so strong together as friends.
TVLINE | What does it feel like to be up there with a singer of Amanda’s caliber and have both of you just belting it out like crazy?
It just feels like great music to me. To stand on the stage with people that share the same dream and share the same passion was definitely a great feeling. Sometimes, we get competitive because we all want to win, but more importantly, I had the opportunity to sing on the stage with someone that sang background for Adele.
TVLINE | You probably had the most emotional matchup of all the Season 3 Knockout Rounds. You and Terisa Griffin seemed very close, and it was such a sweet moment when you guys came off the stage, and she said something along the lines of, “if I was going to lose to anybody, I wanted it to be you.” Tell me about your relationship and how hard it was to go up against her.
Honestly, from the time I stepped off the plane in California, Terisa was actually one of the first people that ever spoke to me. With her being older than me, she always had that motherly love towards me. We did every single thing together, and for me and her to be paired against each other was definitely emotional, and I guess that showed on TV. She was a great person, but I also felt like she had one of the best voices I’ve ever heard in my whole entire life. We talk almost every day…she’s like my mother for life, definitely.
TVLINE | Once you hit the live shows, you tackled a lot of big, old-school ballads: “How Am I Supposed To Live Without You,” “When a Man Loves A Woman,” and so on. Combined with “Listen,” “Vision of Love,” and “Against All Odds,” that was five ballads in a row. Did you have any fears at that point about not being perceived by the audience as fresh or current?
My mindset was, basically, to just show America different sides of me. At that point, it was just ballads after ballads after ballads. I forgot that I was 18, and I felt that America forgot that, too. I was performing songs that were before my time, and there was always a voice in the back of my head wanting to be given something different.