It's My Life PBS Kids Go!
Celeb Scoop: Plug In Stereo

By It's My Life on April 14, 2011 1:08 PM | No TrackBacks

Plug In Stereo.jpgYou might notice his hair first, but it's the music that will make you remember Plug In Stereo, a.k.a. 18-year-old Portland native Trevor Dahl. If it's possible for an album to walk that teeny-tiny line between the fun and sweetness of young "pop" and the make-you-really-think-and-feel-stuff soul of "independent," Plug In Stereo's new "Nothing to Something" manages to do it. And you know we're always on the lookout for tweens and teens who are going for their dreams, doing what they love on their own terms and actually having success with it. So we really enjoyed chatting with Trevor about his music and the path he's taken so far.

IML: Congrats on the album! We're really loving it over here. Are any of the songs on it particularly special to you?

Trevor: One song called "What Goes Around" is about people in high school who were negative and doubting me and what I was doing. That one means a lot to me. Another song called "Thursday" is about my best friend's mom, who committed suicide. That was really rough, and I wrote it from his perspective. She was like a second mom to me and that song comes from a really personal place, for sure. Even though these sound like depressing experiences, I tried to make the songs about positive things.

IML: What's your songwriting process like?

Trevor: It's different every time. Sometimes I'll just write a poem in the car, then create a guitar line and put the lyrics and melody to it. Or I'll have my guitar and create that part first, then come up with a melody and lyrics, trying to make the lyrics fit with the guitar parts.

IML: How old were you when you first picked up the guitar?

Trevor: I picked it up in 6th grade, when I was about 12 years old. My dad played guitar, as well as my uncle and a few cousins. My family has always been musical so it always interested me. I started playing and never stopped! My brother played too, and he'd play music with his friends with this little PA system in our garage. None of my friends played so I'd always be trying to play with them, but they'd be like, you can't come out here! So instead I'd sit in my room and record my own stuff, and that's probably what got me where I am.

IML: How did music help you during the trials and tribulations of middle school and high school?

Trevor: Whenever I'd go through things emotionally -- if I was mad, or I really liked some girl -- it always helped me to sit in my room and write about stuff, and record it.

IML: It seems like it's so much easier for young musicians to just join a band and have that group dynamic. What made you decide to be a solo artist instead?

Trevor: It happened kind of by accident. I was in this band with my friends and one day, when we were all on a break because people were away on vacation, I borrowed my friend's microphone and recorded a few songs. I just did it for fun and those ended up being my first two songs for Plug In Stereo. I didn't have lyrics in the beginning, I just posted them and people liked them. I got a few fans, so then I decided to start singing because I'd never really done any singing before that.

IML: Who are your musical influences and inspirations?

Trevor: In the beginning when I first started, my music was a lot more "poppy." Now I'm a lot more into John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Jason Reed, Bob Marley. A lot of singer-songwriter stuff.

IML: What would you like tween listeners to take away from this album?

Trevor: I would just say, listen to the lyrics because they might help you deal with the subjects the songs are about. Every song has a different message, but you also have to take your own message from it. You have your own ideas, and the songs will mean different things to different people.

IML: Are you worried about being pigeonholed as a "teen" artist?

Trevor: Definitely. In the beginning, my songs went in that direction. Now, I really don't want them to. Hopefully fans will get older as I do and vibe with it.

IML: Thanks, Trevor! We have a feeling you'll be around for a while.

Trevor: Thank you!

You can check out Plug In Stereo's music for yourself at We also love his video for the single "Oh Darling":

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