Townsville musician Trent Bell will wrap up his successful Hold On tour, celebrating the launch of his first solo EP, in Townsville this September. It’s been a long time coming for Trent, so we caught up with him to find out what kept him going.
You’ve been on the Townsville music scene for a while, but this tour is seeing you visit every state in Australia – what does it mean to you, to have that amount of support across the country?
I really needed this tour to happen! It has shown me the true love and support I have all across Australia. From leaving high school and taking the pub stage in Townsville, to then performing in theatres and well known venues across the country, performing my own music has been an incredible triumph in my books.
How has the tour been so far?
I set out to achieve one of my most treasured goals, and that was to tour the country I was proud to be born in. Hence the title of my tour, ‘Hold On’; it’s about hanging on to my goals and most precious dreams and making them a reality. So far, I’m 18 shows down with one more to go! I wouldn’t trade this tour in for the world!
How was the process of creating the EP itself? Did you write a lot of the songs on there?
Creating the EP Hold On took about 6 months in total. I had a couple of tracks I had written the year prior that I wanted to add to the EP. These were tracks I wrote in Melbourne with two talented producers, ‘Msquared’. The other tracks I’d written were done with a producer and close friend of mine, Liam Quinn from Sydney.
The process entailed really opening up every emotion and feeling I’ve had bottled up inside of me. This EP showcases my life in two ways, being love and life. I not only wrote these tracks as a compilation of my life but also to relate to everyone else who hears it. It’s literally turning feelings into music. I also had help from writers such as Peter Harding and Christian Ruiz who really helped me dig deep and capture what I wanted to portray.
Where’d the inspiration behind the songs on Hold On come from?
My whole life has been a constant rollercoaster – like a lot of other people in this world. The inspiration was from the hardships and trials I have had to overcome to make my life and career a reality. It’s that persistence in hanging on to something that is so important to you even when you come close to giving up. The inspiration is also from people who are close to me and who I have known my whole entire life. It’s a combination of things but it worked.
When you’re not touring, you still play across Townsville a lot – do you find people value your original songs, or do a lot of venues still want you to mostly play covers?
When I’m not touring, I perform at a mixture of corporate functions, weddings and private functions all around Australia. I find myself filling some dates with pub gigs still – and yes, in Townsville. Any gig is a great rehearsal, it puts you in a live environment and sometimes under the hardest of environments. Covers are definitely crowd pleasers, and are what the venue is paying you to do. The real reason they are paying you is to entertain the crowd and I guess that’s how I approach every performance. I may sneak some originals in there to see if the audience picks up on it – sometimes they don’t even notice haha – but it can be a great way to test the water for your own songs.
What advice would you give to people wanting to make it as a musician in North Queensland?
Like any other musician trying to make it in the music industry, put yourself out there and do whatever you have to do. Play as many shows as you can, don’t be afraid to meet new people and expand your repertoire. You have to start somewhere – pub or restaurant, doesn’t matter, go get it. I have performed in front of zero people in a bar and only serenaded the bar staff. From backyard parties to performing in front of millions of people on national TV. Grab any opportunity that presents itself or go find it.
When this tour is over, what’s next for you? Can we expect a full-length Trent Bell album in the next few years?
More music for sure! I’ll probably be releasing a few singles in the meantime while I prepare the next EP or potential album. Overseas is definitely on the cards. Other than that I’ll be lining up some more Australian shows and really showcasing more of what I have to offer as an Australian artist.
Catch Trent Bell’s Hold On tour stopping in at Allure Events on 9 September. Tickets are available at moshtix.com.au