A Conversation With Trevor Larkin

 
 Photo Appears courtesy of NPR Music

Photo Appears courtesy of NPR Music

 

Behind every great artist, there is a team working on the other side of the curtain day in and day out to advance their vision and career. For critically acclaimed artist Allen Stone, one key person stands right next to him on stage looking over a sea of people, reveling in how far they've come. 

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Meet Trevor Larkin, guitarist & producer for soul/funk artist Allen Stone. Larkin has worked with Stone for several years, traveling and performing all over the world including performances on Conan O'Brien, David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Craig Robertson and The Ellen Show. 

Recently, we spoke with Larkin about his tenure writing, producing and performing with Stone, and asked him about how he find's a balance between art & industry. Larkin, a solo-artist himself who also runs his Not Famous Podcast, opened up about his experiences, philosophies and journey through his time as an artist. 

 
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How Do You Find A Balance Between Art & Industry?

Through my experiences with Allen Stone and a myriad other outlets, I’ve realized it’s important not being overly precious with your music and process.  I’m absolutely NOT saying sign an awful deal or work with a blatant crook just to cut a few places in line.  And never, NEVER write disingenuous music- awful songs beget awful business.  

But, if you take time vetting candidates and build a quality team around you, you’ll discover that there are all kinds of smart, dedicated and passionate people working on the business side who believe whole-heartedly in a future where artists are treated fairly.  And you should listen to these people- they’ll offer fresh, invaluable perspective and, provided both parties check a certain amount of ego at the door, your artistry will flourish. 

 
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Good A&R people and quality managers understand there’s a bottom line.  But they also know that an artist who has something to say, has taken the time cultivating their craft and writes undeniable, timeless music will be making records twenty years down the line.  They understand that hedging their bets on bandwagon jumping’s a flawed philosophy- the trend’s already here, which means it’s already gone.

So, as an artist endeavoring to make the most genuine music possible, for the love of all that’s decent PLEASE make that music.  Play shows, spread the word and enjoy every small success along the way.  In doing so, when industry comes calling, you’ll easily recognize who’s a douche and who’s on point.  The compromises you’ll make won’t feel like compromises at all, but rather intelligent, necessary strategic steps.  And if you don’t want to play the game, that’s fine too- release everything independently, call your own shots and embrace 24/7 entrepreneurial insanity!   

You can follow Trevor Larkin & all of his projects on All things social 

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Not Famous Podcast