In an interview with E!, “Past Life” singer Trevor Daniel opened up how his collaboration with Selena Gomez came together and what he learned from her.
When Selena Gomez wants to join your song, you know it’s a good one.
And that’s exactly what happened with Trevor Daniel and his track “Past Life.” While it’s been quiet the year from Trevor —he released his debut album Nicotine in March and landed his first spot on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Falling”—but 2020 got a little bit sweeter with one text: Selena wanted to be part of the “Past Life” remix—and sent over the vocals to prove it.
Wandering through an airport when the message came through, “I was excited to hear it and she sounded great, of course,” the 25-year-old exclusively shared with E! News. “I was just pacing back and forth. I was super hyped, calling everybody on my team. It was really cool.”
To say the least. Back in 2017, after Hurricane Harvey devastated his hometown in Texas, Trevor decided to head to L.A. with just a duffle bag of clothes and his music equipment. Fast forward and now he FaceTimes with Selena, the duo bonding virtually while they worked on the track amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
That connection was key for the music. “For me, the song was about leaving things in the past, going with the flow, opening up and trying to let go of toxic things in general,” he revealed. “I feel like…it had a more direct meaning to her.”
Indeed, the popstar recently admitted how Trevor’s lyrics truly resonated with her. “When I heard the song the first time, I loved the fact that it was kind of like a story about all the things that we tend to hold onto and the patterns that we have,” she said in an interview alongside Trevor. “And I’m very, very vocal about my personal experiences making decisions that maybe aren’t necessarily healthy for me.”
While she was moved by his words, he found comfort in her decades of experience in the industry. Filming promos for the music video, “she was super patient with me,” he shared. “I was nervous, to be honest. Like, I’m going to mess up and she’s just killing it.”
Her simple advice has gone a long way with him. In a text, she reminded him all the extra work, all the long hours, all the seemingly menial tasks are for his legions of fans. “It’s just a little reminder that no matter how big you get and how hectic things may get for you,” he said, “as long as you stay grounded for what you’re there for, it’s really hard to see the negative side of things.”
The self-proclaimed “Prince of Heartbreak” also has some wise words to share with his followers. Through his music, he often opens up about his highs (love) and lows (breakups)—and hopes listeners find themselves the work he finds therapeutic.
“You got to be honest with yourself about what’s toxic for you and you have to be honest with yourself if you’re the toxic person,” Trevor said. “I feel like a lot of people who are in a toxic relationship don’t really realize that it’s mutual and I feel like people don’t really look at themselves. That’s the best way to go with it. You have to admit your own stuff too. Ultimately, just being open about everything.”
As for his next collaboration, Trevor—he hit a career goal earlier this week when he performed virtually on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon—would love to work with Travis Scott, Drake or Dua Lipa. “She’s definitely got some insane pipes, for sure,” he raved. “I have a song that I think Dua would sound amazing on, by the way. If you guys want to make that connection.”
Dua, are you listening?