The 18-year-old from Queens, N.Y., was in middle school when he had a chance to apply for a performing arts school.
He needed recommendations from his four teachers. He got three.
The fourth told Trevin he was wasting his time, that he wouldn’t make it as a performer.
Of course, it doesn’t sound as though life has ever been very easy for Trevin.
He told The Voice, living in Queens, “we didn’t always have the best things. You go to sleep with gunshots ringing in your ears. And wake up to ambulances running across your neighborhood.”
But he found an escape in music from the moment his dad brought home a radio from his route as a garbage truck driver.
Trevin remembers going into the basement and playing it and singing along with whoever happened to be on at the time.
“It always completes me,” he says of music. “No matter what.”
On The Voice, he sang “Listen” for his audition song. And proved that eighth-grade teacher wrong in a matter of a few notes.
His performance was the show-closer on the first blind audition episode of Season 3 and brought Cee Lo, Blake and Christina to their feet.
Blake wound up screaming at Adam for not turning around. Christina called it the “most dynamic” performance the judges had heard to that point.
Cee Lo simply asked Trevin: “What planet do you come from, dude?”
What the show didn’t show: Trevin graduated from Lithonia High School last spring and, in his Voice blog, writes that he was also bullied as a youngster and writes that it contributed to his lack of confidence. That big guy? Bullied? Well, remember, he was a singer growing up in Queens. “Singing … when I was growing up was looked at as weakness, and not strength; no matter how tough I tried to come off as, my singing always made me seem small,” he says. Besides, he writes, he wasn’t always the size he is now. As for choosing Cee Lo as his coach, he explained his reasoning to Christina Milian in his post-audition interview: “I’m a songwriter. I know that Cee Lo is an amazing songwriter. I thought, musically, we could come together and make a lot of things happen.” If anyone knows where to find Trevin Hunte music, let me know. Meanwhile, I’m post his audition for those of you who might have missed it.
Update: This 18-year-old closed the opening show of the season, auditioned with “Listen” and got three judges to turn around. He and Amanda Brown then closed the first battle round show, singing “Vision of Love.” He advanced for Team Cee Lo; she was stolen by Adam. In the knockout round, Trevin defeated another soul singer, Terisa Griffin, with a performance of “Against All Odds.” On night two of the live playoffs, he sang “How am I Supposed to Live Without You” and advanced to the Top 12 on fan votes.
Editor’s Note: Check back for live blogs every night the finalists perform on The Voice.
Trevin sings “Listen”