Have you ever indulged in the fantasy of turning back time, blotting out the mistakes that resulted in a break-up? “Start Over” – the debut single by Brisbane-based R&B musician and producer Trey Bond – is a unique and masterful depiction of this experience. It’s a song about clinging to the hope of a second chance, running through all the possible scenarios in your head of what you could have done differently, and the solutions you come up with in times of desperation. Full of careful, clever observations and indelible, smooth vocals, it’s a welcome introduction to the newest face of modern R&B in Australia.
“It was a song that I wrote reminiscing on relationships that didn’t have a clear ending and the turmoil you go through when a relationship ends badly” says Trey. Brooding and bass-heavy, the song was written in February of this year, when Trey was messing around in his home studio. The track features a verse from up and coming Altanta artist 6LACK, whose melodic, who has garnered billions of streams globally.
Trey grew up in New Zealand, and was surrounded by great music from a young age. His mother was a fan of what Trey calls the “golden age” of R&B – LL Cool J, Lucy Pearl and artists grouped under the New Jack Swing movement. His father preferred Hip Hop and Neo Soul. He even discovered music through his grandparents, who played Marvin Gaye and Whitney Houston records when Trey was growing up. “My family love to party, love to have a good time. There was always music in the house – whether it was just my mother cleaning or a get-together at my family’s place, there was always music playing in the background” he says.
He began writing music at 10, scribbling down lyrics as a way to expel difficult emotions and feelings. But it wasn’t until he was 16 that he began recording and producing his own work. Despite his family’s great love of music, Trey hid his desires to make his own – money was tight, and he knew that they wouldn’t see music as a viable option. “There was no telling my parents I wanted to do music,” he says. Especially growing up in New Zealand… it’s just a small country and there is not a lot of money in it.” Trey didn’t have the resources, but he had the fortitude and ingenuity to make music on his own. As a teenager, he began teaching himself how to record and produce his own songs. He would scrape together money and secretly go out to buy microphones to record demos, and spend hours online researching the best set-ups and systems to record in his bedroom.
His demos began gaining traction on Soundcloud, and he soon developed a strong following in New Zealand. But once he felt like he hit a wall in the country, he started all over again, moving to Australia in order to push his music into new territories, to experiment and expand his sound. In Melbourne, he found a thriving cultural ecosystem that was more open to different genres and music. He felt less boxed in.
“Musically, I started trying everything. I didn’t put a limit on what I could make. It solidified what I wanted to be as an artist” he says. “Start Over” is that limitless moment for Trey Bond, a dark, distinct mash up of R&B and hip hop that is destined to leave a mark on the Australian music scene.