Logan on ‘Lost In Translation’, remaining present, and buying new shoes

We chat to Logan on the cusp of his breakout moment, following the release of his debut mixtape ‘Lost In Translation’

Given his already impressive hot streak in the lead-up to its release, it should come as little surprise that Logan’s debut mixtape ‘Lost In Translation’ is this good.

In 2023 alone, the Southeast Queensland singer-songwriter dropped a trio of singles in ‘Famous’, ‘Huh’ and ‘Stop & Stare’, opened for Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers’ national tour and made his festival debut at Spilt Milk. 

Logan - Lost In Translation INTERVIEW

With such experience under his belt, the anticipation for Logan’s long-length offering was fever-pitch, but its arrival today (April 12) exceeded even the loftiest of expectations.

Across nine nimble and versatile tracks, the 21-year-old oscillates fusions of pop, funk and rock, as guided by his affinity for lo-fi and his poignant tales of coming-of-age and finding his feet in the music industry. 

“I’m just trying to take everything as it comes,” Logan tells us on the cusp of what’s sure to be his breakout moment. “To me, everything’s new and I’ve never really had any expectations for things.”

Below, Logan swings by Happy to chat all things, ‘Lost In Translation’, the influence of his background in dancing, and his plans for the future. 

Catch the full interview below, and scroll down to listen to Logan’s debut mixtape ‘Lost In Translation’.

HAPPY: Congratulations on Lost In Translation! Is there a certain level of anxiety that comes with releasing a ‘debut’ project, or are you more excited to finally get the songs out?

LOGAN: Thank you so much. I don’t really get anxious – because everything happens the way it’s meant to and that gives me a lot of comfort.

It cancels out any weird feelings that I might have, so it’s just exciting for me to put out something like this. Lost In Translation is just the first step in the direction I’m going.

HAPPY: It’s always interesting to hear about tracklisting. How do you go about ordering the songs on a project to make sure it flows/tells a story?

LOGAN: The way I work a track list is really to look at it as two halves, and to put things near each other that feel like a brother and a sister. That’s kind of the way I think – I see songs as paired with each other, and one pair leads into the next pair.

HAPPY: Some of the songs on mixtape were adlibbed and quickly recorded while others were the result of a longer collaboration process. Would you say there’s a method you prefer when making music?

LOGAN: I prefer it to be the way that I’m feeling in the moment. It’s always quite a natural choice to either write lyrics and really think about them, or to not.

Sometimes I feel like there’s a whole world stuck in my chest that I just need to get out. Some things just rush out, and some things don’t. There’s no real process that I prefer, as long as it’s pure of the moment.

Like with ‘Movies’, I went into the studio and met Miles Elkington (Milku) for the first time, and there’s always this feeling that you need to get the big song.

So, you end up making this big upbeat thing that’s not always true to the way you’re feeling in the moment. Sometimes in breaks between writing, you have the real thoughts.

The real senses come through when you’re left alone in the room. That’s what happened here. I just started playing the guitar, D to an A to an E. Miles comes back into the room after taking a little break and he starts playing his Juno synth, and something struck me.

I wasn’t afraid to just say, “hey, can we just write this song instead, this feels right to me”. It takes the other person to trust you, but if you really connect with that moment, you can end up writing the right thing.

And that’s a process in itself – sometimes it takes doing the wrong thing to realise what the right thing is. After that we went back to our upbeat song and kept writing. It was just this beautiful little gap in between where we just wrote a completely opposite vibe.

HAPPY: The medium of a mixtape allows some freedom for you to explore multiple sounds. Was there a particular genre that you felt most at home in?

LOGAN: Lost In Translation naturally comes from my very fresh influence of The Rolling Stones, I was listening to them a lot. I’d actually never written a rock’n’roll song until I did ‘Stop & Stare’.

I was just trying to make a hip hop beat in the same way that Rick Rubin was using rock sounds and samples, but it ended up feeling amazing – it was very empowering in a way.

That inspired many more rock’n’roll songs, I would say this mixtape is a very free, funky, rock’n’roll mixtape. It really shows what I’d done in my in my room alone before I really knew what I was doing.

HAPPY: On ‘Famous’, one of our favourite tracks here in the office, you talk about feeling like a star in the making. Who’s the one famous person you’d love to meet?

LOGAN: I would love to meet Tyler, the Creator. He’s the coolest guy of the present moment, as an active artist. Someone who’s continuously pushing. He’s my biggest inspiration of this era.

HAPPY: Dance has been an important part of your artistry. How does this factor in when you’re creating a sound/vibe for a song? 

LOGAN: To be honest, this was a recent awakening for me as an artist, I wasn’t entirely writing songs that made me want to dance.

Now, in this very present moment, it has a complete influence on my music. I always say some songs just have dance in it, there’s no choice but to dance when you hear certain songs, so that’s what I’m looking for.

Right now, it’s completely the focus and what it’s about. There’s this awesome song from Pharrell Williams called ‘Frontin’’, and it’s always been my favourite, but one particular day I played it and I just realised “this is what I want to feel when I when I hear my music, this is what I should be focused on”.

HAPPY: You left high school early to pursue music. What would you say to a young artist who is considering a career in music? What are some myths they might need busted?

LOGAN: It goes back to doing something wrong to realise what the right thing is. There’s a lot of freedom in the not knowing, and it can be the hardest part of being a young artist, especially if you’re doing it yourself and no one’s helping you.

You almost feel like you’re at a loss, because you don’t know what you’re doing and people might put you down, but everyone has to learn. So, mess up as many times as you can, and trust that all of your mistakes could be the best thing that you ever did.

HAPPY: As you’ve continued to find yourself as an artist over the last year, have you encountered any surprises about the industry that you didn’t foresee?

LOGAN: I’m just trying to take everything as it comes. To me, everything’s new and I’ve never really had any expectation for things.

I think if you’re really present, everything has a massive effect on everything. The first time I performed, that created a whole new feeling for me around music, I don’t even remember what it’s like to not have performed, but it was only like 6 months ago that I hadn’t – I had no clue what it would feel like.

Honestly I didn’t know if I could even sing until after my first show, I thought maybe I’d get on the stage and forget every word I had in my songs.

After the performance and after really working with a bunch of people in studios, recording, and learning about songwriting for the first time properly, I think it’s had this beautiful effect on everything I’m creating, and it’s a bit of a snowball.

HAPPY: Anything else exciting on the horizon that you can tease for us?

LOGAN: I’ve got my first headline shows coming up, co-headlines with KIAN. Right now, I’m on my first trip overseas to write songs, in the United States, which is a lifelong dream of mine.

So many other things are coming up, more music for sure. I can’t speak on it all just yet, but I’m working hard.

HAPPY: What makes you happy?

LOGAN: I love buying new shoes so much. I’ve always written good songs if I recently bought a new pair of sneakers – that’s what makes me happy!