Logan Mize is a name that country music fans will soon be hearing a lot of. The talented singer-songwriter left behind a football career for Nashville and hasn’t regretted it since. He’s not someone who’s worried about getting his name in big lights, or becoming the next Jason Aldean… he just wants to make music that can be heard and appreciated. Spend a few seconds on his YouTube page and you’ll quickly see why his “Nobody In Nashville” record hit number forty-nine on the Billboard Country Albums Charts, and number fifteen on the Billboard Heatseekers Album Chart.
He’ll be joining us on the Blake Shelton Cruise in October; the largest country music live event to ever set sail. He’s one of multiple great performers announced for the cruise, and definitely one that fans need to check out. In our interview, Logan shares a few things he’ll be packing, how excited he is for the cruise, and we really get to know the singer – down to who he sees himself as an artist.
Check out our exclusive interview with Logan Mize below and get to know one of Nashville’s brightest independent stars:
I see that Bucky Covington recorded one of your songs on his new record…
Well, he did it on an EP and I thought that was it, and that was really cool. Then I got a call letting me know that he’s recording it again, but this time for his new record. I’m really excited, I’m glad he’s digging the song. I think his fans are digging the song too. Anytime someone wants to record one of my songs I’m ecstatic. It’s very flattering, and I’m very, very happy.
For fans who don’t quite know you yet.. how would you describe yourself as an artist?
Well I’m just a dude that writes songs and plays guitar, I’m not anything too wild. I really like telling stories and really like to come up with the catchiest melodies I can. I’m really into Americana music: whether it’s country or rock and roll. I just really love American music.
Do you notice a difference in what you write now that you’re married?
Probably a little bit. It depends on the day (laughs). I think before I wasn’t really tied to anything. Life was depressing most of the time, and now I have my wife and my one-year old son. He’s real goofy, he’s real fun to be around. You know, it’s a lot happier, and a lot more social environment, and that really affects me and how I write, for sure.
How has reception been for your album?
It’s been pretty good! I didn’t know what to expect during the first week, but it charted at number 49 on Billboard. I was pretty impressed with that since there was no major promotion done behind it. It’s all been the groundwork the last couple of years that we’ve really put into everything. I’ve been working the club scene getting a lucky spot at an opening spot somewhere here and there… and to get number 49 on Billboard without any big push is crazy. It’s been selling good since and I think a lot of people dig the songs. It’s a great feeling.
Speaking of opening, if you could put together a dream tour who would you hit the road with?
That’s a tough one. It depends because there’s people you want to hang with, and there’s so many people that you really want to share the bill with. I’d have to say Elton John, but he would make me sound terrible because he’s so great. So, maybe not him (laughs). I’d say Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers would be great, or the Wallflowers, or.. I don’t know. There’s so many that I’d love to be on tour with.
Is there a song out on the radio that you wish you wrote?
I don’t listen to the radio very much, so I don’t know what’s really playing right now. The number one pop song right now I wish I wrote it so I could get a big check in the mailbox (laughs). Any of those top ten big pop songs right now I wish I wrote those (laughs).
If you could write write with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be?
Gosh, these are tough questions. I never think about this stuff. There’s so many great writers out there and I don’t know if I could narrow it down to just one, alive or dead. I know it’s not nice of me to give you a nice blank answer like that.
Was there one moment in particular where you decided that music was what you wanted to do?
I’ve always wanted to do it but I never made it my identity. I never made it clear to myself to make a plan or think to myself that it would actually happen, that it was all just a dream. I was playing football for Illinois and I think we were in the third game of the season against Western Michigan – ESPN was there and 40,000 people were in the stands. It was a college football game and I was a sophomore, and I was getting rotated in a little bit and playing. It was fun but I remember looking around and thinking I might’ve been in the wrong place. I didn’t think it was what I was supposed to be doing, so after that game I wrote a letter to everybody on my team and said I was leaving because I was going to Nashville.
So, third game into the season at Western Michigan I was like, okay, I gotta do this, I gotta get out of here. If I waited until the end of the season it was never going to happen, so I made a really quick maneuver there and quit mid-semester – which I don’t recommend doing for anyone! But I did it, that was my moment.
How hard was it to make that decision?
It wasn’t hard. It was tough because I was worried about what everyone else was going to think or say, but I just kind of let go of that and didn’t care. I just wanted to go do something different and it was just an on-the-spot thing. I’ve made some quick decisions since then and sometimes it works out great, other times it doesn’t. It takes a lot of pressure off, you know.
So what is it about country music that you’re drawn to?
I like story telling, I like really descriptive lyrics, I like lyrics that paint a picture and take you somewhere. When you say country music I think of the stuff I really like – the 90′s. There were a lot of great songs in the 90′s in country music that I just love. I wasn’t listening to country music until Garth Brooks happened, but of course I was around nine years old when his album came out. Before that, I was into the rock and stuff that my parents used to listen to. But, when Garth and Alan Jackson came out it was my first introduction to country music. What I really liked is that you could paint a picture with the lyrics, and that it was just so descriptive.
Is there one venue that you’ve always wanted to play at but haven’t yet?
Oh, yeah, there’s a bunch of them. Of course, Red Rocks would be a blast to play. There’s all sorts of places, of course if I had a sell-out at Wembley Stadium… but right now I’d be lucky to have 4 or 5 people out there, so I’ll need to work on that (laughs). Central Park would be awesome, I’d love that.
Is there one thing you really want to accomplish over the next year?
I would love to get on a big tour, I’d love to move from playing small venues driving my van to being in a bus. I’d love to chart higher than 49 on Billboard, but I’d love to have more people hear my music. I can’t think of anything in particular besides reaching a broader audience.
What’s the best piece of advice anyone’s ever given to you about the industry so far?
I’m trying to think of all the things that people have said to me over the years… I can’t remember who it was who I talked to, but someone told me that a lot of people kind of do the whole politicking and network their way into a successful position. I think that somebody told me at some point to just worry about myself and what I was doing, and not worry about playing that Nashville game, but to just keep making the music that I want to make and do it my way. They told me to focus on doing great and greatness will follow you, so don’t try to politic your way into a situation. That’s been good and it’s helped me out a lot. Of course, there’s the times when I see my friends having huge success because they went to this party and met this person, but I just want to be myself and not worry about what anybody else is doing.
Is there one moment that you’ve considered to be just unbelievable in your career?
Yeah. One of them was in 2008 or 2009, but I feel really stupid about this. I got a call from this gentleman in Bakersfield, California wanting me to come out and play at Billy Mize’s 80th birthday party. We were related and I didn’t know much about him or who he was, so I had to look it up. My grandpa then tells me, ‘oh yeah, sorry, I forgot to tell you. He’s my first cousin and he’s had some success in the music industry.’ I find out he didn’t just have some success… he pretty much invented the Bakersfield sound. He co-founded the ACMs, he got Buck Owens and Merle Haggard started on his TV show back in the 50′s and 60′s. He’s now in the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Anyway, I got to play his 80th birthday party in front of Merle Haggard. That was really, really weird. Just one day I’m getting a phone call and two weeks later I’m in California playing my music for a relative. That was pretty crazy.
My grandpa owns a grocery store in Kansas, and my father and his brothers all work there. You’re in a small town world and you don’t think much about the outside, you just focus on your small business. It never occurred to him when I left for music, and it’s probably my fault too since I should know my music a little bit better. It was really cool to go out there and see what he’s accomplished in his 80 years.
You’ll be joining us on the Blake Shelton Cruise. How excited are you for it?
I can’t wait! I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. Usually I’m in a van all night, unloading gear, play the show, then get back in the van and drive… but now I get to hang out on a ship with country music people who are there to listen to country music for seven nights. It has a great cast of artists that are going to be playing, and to be on the same ship as everyone else.. I’m pretty excited!
Do you have any advice for fans going on the cruise?
Yeah, they should definitely come to my show. (laughs) I’m just kidding. I don’t know if I have any advice, I’ve never been on a cruise before so maybe they should be the ones giving me the advice.
What are some things you’ll be packing for the Cruise?
My guitar is one, my “Good Life” koozie which everyone needs to have. Somebody is going to win the chance to come on the Blake Shelton Cruise with us. By taking a picture with your koozie, it’s fan voted, someone will win a trip on the Cruise. Anyway, I’ll have my “Good Life” koozie, my guitar, I guess I’ll need some clothes. I guess I can’t think of anything else to bring. Sunglasses, I guess I need sunglasses but I don’t normally wear them.
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Join us on the Blake Shelton Cruise by visiting blakesheltoncruise.com. If you mention Keepin’ it Country when you book your new reservation you’ll qualify for a free gift from us on board!