Tuesday, 25 October 2005

Logans Mixtape

Word on the street is you're starting a new mixtape series, could you enlighten us?
I was doing my pirate show for two years and had a decent listener base, but I wasn't getting out as far as I wanted to. My career wasn't progressing as quickly as I had hoped. I took it upon myself to ring up Mark Lambert and offer him a cd for free to put in the Sidewinder 2004 Awards tape pack in September. I just went into my box and pulled out all the dubs, specials and new tracks I had and flung them in the mix as quickly as I possibly could. The CD turned out to have about 70 tracks in 80 minutes. It was a style of cd I'd never heard done in grime. I was heavily influenced in the programming by some of the Dancehall cd's like Cash Flow and Cash Money. Quick hits of brand new stuff and some exclusive freestyles. That CD was finished but in the end Sidewinder were unable to get it into the tape pack in time. They offered to use it for a subsequent event pack, but by then It would have been over a month old so I decided to just throw it out myself. I pressed up 450 copies in my home on the PC and left them in record shops and posted them out around the world. People were telling me they heard it all over the place. It got me a lot of recognition from other artists in the scene and more importantly the listening audience. It was off the back of that CD that Kiss 100 asked me to come in and do some cover shows. Subsequently I got a regular slot, so that Sidewinder Bonus CD I did really got me into the front door at Kiss. Now I have a show and everything is going well at the station, but I feel my profile could be higher and the bookings could be a bit more regular, so I am turning back to the mixtapes to promote my name on the streets and further afield.

Are Kiss backing it?
Nah, not officially. It's just going to be a street series. Independant stockists and limited HMVs etc. Kiss have really got behind the music though. every "grime" track released on a major level so far has been playlisted. They are on backing this sound because it is London grown, and Kiss have been bringing through underground music in London for the last 20 years.

How does it feel having the only grime dedicated show on the FM dial?
It is the first and only legal Grime show in the world. There have been other shows that have played grime music along with Garage and 4/4 or even with Hip Hop and Dancehall. But my show is the first, and so far the only 100% Grime show anywhere in the world that is on a legal FM station. Hopefully there will be more in the future as other dj's come through.

Have Kiss given you much feedback on it's success?
Kiss have a massive audience. Not only do they broadcast to a huge area in and around London, they also broadcast nationwide on digital and freeview AND worldwide on the website. The figures are pretty damn good. Certainly more than a lot of other shows out there. Kiss are really helpful with keeping me updated on how the show is doing and any input or suggestions about the show. I deal mainly with my producer Chris Blacklay who acts as my main point of contact to the station. He's been really helpful with a number of different things at the station and in general. This legal gig is different to pirates, so at first I definitely needed to be led through the process. But I take my feedback in terms of what they play in the daytime. That's my job, to make Grime a credible form of music in the eyes of the station so they can support it next to the 50 Cents and Craig Davids. But before I came to Kiss the only track from our scene I heard on there was 'Pow!' Since I have been on they have tracklisted 'Nite Nite', 'Shake A Leg', 'The Avenue', 'What We Do' , 'Fire'.... as I said pretty much every tune that has come out. People like Dizzee, Kano, Roll Deep all them guys they deserve to be competing with these artists that are selling a million records. They should be selling hundreds of thousands of records. We just need labels to catch up with the scene and understand how to market these guys properly. But yeh, our music on the playlist as a standard thing. That's the best feedback I could ask for.

Do you think other stations, like Radio 1 may follow suit?
I don't think Grime and Radio 1 are a good fit yet. That seems to be why 1xtra exists, to give genres of music like Grime a platform without them mixing with the daytime sounds of the rest of the station. Grime gets supported by Ras Kwame, Zane Lowe, Westwood and a few others, but not regularily or in large doses. One day they will have a show, no doubt. I think more imminently Choice would be more likely to get a show off the ground.

Any more big plans for future?
Many. I think I am here to be an instrument in helping this music reach it's potential. When the scene is incredibly successful, then as a by product I will be doing well too. I look at people like Westwood, Goldfinger & Rodigan who were pioneers in marginalised scenes that struggled and stuck with their music until a time that it achieved a widespread appeal. I see Grime and myself in the same boat. One day this will be the sound of the UK. It already is the sound of London for an entire generation of people, and unlike rave culture, this music is artist focussed so it has a voice and a message that can step outside of the clubs and raves into people's everyday lives. In the more immediate future, I am going to focus on being the best at whatever I am doing. I try and do the best show playing this music. My mixtape series is going to be the best DJ tape out. I'm a perfectionist and a scholar. I study everything I do inside out so I know what I need to be aiming for to succeed, then I try to exceed that. I don't want to do an interview and say I have this company starting up or that clothing line coming and then people never hear about it and I've wasted myself. Anything I say I am going to do happens. So for now look out for the mixtapes, the radio show and my label Adamantium Music. That is going to be focussing on helping up and coming artists get a platform to be heard. I'm working with Narstie and Solo from N Double A, Scorcher, SLK, JME and a producer called Ripperman who makes music for 2007. I can't even put his tunes out until two years after he makes them cos the scene has to catch up to what he has done.

Any bookings coming up we can catch you at?
Big up Plasticman aka Lego Boy or whatever he ends up calling himself. We are going out to Sweden in December with the Murkleman and Skepta plus a few others. Should be showering down Sidewinder on the regular, if they know what is good for them. Apart from that I'm just doing the rounds. Check out the blog online for updates cos a lot of stuff is last minute.
http://logansama.blogspot.com. Hear Logan Sama, Kiss 100fm every Thursday night/Friday morning 2am-4am also
available on DAB Digital, online at kiss100.com, Sky Digital 928 and Freeview.

Logan tells us his Top 10 tunes that should have been signed yesterday...
1. Jammer - Murkleman (Jahmek The World)
2. Bearman - Drinking Bear (Mastermind)
3. Skepta - Single (white)
4. JME - Serious (Boy Better Know)
5. Wiley - The entire new album! (Roll Deep Recordings)
6. Nasty Crew - In Da Place (white)
7. Tinchy Stryder - Underground (white)
8. Trim n Scratchy - Trim n Scratch (Roll Deep Recordings)
9. Bashy feat. Katie Pearl - Pryin' (white)
10. Katie Pearl and Kano - Leave Me Alone (white)

A version of this article appears in Blues & Soul.

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