TMP Rising Stars – Avery Logan
For promising young singer-songwriter Avery Logan, music is a way of life. Between recording her debut album, singing in her high school choir and glee clubs, and performing in her church youth band, she is absolutely passionate about song. Luckily for us at the Texas Music Project, Avery was able to make time in her busy schedule to chat with us about it…
How did you get your start?
I’ve been singing since I could talk! In elementary school, I started playing songs on the keyboard by ear, so my parents enrolled me in vocal and piano lessons. After that I began getting solos in my choir, entering talent shows, and singing on stage at local parades and festivals.
Later, I landed a job at a car dealership playing music for weekly 3-hour sets in their customer waiting area, and that is where I really built up my set list and grew as a musician. During that time, I also learned to play guitar and ukulele. I now play anywhere from 1 to 4 shows per month.
What’s been your favorite performance so far?
I actually have two favorites! The first show is one that I put on at my younger brother’s middle school. He was being bullied at the time and it really upset me, so my mom and I contacted the school and I ended up putting on a mini-concert during a “No Place for Hate” anti-bullying pep rally. During the show I spoke to the students about being yourself and using kind words, and they LOVED it! I felt like a rock star! My singing allowed me the opportunity to have a positive influence on these younger kids, and now I have sort of adopted anti-bullying as my message.
The second was a set I played last spring at our town’s Red Poppy Festival. I was opening for another musician at a popular restaurant on the town square, and right as I was setting up to play, a crazy rain storm blew through the town square. This caused the outside crowd to pack themselves into the restaurant elbow-to-elbow. I wasn’t supposed to play for another 30 minutes, but since I had a packed house, I made the best of the situation and started early! The audience was full of energy, and it was a really fun show!
What is your songwriting process like?
Once I have an idea for a song theme or subject, I write down single lines about that theme and then brainstorm every idea that I can think of that’s related to it. Next, I play around with chords until I find a key that suits my voice, and then I play the chord progressions over and over and try to fit in the words and phrases I’ve written down. Sometimes this process takes days or even weeks, but other times it only takes about 20 minutes! I have a little green leather book filled with song ideas, many still unfinished.
How do you produce and record?
For all of my recording and producing, I work with a local studio called Salt Lamp Sound. The owner, Jared Shotwell, is a family friend from church, and he’s really good at what he does. In addition to the recording and editing, he also plays drums on my tracks. Jared recorded my first two singles that are on iTunes, and now he’s producing my first album. He’s so much fun to work with!
What about the videos? How do you edit those?
My family videos most of my performances on an iPhone, but I also work with a local videographer named Colton Bostick when I need professional work done. This past summer he filmed several promotional video clips with me for a local wedding and venue called Pearl Snap Hall. It’s a charming old church building with amazing acoustics, and they asked me to shoot a few video clips to promote their venue. We also filmed my first music video there. Colton directed, shot, and edited the video with his crew from Otherworld Media, and it’s now available on my YouTube channel.
What have you learned about setting up and sound checking at different venues?
It’s taught me to be flexible and creative! I’ve had equipment break during set up, so I’ve learned to stay calm and to just figure out an alternate solution. We also keep a box of miscellaneous tools and supplies that we can use to fix things.
I’ve also learned how important it is to have a knowledgeable sound person. I have a friend who comes with me to almost every show and helps set up my equipment and run the sound board. He knows my setup really well, so things run very smoothly.
Do you have any tips for young musicians?
First, songwriting is key! Even if your first songs are not good, just keep writing! You’ll keep improving with each one and eventually find your style. Some of the best songwriters wrote thousands of songs before they had a hit!
Second, when you’re playing a show people don’t always listen, but don’t let that bother you. Just keep playing through whatever happens and give the best show that you possibly can! If you make a mistake or mess up a song during a show…just keep playing! You can make a joke or try to cover it up, but don’t show that you’re afraid or embarrassed. The audience is there to support you, and they will be impressed by your professionalism.
Also: Practice, practice, practice! You can never be too prepared for a show, and there is ALWAYS room to improve your craft.
Finally, have fun and love what you do! The audience will only enjoy your show as much as you do!
When you aren’t playing music, what do you enjoy doing?
I’m a junior in high school, and in the top 3% of my class, so studying and homework take up a lot of my time. But outside of school and music, I am really just a homebody! I just like to hang out with my friends, watch movies, and check out Netflix. Stranger Things is one of my favorites!