Written by: Jason Freeze

First Published in October 2016

Whizzing through the local airwaves at night, you might tune the dial and find a familiar sound. Hidden behind a deep, gruff voice, you’ll find ‘the Love Child of Rock and Roll’ playing some tunes at Jukasa Radio. It might be a bit difficult to make out, but behind the so-called “boxing announcer voice” is that of local musician and singer, Logan Staats.

Sitting down with the ‘Love Child’ at Jukasa Radio was a fun experience. You get to see first-hand what goes into making a radio set. And you get to see a different side to the announcers. Shifting from his ‘Love Child’ voice back to normal we chatted about how he came up with his persona.

Logan joked, “You start out with your boxer voice, and then I always act like I’m in a rave. I try to keep it fun and upbeat.” He also mentioned that his girlfriend works at Virgin Radio, so he gets some ideas from there as well.

Jukasa is known for playing mostly top 40’s and hip-hop, but Logan brings an interesting mix to the evening by showcasing rock and roll. Both his persona and genre tend to be rebellious, which makes Logan feel like he gets to break the rules a bit during his evening show. “I’m like the wild man of the radio. They let me go a little crazy.”

“It’s a great atmosphere here. There’s also an understanding with my scheduling and what’s going on too.” Logan has only been on the airwaves for six months, but has been working with the group for over two years now with his recording. With so much going on in his life, Logan feels grateful for their understanding when he travels or is working on other things.

Lately, Logan is feeling a bit crazy with everything going on. He’s not only a radio host and playing his music locally, but he’s also performing and touring around North America while working on his next album.

While touring, Logan takes time to visit First Nations communities. His next stops will focus more on the northern communities. While he’s there, he brings a special music program to the kids. He teaches them about music, its healing properties, and how they can get involved with music. Then he also explains the dangers of the industry and how you can get caught up in the glamorization. He describes how music has changed his life, for both the good and the bad. Music is his art form and vitalizes his life, but he’s also had issues dealing with drug and alcohol abuse. By working with the kids on these issues he hopes to help steer them down the right path.

Logan said that he feels he’s in a better place in life now. After his time with Ghost Town Orchestra ended, he felt a little lost. His first award came with the group for Best Rock Album and things seemed to be great on the outside. But he felt that he needed to focus on his self as well; to overcome his difficulties with substance abuse and to start his own evolution.

His first solo album was a small production. “It was recorded live with only one mic. It was honest and raw.” At this point in his life he felt that standing alone was key to moving forward with his music. His new album will be bringing back some old favourites and some new music, but it also shows the evolution of his mood. “We’ve put more thought into instrumentation and vocals. Some of the songs you’ll get to hear violins and trumpets worked in. Much of my time and creative energy is going toward the album. I want this album to be my legacy, and a legacy for the community too.”

Logan is very grateful for the help he’s received along the way. Many local businesses, foundations and the government have helped in various forms. With support from the Ontario Arts Council and Dreamcatcher Foundation to local and federal funding, he’s been able to keep up his work with children. He’s also grateful for all the local support he’s received from Jukasa Radio and other businesses that have helped in many ways over the years.

With all of his great work and music, Logan has had success in pretty much all of the indigenous awards. He’s gone from winning the Native American Music Award to just recently the Indian Summer Music Awards for Best Folk Album in Milwaukee, USA. I asked him how it felt to win these awards; “Livid. You don’t feel it until you actually get up there and win it. In seconds you go from calm anticipation to crying like a baby trying to make your acceptance speech.”

Next up for Staats will be the Canadian Folk Award. Next month he’ll find out if he’s a nominee. After that, Logan is looking to broaden his horizons and start competing outside of the indigenous titles into the Grammy’s. “It’s a different feel, I’ll be competing with everyone next.”

With everything going on for this 28 year old, his most important success has been his passion for music and overcoming substance abuse. His greatest inspiration is music. “Music is therapeutic. It makes me feel better when I’m sad, and it’s a healing process for me.”

To learn more about Logan and everything he’s doing, make sure to check out his website at: www.loganstaats.com.