September 22, 2012
On the 31st edition of BEATS, I introduce you to one of the most positive and soulful artists I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing, ICONIC. He is making huge waves in Edmonton already and it’s only a matter of time before this amazing young talent takes his dreams and music world-wide! As always, if you or someone you know should be featured in BEATS, please holla at email@example.com!
Name: Logan Wilson
Current City: Edmonton, AB
When did you first get into the scene?
I first got into the scene in April 2011. I had just quit my band a month before and moved into a new place. My roommate Kevin was huge into all sorts of music, and he would be telling me stories all day long about this festival called shambhala. We were bored one night, and my other roommate (Who just so happened to be named Kevin as well, go figure…) suggested we go drinking. What happened was we did not end up drinking, we wound up in the line-up to the Y afterhours here in Edmonton. I don’t really know how to tell you this but when I got inside I was completely overwhelmed. You see, I come from a death metal background where everyone has to look upset and angry all the time, so when I got in there I was astonished to see random people hugging each other and dancing their faces off to sounds created by a computer! I simply could not get enough of it, and immediately had to figure out how to make this kind of music on my own.
What’s your favorite part of the industry?
The people! It’s in my geminian nature to constantly meet someone new, and it’s super easy in this scene! Everyone has a story to tell, and everyone is more than willing to listen to what you have to say.
What’s your least favorite part?
Nothing really, I’m completely immersed in it. It really is taking over my life, and I’m loving every single moment of it. I just hope to keep up the momentum as I go along!
Where does your musical talent come from?
My mom bought me a drum kit when I was 10 years old. She wanted me to be just like the drummer from April Wine. Little did she know I went on to play drums in a brutal gore-grind band for many years. I then picked up the guitar and learned everything on my own. I think my musical talent just comes from the heart. I’ve never had any kind of training or anything like that. I just go off of what feels right, and making this kind of music feels right on so many levels.
What’s the biggest challenge to you when it comes to making it as a DJ/Producer?
Convincing people that you are the real deal. There are so many people that want to do this and want to make it happen, you have to prove your worth. Networking with people both online and offline has a great impact on your success. Someone told me that the most successful people in this industry have made it solely through knowing the right people. So get to know everyone!
Describe your first experience with electronic music?
I was 13 I think and was rummaging through a box of my uncle’s and found 3 blank CD’s. I took them and listened to them, and every single one of them was plastered with the same 4/4 drum beat we have all known to love. I forgot all about that until now. Thanks!
How did you come up with your alias?
Hahaha, okay, well I was on mushrooms and was running through a school park at 3am. I looked up into the sky and screamed at the top of my lungs. Before I knew it, an alien mother ship landed on my right hand side in the field, and out popped two little grey dudes who telepathically told me to identify myself as something “iconic”.
To be fair, the aliens and the mother ship never actually happened, I was just tripping out on mushrooms while listening to music and had the name come to me.
What do you do for work outside of DJing, and how do you balance it?
I do graphic design right now. It’s actually fairly easy cause I’m on the computer all day anyway, I usually start a track in the morning, work on a few things (event posters, logo’s, etc) during the day, and stay up all night working on the track I started. I would say it’s harder to actually go work-out and cook myself something tasty and delicious, just because I’m glued to the computer screen.
What the EDM first track that got your heart pumping?
Sandstorm by Darude. I still listen to it to this day! Actually a producer buddy of mine named Peep n’ Tom made a sick Bootleg / Remix of it. Blows my mind.
What’s your fav ‘pump you up’ track?
I have two! The first one is a metalcore song called House Of Straw by Bury Your Dead. It really gets me going in the morning when I’m grabbing a cup of coffee and some weetabix cereal. The second is a remix by Bais Haus called That’s a Good Meatball by Robbie Rivera. Blows my mind when it drops. I strongly suggest checking it out! Can’t believe it only has 690 views on youtube.
Who gave you your first gig?
My first gig was at this pub in St. Albert called Friday’s Lounge and Grill. The place was packed with kids that just turned 18 and wannabe gangsters with their baggy clothing. I spun mostly top 40 that night because that’s what I was asked to do, but slowly started playing alot of dubstep and electro. I got a weekly residency there and spun whatever I wanted too until a promoter came in with one of his DJ’s and offered to take less money then what I was asking for. With that being said I have one thing to say: “When one door closes another always opens.”
Who do you look up to?
I look up to the promoters who put on show after show. It must be really stressful booking talent sometimes, because you never know what the crowd is going to be like. Unless of course you are booking acts like Nicky Romero and Hardwell, you’re not guaranteed to sell out the show.
Still though a lot of work goes into the show, gotta get permits, lighting, sound, decorations, talent, etc. Big ups to the promoters out there, both big and small.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Well I’m a dreamer, and dreaming has gotten me this far already, it’s really cool how staying positive through the thick and the thin can really change your life, so even though this may sound egotistical and may make me sound like a dick, I can honestly see myself playing all around the world. Patience is virtue!
What can people look most forward to when you spin?
They can look forward to having a fun time! I really like to smile a lot, and I feel people enjoy watching the entertainer have fun! They can also look forward to hearing fresh music, as I play a lot of underground stuff, as well as a crap ton of my music that I have never released. It’s a unique experience I think! I just like to have fun, and I hope they do too!
What’s the emotion do you want your audience to get out of your music?
That’s a good question! Let’s put it into perspective how about! I make my music with trance like melodies that suck the listener in, and then have crazy mental drops that should make the dancer flail around like a maniac…hmmmm.
So I think the emotion I want to get out of people is kind of like a bi-polar person would react. Happy at one moment in their lives, then completely break down and lose all control in their bodies in the next moment! As my buddy Peter calls it, Euphoria!
How have you grown the most since you first started out?
I started to actually listen to how certain sounds were affecting people on the dance floor. One sound could make someone stop and leave the dance floor, as opposed to another where it would make someone flop and flail around like a fish out of water. There’s a lot of research that’s involved with how I go about making EDM, I watch alot of videos, and sometimes I’ll just sit at a club and watch the crowd interact with the music. Yeah I’m a nerd like that.
Who is the artist you would like to work with most and why?
Out of all the producers and artist’s in the world, I would honestly love to work with Steve Aoki. Only because his music is so freakin’ happy and feel good, he has such a good, positive, fun party vibe. How could you not want to be a part of something like that?
Who’s your biggest fan?
The one who keeps clicking like on all of my Facebook photo’s…although I’m not sure if that’s a fan or a stalker. Maybe both!
One word to describe your style would be …
What’s your fav track right now?
Beats Inside My Head (Revolvr VIP Remix). I still can’t get over it and it’s been released for 3 months already.
Where can we see you spin?
I play at Twist Ultra Lounge on the occasional Friday, The Warehouse Nightclub on some Saturdays, and I’m actually spinning as a guest this Friday (Sept 21, 2012) at Rumours for the Electric Zoo nights! I guess I should also tell you that I’m opening up Pure 2012 at the Shaw Conference Center 2nd Room from 8pm to 9:15pm! I hear the show is sold out, so that’s around 5000 people or so going into that building? Gonna be a good night!
What’s your ‘guilty pleasure’ track?
E.T. By Katy Perry. Something about that track is so magical and weird, I really think that is one of the best top 40 songs I have ever heard in my existence. I wish she would write more music like that.
If you’re not spinning or producing, where would I find you?
Sleeping in a park taking in the beauty that is nature. I really enjoy feeling the earth between your toes, makes you feel at one with everything, especially when you close your eyes and think about your dreams.
What do you parents think of you becoming a DJ?
They support me and think it’s great, but right now it’s not putting money in my pocket so they see it as a bad thing. It’s understandable because they see me put so much time and dedication into it. It’s hard to explain to them that anything and everyting in the media takes time. They are just looking out for me, I’m just grateful they care about me that much. It’ll be fun to see the look on their faces when I do make it though!
Of all the tracks in your collection, which one is your ‘go to’?
Six 16 By Lucky Date. If the crowd looks bored I usually just throw that one on and BAM! I get them back under my control. My own track titled Disappear also seems to get the crowd back into the groove of things too. It’s wonderful seeing people go crazy to your own song!
When did you start producing tracks? What software do you use to create?
I started producing EDM on April 25, 2011. I was producing death metal since I was 14 though. I think I have around 15 finished tracks and something crazy like 250 WIP’s. Some things work and some things don’t. If I feel for any reason that the track doesn’t havea certain feel I move on to something else. That’s not to say I don’t go back! I did that with my Disappear track! It was actually one of the first tracks I wrote, I came back to it 8 months later, and all of sudden it’s my first release on beatport and hit’s the top 10 must hear electro house tracks as well as summer secret weapons: electro. Almost gave me a heart attack.
I use Cubase 5, been using it my whole life. It’s really shocking to some people that I use it. I think it’s great, it’s got such a wicked workflow and everything is placed exactly where you want it. Maybe it’s just cause I have been using it for so long, who knows! I reccomend it to anyone! So long as you have the patience!
Any you are most proud of?
My track Disappear is the one I’m most proud of. It wasn’t because it hit those charts or that I got it on beatport, or that it was my first official release. It’s just because it was the only song I made that had the same chord progression as one of my metal tracks I wrote a couple years back.
One thing you couldn’t live without is . . .
My notebook. I write down my goals and aspirations every single day in that thing. I would go mental if I didn’t have a notebook. I can’t even begin to explain to you how important it is to me to write down your goals!!
What’s your description of a great producer?
Someone who takes the time to make sure every sound in his/her song has a lasting appeal. And by that I mean making sure everything sounds crisp and clear for not only the listener but for the crowd, the other DJ’s who will play your track, and then finally for yourself. In the end the music we make is not for us, it’s for the people to listen too and enjoy!
What’s your description of a DJ?
A DJ is a glorified button pushing entertainer! If someone who plays pre-recorded music can’t jump around and look like they are having a bit of fun then they shouldn’t be up there!
How is the scene in your eyes in the moment? Anything you would change?
I think it’s great! There’s so much music that one simply cannot ever find the time to listen to every single track! It’s so insane how there is a new song coming out every 5 minutes! So when someone says they are bored with the music they are entirely wrong. There is always something fresh to listen too! You just have to find it!
I wouldn’t change anything about it at all, if you put positive and happy thoughts out there then that’s all you’ll receive.
What advice would you give to any other up and coming DJ’s/Producers?
For the DJ’s I would say just meet as many people as you possibly can in a night and first make friends with them, then ask them if they have a smart phone, and if they do tell them to go on Facebook and add you. When you get home send them everything you have, twitter, SoundCloud, download links, etc. I’ve done this so many times and it just works. Helps to have a sense of humour too!
For the producers, do the same thing as I said for the DJ, but also make sure your tracks sound as best as you can make them before you release them. I made the mistake of releasing mediocre tracks and was getting pretty doubtful because nothing was moving forward in my career at the time. If you want to release a track, set it as private on SoundCloud with download enabled, and send it to all your best friends and ask for advice on it. Then after about a week or 2 days (whichever works for you) take it off, work on it some more until you are happy with it, and repeat the process until something magical forms.
How do you think you will stand out in the EDM scene?
I will stand out because I bring a ray of positivity with me anywhere I go. I’m just there to have a good time too and I try my best to treat every single person with respect, and I think people really appreciate that. When you take the time to even get your friends opinions on what they think about your music you develop a deeper connection with them, because it makes them feel like they have had a say in your sets or your songs, which they do.
What’s next/coming up for you?
Lots of cool things! I am creating a 4 song EP that will be available free for download on October 31. It’s the first time I set a deadline for myself, so I really want to make it happen. Then I’ll be releasing another track through DREAM CRUSHER MEDIA. After that hopefully I’ll be able to find a day job and make a bit of coin to buy better studio equipment!
I also have a show with Miss DVS at Sou Kawaii Zen Lounge on October 25th!
I would just like to thank every single person whom I have befriended over the past year and telling me to stick with it. You guys know who you are! Thank you so much for believing in me! I’m truly grateful to have met you all and look forward to continue taking you on this musical journey that I have bestowed upon us! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!
HERE’S THE MIX
Thanks for reading! See you next week where I will feature another up and coming young Canadian talent!
Check out DJ MAG’s preview of Monster Massive!