Logan Sama (FABRICLIVE 83)
I was born in London but moved all over growing up including 2 years in South Africa until relocating to Essex with my family when I was 11 years old.
I don't remember my family being very musical. My dad had a few Blondie, Dire Straits and The Police cassettes.
I didn't really get into music until secondary school. Growing up on the outskirts of the M25 I was exposed to a lot of different music during the ‘90s. I LOVED radio. I used to listen to Radio 1 with the likes of John Peel, Andy Kershaw and Gilles Peterson. Kiss FM with garage shows like Steve Jackson, Dreem Teem and later Tuff Jam. I liked a very eclectic selection of music from guitar bands to electronica to drum & bass but I fell in love with Garage. From Kiss FM to pirates like Freek FM, Deja Vu and Force (amongst others) I started discovering Garage raving. I always preferred the more authentic events at venues like Bagley’s, Leisure Lounge and Temple over the cheesier Liquid and Envy night clubs that were big round Essex. I was happy to travel across London to get my fix. It wasn't until several years later that I got any sort of interest in DJing. Seeing inspirations like EZ, Karl Brown, Mike Lloyd and Fonti in clubs gave me something to aspire to.
I left secondary school and got into uni at Kings College reading Maths & Physics but I spent most of my time in record shops across London like Uptown and City Sounds. I would regularly hit up 6 different shops every week for promos. This was when garage was noticeably splitting down the cheesy commercial 2 step and the gritty underground sounds of dub mixes and breakbeats. I always was drawn towards new sounds so the washed out saccharine 2 step styles really lost my interest. But the likes of Oris Jay, Zinc, Zed Bias, Narrows, Agent X, Sticky, Chubby Dread and of course Pay As U Go were making some incredible sounds. The rave culture and MCing at events like Sidewinder was incredible and new. Our own unique musical MC culture with sounds you couldn't hear anywhere else in the world.
My first break came from getting involved in online forums. I was well known on the then biggest site for garage Uptown Records web forum and was invited by Dugs from Rinse FM to record a demo in 2002. Within weeks I had a show prime time on a Friday night 7pm just before Roll Deep. Being on Rinse exposed me to so much more incredible music. Slimzee helped me out a lot by introducing me to all the producers and I quickly replaced my vinyl addiction to the much more expensive acetate habit. I would cut 10 or so tracks every week for my show and spent all my money on dubs. It started to show results as my show was more and more popular as big name MCs would pass through and spit on my set along with me presenting the freshest tracks. When Dizzee dropped his promo of Boy In Da Corner, everything changed for me. Rather than being an 'underground garage' DJ playing based on instrumentals I focussed on the artists and their vocal tracks. Everything exploded from there. I recorded a demo CD focussing on juggling vocals and it reached Kiss FM who were looking for someone to present grime.
Being on Kiss for a decade will probably always be the landmark of my career. It's been so influential on so many people's careers and on so much of the public. The number of people who come up to me saying they used to stay up late night on school nights tuning in to my sets is always surprising. The audience loved it and I had some legendary moments on air. I'm thankful to have been able to promote the music I love on the station alongside legends like EZ, Rodigan, Hype and Hatcha. The time came a year and a half ago to leave however, and I have since focussed on building up my own platforms.
"To be invited to record a FABRICLIVE mix was a great honour. I knew I had to do something that represented grime but also my own personal style." - Logan Sama
LABELS & PRODUCTION:
I think it's incredibly important for us to be independently sustainable and self-sufficient in grime. We have always had a great DIY attitude. I've been working on websites and multimedia platforms (KeepinItGrimy) which are ready to launch in the final quarter of this year as well as starting a new record label with Wiley (Chasing The Art) focussed on pushing grime singles to a wider audience. Over the years on my own Earth616 and Adamantium Music labels I have given a number of artists the opportunity to get their tracks out there such as Preditah, Maniac, Teeza, Ghetts, Chipmunk, Tinchy Stryder, JME and Skepta.
The earliest memory I have of fabric is the Run The Roads event which I DJed at. And after that it became a staple. It's always been like the focal point of being a successful club act in London. You have to be playing fabric regularly. From playing at Playaz nights in Room Two, Tropical and Butterz Room One take overs and any number of FABRICLIVE events over the years. I've always enjoyed the crowd. So much energy!
To be invited to record a FABRICLIVE mix was a great honour. I knew I had to do something that represented grime but also my own personal style. Playing a simple compilation of hot vocals and beats would not be anything out of the ordinary for me and I don't feel it would have done justice to the weight of the momentous occasion of linking up with fabric on this project. I've always played a lot of exclusive instrumentals from producers that I have helped come to prominence in the grime scene. For this mix I wanted to make a real statement so I called up the producers I have been supporting over the last couple of years and asked them to create something bespoke for the CD. I was able to get 24 incredible grime tracks which cover the widest spectrum of this wonderful genre. I highly recommend that you check out the naked instrumentals available on the limited-edition vinyl and digital formats of this compilation.
I can't avoid the association with MCs. From the After Hours and Chosen Ones sessions on Kiss to my legendary 'Last Show' videos from both Rinse and Kiss I've had some real historic moments with some of the greatest MCs in grime. So when it came time to actually mix this CD I knew I wanted to do something unique involving the MCs. I spent several months collecting acapella bars from over 50 MCs and went about building a sonic collage over my instrumental mix. The result is something I don't think has ever been attempted before. I learned a lot as I worked on this, but the result is something incredible. Putting legends and stars of the future over some truly remarkable instrumentals that have never been heard before! Keeping the live mix and live performance energy that is so pivotal to the grime experience was vital. I have managed to capture that and also attain a higher level of audio quality than is usually available to a live set. I want this work to stand out and go round the world showcasing the incredible talent we have here in grime. It's quite possibly the finest achievement in my career.
Grime everywhere. I have invested so much time and energy into KeepinItGrimy.com which is the new hub for grime news. After a successful Beta period we will be relaunching and taking the greatest genre across the world online to the four corners of the internet.
FABRICLIVE 83: Logan Sama is out now.
Order your copy from fabric here.
Get this and every fabric release from just £5: http://bit.ly/fabric1st
Photography: Jimmy Mould