For almost 20 years, dance-pop artist Logan Lynn has made a profession out of crafting catchy, disorderly songs that the majority embody massive beats, enjoyable melodies and cheeky lyrics. But on his newest album, My Movie Star, Lynn has traded in his signature sound for a extra somber, melancholy tone.
The document consists virtually completely of songs that includes solely Lynn’s voice and a piano, a serious departure from his dance-pop roots. Lynn credit his collaborator on this document, comic Jay Mohr, for this new sound. “I've a historical past of creating rambunctious dance music, together with the occasional acoustic variations,” he tells Billboard. “He felt like I ought to discover being quiet. I might ship him little clips of the piano songs I used to be writing in my loft in Portland, and he would give me suggestions.”
Mohr wasn’t the one particular person serving to to create a dynamic new album — My Movie Star is a double album, the primary half consisting of Lynn’s new piano-driven songs, and the second half stuffed with remixes and covers of the brand new music by different trade greats, together with 80s pop icon Tiffany, indie rock darlings The Dandy Warhols and lots of extra.
Logan Lynn talked to Billboard about attending to work together with his “idol” Tiffany, his work in advocacy for LGBTQ points and psychological well being, and the creation of My Movie Star.
Let's begin by speaking about your video for "Nothing's Ever Wrong." What was the inspiration behind the idea for the video and track?
I've been making movies for 20 years, and that is the primary time I've ever completed one myself, the place I wrote it and directed it with my imaginative and prescient. And I believe, for me, all all through writing the document and the songs, they have been at all times about this push and pull between public life and personal life, and significantly, round Hollywood and what occurs to people who're actually public and main these lives that basically matter to them. So I wished to actually seize that feeling of isolation that generally occurs in fame or in movie star, and in addition the sweetness that comes with that. Like, you're on this stunning area, you're surrounded by all of those lush, attractive grounds and also you're dripping in Gucci, however perhaps you're nonetheless simply as alone as you'd be for those who didn't have any of that.
You collaborated with actor and comic Jay Mohr on this creating this document — how did you two meet, and what was the artistic strategy of placing a collectively like with him?
We met a few years in the past. I run a psychological well being marketing campaign, and I interviewed him as part of that. Because his guide, Gasping for Airtime, about his time at Saturday Night Live was all about his expertise of getting stage fright and anxiousness and but being on TV each Saturday. So I'd heard him converse usually about his personal struggles, and I wished to speak with him about that for the marketing campaign. And instantly, as we began talking, I captured the factor on video, you may watch us fall in love with one another on digicam. It was immediately like a "You're my household, you're my finest pal" kind of feeling. And we each had that. I really feel like we pressed document on that video and we simply by no means stopped speaking or hanging out. We see one another always, backwards and forwards between Portland and L.A. And I believe the music was only a product of that love, of being seen and discovering one another. He actually noticed what I used to be making an attempt to do, and he took a while over the primary few days to dig into my catalogue over the past 20 years.
So it occurred organically, particularly as a result of he had heard a few of my quieter songs — I've a historical past of creating rambunctious dance music, together with the occasional acoustic variations. So he heard that, and he felt like I ought to discover being quiet. I might ship him little clips of the piano songs I used to be writing in my loft in Portland, and he would give me suggestions. It was actually susceptible and harmful, as a result of it was the primary time that somebody in my life had been like, "Now put that on the web." There is one thing actually releasing in simply placing music on the market that you simply're not completely certain about, and I believe he knew that I trusted him sufficient to let him faucet into that.
That's so cool. Now together with Jay, you additionally collaborate with individuals on the album like Tiffany, The Dandy Warhols and Jarryd James, who carry out covers of the songs. What was it like attending to work with these names?
So thrilling! I'm nonetheless freaking out, and it's been a 12 months because it all occurred. When I used to be younger, I had a tough time rising up, and across the time that Tiffany's "I Think We're Alone Now" [was released] I used to be actually on the depth of my struggling as a toddler. That track actually discovered me. It discovered me in a approach that no different track had discovered me earlier than, as a result of I wasn't allowed to take heed to secular music, however I used to be allowed to take heed to that track. I performed that document time and again and over. It really turned the soundtrack to my cognitive dissonance that allowed me to outlive my childhood. I imagined that I used to be finest pals with Tiffany, that I used to be performing on the mall together with her, that we have been making data and taking on music collectively, and that was how I functioned till I obtained sufficiently old to get assist. But her music utterly saved me, and there's not an oz of irony in that. It was my 7-year-old salvation, so I believe I should have wished actually exhausting on the time [laughs]. Because it completely got here true!
Over the years, each time I've gotten the prospect to have extra entry within the trade or have made a connection, I believe what different individuals do at these occasions is plug into who's actually scorching and who's on the high of their profession on the time. What I do is I attempt to make my goals come true from a very long time in the past, so I'm dwelling my 80s and 90s fantasies with an idol like Tiffany. I've been pals together with her for a short while, so when this chance got here round, I assumed it will be useful to launch this new format of music — have the document with these piano songs as I wrote them, but additionally give individuals the chance to expertise the brand new songs in a kind of completely different approach. So there's just a few remixes and covers. I reached out to Tiffany to see if she'd be keen on reimagining one among them, and she or he mentioned sure! I don't even bear in mind what I did at that second, but it surely concerned crying a complete bunch. It's been actually particular, man.
I actually admire your work in activism for LGBTQ and psychological well being points. How did that advocacy work inform your strategy to this new music?
So I'm 10 years in restoration for crack cocaine and alcohol dependancy that almost took my life a number of occasions. And music has at all times been how I processed my expertise, and now that I'm effectively, it kind of does the identical factor, it's simply the opposite aspect of the coin. But I really feel like my final document [2016's] Adieu was all about my expertise of overcoming my psychological well being challenges of trauma and of changing into a wholesome particular person on this planet and what that took. Now, this new document is rather more about love and life and discovering happiness, and exploring the chance comfortable life exists after processing trauma or no matter. So music kind of takes the form that I'm in at any given time.
My advocacy is completely interwoven in that, as a result of my music is usually a automobile to speak about actually troublesome stuff. With Keep Oregon Well and the Mental Health Matters stuff [two advocacy organizations Lynn works directly with], I invoice particularly round my music. We have a live performance sequence right here in Oregon, the place when bands come via Oregon, I interview them about psychological and behavioral healthcare, how they deal with themselves on the highway. I used to be touring with Portugal. The Man just lately, and I obtained on stage every night time in entrance of crowds of like eight,000 individuals and mentioned "I'm a suicide survivor. Come chat with me." That, to me, will not be common at an enormous rock pageant, and it does matter. When I used to be actually younger, I wasn't listening to the adults in my church or at dwelling or in my life, and it felt like I wasn't in a position to be reached. But I do know, had an artist like Tiffany or somebody I used to be plugged into mentioned "It's okay to really feel what you're feeling, I really feel the identical approach," or "Here's some sources," or "You're regular, it's okay to be homosexual" I believe it will have reached me.
I utterly agree with you on that. And I believe that particularly goes with queer illustration in media. With the previous couple of years' uptick in culturally vital queer artists, what do you suppose continues to be lacking within the music trade when it comes to being extra LGBTQ and psychological health-friendly?
There's quite a lot of schooling that's occurring, the visibility is lastly getting there, however in fact, the stigma continues to be there. I put out my document about suicide two years in the past, and I self-released it. There have been quite a lot of label conferences, there have been lots of people that have been like, "Are you certain you wish to do that? What about this cowl, are you certain?" The extra individuals who requested me that query, whether or not it was publicists or managers or labels, the extra certain I turned. I felt completely galvanized.
Of course, and for those who don't thoughts my including, Adieu was one among your most profitable and finest albums up to now, so I really feel such as you proved your level to them.
Thank you! It was definitely the primary time I had 5 songs on the radio from a document. And I additionally know that we reached lots of people with the exhibits the place we talked about restoration and feeling okay within the midst of trauma, and all the pieces that these exhibits have been primarily based round. So to your query, I nonetheless suppose there's... area to be created for the much less palatable psychological diseases which might be occurring round people. I believe there's quite a lot of occasions the place it appears to current in sort of scary methods, and folks don't fairly appear to grasp that. Other social points get conflated with psychological sickness or psychological healthcare challenges the entire time, in order that schooling piece feels actually necessary.
It's additionally attention-grabbing to consider my profession, and I hesitate to say this as a result of I do really feel like progress is being made, and I've definitely watched that occur ... however the underlying homophobia that exists within the music trade, with A&R people, with individuals at labels who don't "wish to take a danger" on an LGBTQ artist, that exists man. My success — and that is the half I'm having a tough time saying — it's largely as a consequence of straight individuals serving to me. You know what I imply? It's not like I got here out once I was 17 singing songs about being homosexual and the world embraced me. Elliott Smith embraced me, The Dandy Warhols embraced me, these individuals introduced me up, they satisfied EMI and Caroline Records to signal me, at the same time as a homosexual artist.
To me, it feels very hard-fought, and even now at occasions, I nonetheless get assist from straight individuals [laughs]. I nonetheless get that hand up, and that's been my expertise. But it does at all times appear to contain some queer ally of mine seeing my worth, exhibiting individuals like "Yeah, he's a homosexual man and he's an artist, however there's far more to this than simply that, don't put him on this tiny field and hold him there." I suppose my hope is that the brand new era of LGBTQ artists and youth are pushing again on the trade, and proving that queer and trans and homosexual and lesbian and bi artists are literally sellable to the mainstream in a approach the place you don't solely must exist on one little space of .