When she is not dazzling the likes of YouTube viewers with her creatively fun “Top 40 Tuesday” covers, Aubrey Logan is busy performing around the LA area. Sassy, spunky, and full of energy this lovely and talented trombonist/vocalist breathes freshness into today’s music. While the world is continuing its obsession with pop, dance and club records, Logan charms us with her jazzy yet modern flair. I recently spoke her as she preps for some upcoming for performances, and gets ready to release her debut album.
1. What was the big hook that got you into music, and how did you get your start?
My parents are music teachers, so I was always around music. I grew up hearing various styles and genres and fell into it by osmosis. But my parents never pushed me into being a musician. They would have been happy and supportive no matter the path I chose. I got my start singing, dancing, and acting in musicals as a kid. I played a lot of child roles. When I got too old for those roles, about age 12, I stopped with the musicals and picked up a trombone. From then on, I continued to practice as much singing and trombone-playing as possible.
2. Your voice is refreshingly unique! What techniques do you undertake to take care of it?
Thank you so much! I am glad you think so. I try to sing like I talk. It feels natural that way (yes…that would tell you that I’m a bit of an animated talker…) I warm-up my voice daily to prevent injury, kind of like an athlete stretches before he runs a race. If I wake up with a “groggy” or sore throat, like many of us do, I let it be groggy as I warm up, until my voice “wakes up” a little. I make sure I train with a vocal coach periodically to keep me from developing any bad habits. Since I play trombone, I try to do this exercise where I will play my horn for 4 measures, then sing for 4 measures, then play horn for 4 measure, sing for 4 measures, and so on…as quickly as possible. This helps me get my muscles and body more familiar with switching back and forth so much. It’s hard! I have to practice it if I want to pull it off…
3. Pip from The Voice was captivated by one of your live performances, which then led to your own collaboration. What was it like performing with him?
Pip is a wonderful person and an extremely talented singer and artist. Singing with him was a pleasure. We decided what song we would sing a few minutes before the show, and we just went up and sang it together. It was very organic and memorable.
4. I love the concept of your “Top 40 Tuesday” covers. How did you come up with the idea, and what’s the thought process of making such familiar songs your own?
I’ve always sang covers just for fun, in fact, I sang in a wedding band back when I was living in Boston. We sang the Top 40 songs at every wedding reception. So I was always familiar with learning lyrics and memorizing, etc…But it always helped me memorize when I could make the song my own a little bit. After spending a little time turning “Single Ladies” into something COMPLETELY different than Beyonce’s version (see the video of my performance of Single Ladies here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2zGlYMrtlc)…I thought, I could do this with lots of songs! A good song is a good song…meaning, if the lyrics are solid and it’s catchy enough, you really can change it into any genre you want, any instrumentation you want, any tempo you want, etc…So I started listening to more pop music (to be honest, I don’t usually listen to pop!) and putting the songs into a different setting. I wanted to start a YouTube channel with the hopes of getting more comfortable looking at myself on tape. NOTHING is more humbling! And Top-40-Tuesday was born!
5. Today many arts programs are missing from the schools. What did the arts do for your education, and how important is it that we keep them them?
6. What has been the biggest highlight of your career?
Winning the 2009 Shure-Montreux Jazz Voice Competition in Montreux, Switzerland at the Montreux Jazz Festival. http://shureatmontreux.wordpress.com/tag/montreux-jazz-voice-competition/ I met my manager there, Solomon Burke. He died shortly after in an accident, but really encouraged me and fostered the beginning of my career. Also, it was there that I met my mentor and producer Patrice Rushen www.patricerushen.com. She’ll be producing most of my debut solo album to come out next year.
7. Carnegie Hall or Madison Square Garden?
8. Any details on your debut record you’d like to tell us?
Yes. It’s a jazzy pop album…or a poppy jazz album, depending on how you hear it. Produced by grammy-nominated Patrice Rushen. I’ve written most of the material, with the exception of one or two jazz/pop standards. I’ve really poured my heart and soul into the songs on the album, and I’m just thrilled that I’ll have the opportunity to share them with the listeners.
9. How about performances? Any upcoming shows?
Yes! Please join me at the Hollywood House of Blues on Friday, September 28th in the Foundation Room at 8PM. If you “Like” me on facebook, I will make sure you are aware of all the details. www.facebook.com/aubreyloganmusic. Also, you can follow me on twitter to get news and updates! www.twitter.com/aubrey_logan. I’ll make sure to also announce it on my YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/singthetrombone.
10. Following the six word memoir formula, In six words describe your life as an artist.