Logan Sama is kicked back in a Malta hotel room, an iPad and two iPhones lay by his side as he tries to catch up with the world during a rare ten minutes of down time in his increasingly busy schedule. It’s a week before Drake will shout him out on Instagram, drawing a sudden flurry of attention towards the Essex-born grime DJ, and he’s flown in to Saint Paul’s Bay to headline a pool party for Annie Mac’s Lost & Found Festival. His suitcase seems barely touched as he prepares to grab some food and then catch some rest before a 6 AM shuttle straight back to the airport.
Talking to Logan, you get the impression that he doesn’t really want the attention personally. His integrity and unwavering love for the culture over the years is paying off more than ever, but for him it’s more about the wider scene and maintaining the momentum that grime is currently enjoying. Of course, he wants to be involved, and he still feels the thrill of a live set, he’s getting more bookings than ever – but it never comes across as if he is aiming for personal recognition.
He takes out twenty minutes to sit down for a conversation, reflecting on his personal role within grime right now, explaining why integrity and creativity rule over financial gain in the long run and discussing his new mixtape with Trapstar…
We just watched you shut down the Double Bass pool party at Lost & Found festival, how was that for you?
Yeah it was really good fun, I wasn’t sure what it was going to be like. It’s always interesting now DJ’ing at different places. Because grime is doing so well as of recent, I’m getting the opportunity to go to places I haven’t been before, and it’s very exciting, but sometimes I’m a bit anxious because I don’t know what the crowd is going to think. Grime is such a unique sound that I don’t know whether they’re going to understand it or not, and I can’t tell by looking at a crowd anymore because grime reaches such a wide audience now. So whenever I play somewhere new and I’m maybe not expecting them to get it – when they do get it, it’s even more rewarding for me. I love that feeling of playing music that I love to people, and getting a response from it.
Playing grime at a pool party feels like an interesting juxtaposition. Do you think the anticipation of that over a regular club setting added to that anxiety?
I just play my set, and that’s why I guess I get anxious, because I’m not changing what I play for anybody. I give people the bangers within the genre, and I’m not going to start playing other music just to appease a crowd. Hopefully, I’ve been booked for what I do. I have a very strong brand in that sense.
Obviously we’ve seen plenty of DJ’s over the years adapting and changing to different sounds that are popular, whereas you’ve always maintained that integrity and that strong brand. How did you know that sticking with it would eventually pay off?
It’s just what I love. I DJ because it’s what I want to do. I went to university, I was studying to try and get the most employable degree, in maths, and I dropped out to do something that I was passionate about. I’m clearly not doing this for money, if I wanted money I’d have taken the security of the degree and a job in the finance sector. But I’m just passionate about the music that I care about, so for me whether grime is popping like it is now, or it’s not the in, cool thing… I couldn’t do anything else.
There’s DJ’s that have changed what they play, maybe they’ve had to change because their music has come in and gone out again. I can’t say that because grime’s never really exploded massively like it has this year. But I think I’ll still be playing grime, it’s what I love, it’s what I’m passionate about. Unless the music evolves into something else, I’m not going to suddenly stop playing it and play something else just because it’s not cool – because I would have done that years ago.