In Session: Logan Spaleta
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Logan Spaleta, a native of New York City and Saratoga Springs, is turning out to be quite the unrelenting songwriter. At just 16 years of age, he’s well on his way to releasing his debut EP, Without a Care in the World, and is releasing a single off the record on Tuesday, April 5th, entitled, “Dreamin’.” Upon listening to it ahead of its release date, it’s clear that age isn’t a prerequisite for good songwriting. Featuring a solid arrangement that starts off on just a piano and voice, and builds to its climactic end, the song is really well put together. A pop song through and through, it has all the markings of a songwriter whose career has just started.
I had a chance to sit down with Logan this weekend. We talked about his beginnings, balancing the life of someone in the industry with growing up, and more. To catch our discussion, continue reading!
Lucas Garrett: Thanks for sitting down to talk about your music, Logan!
Logan Spaleta: Of course! Anytime.
LG: I heard your new single, “Dreamin’,” that is debuting Tuesday. It’s really good.
LS: Thank you.
LG: Tell us a bit about you as an artist; how you got started, and your new music you’re putting out.
LS: I’m Logan Spaleta. I’m sixteen years old and am from New York City and Saratoga Springs. I’ve been performing since about the age of seven on keyboard and vocals. I’ve played a variety of gigs. I’ve played in the City at a variety of places, as well, and Upstate in the Capital Region. I’ve played at the Saratoga Race Track; I’ve played in between Rick Bolton’s sets at Gaffney’s in Saratoga Springs; open mics at Caffé Lena – I feel like I’ve seen you there at some point. I’ve worked with Lori Friday from Super 400 – she used to be my piano teacher. And, that’s really it.
When I started quarantine, I decided to try and make the best use of my time, since there was all this free time in front of me. I started writing music; there were a lot of emotions in the long months when we were just sitting at home. I found amazing music managers in Matthew Reich and Neal Saini from Artist for Artist Management. They really helped create my path.
We’ve released two songs so far: “Next Year,” which was my debut single, and “Will I Be Free?,” my second single. “Dreamin’” is coming out Tuesday and there will be one more, “Glory Days,” which will be my fourth song off my debut EP, Without a Care in the World.
LG: When will that EP come out?
LS: We haven’t set a final date for it, yet. It’s probably going to be somewhere later this month or early next month.
LG: Nice. When I’m listening to you or your music, I hear… It’s no one’s fault how young they are, but your voice has a maturity to it that a lot of people your age don’t have. You have that resonance in the lower registers and usually, when I’m listening to people your age, that just isn’t there. It’s really nice to hear such a fully developed voice! Who are your creative influences?
LS: Well, I have a wide range of influences. My parents raised me on a lot of the music they grew up on 80s stuff; a lot of Journey, Van Halen – as the shirt says – and a lot of the 80s pop-rock bands. I kind of developed my own music sense, as well. I really like Green Day. Olivia Rodrigo, ever since her music came out has connected with me. Billy Joel, another one of my parents’ favorites, was really one of the main music influencers from a young age. I went to see Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden when I was eight – it was a changing experience, for me. The audience; gigantic stadium; huge crowd. It was a really nice experience to be like, “That’s what I want to do one day!”
I also have an influence from Broadway, as well; I have a musical theater influence. That’s where the inspirational part of my music drives from.
LG: I hear that a lot when you sing because the words are very clear.
LG: I think that’s a great quality to have. What do you feel about the older music from 60s and stuff like that?
LS: To be honest? It’s not exactly my cup of tea. There are some things I really like; there are some Beatles songs I’m really into and there’s some older stuff… For me, at least, I understand that it’s really good music and it’s the roots of what this music in the 80s and 90s and today came from. It’s got really good aspects to it, but it just doesn’t flow with me as well as other music does.
LG: I brought that up because I heard a lot of McCartney-type vibe in that intro to “Dreamin’.” The open, block-chords, and such. When you wrote the song, the intro to “Dreamin’” sounds way different than its end. Was that an organic process or did you do that in-studio? Sometimes artists go into the studio with the song written and then sometimes it becomes something entirely else after the fact. How did this song come to be?
LS: For “Dreamin’,” I initially just had the keyboard idea; wrote it down. I had lyrics as well and started melding that together. I made it a solo piano and vocal thing. Once we started producing my other songs and getting a band behind my other songs, we took “Dreamin’” and we kind of transformed that one, as well. It was a similar vibe as the regular acoustic version I initially had it written as. Some of the songs changed a lot from the original, like “Will I Be Free?” But, “Dreamin’” stayed pretty consistent with the vision I had for it.
LG: How would you describe your writing process?
LS: Usually… a lot of the time the lyrics will come first. A lot of times I’m sitting, running, walking, whatever, and I’ll just get ideas for lyrics based on inspiration from whatever’s happening in my life at the time. I’ll write down some lyrics and at some point, when I feel inspired… when I get home I’ll sit down at the piano and start just noodling around at the keys and see if any melodies come out of it and work from there. Once in a while, the melody will come before the lyrics.
LG: As we get older, we acquire more life experience. As we acquire more, the songs tend to feed themselves. How do you feel as a young songwriter that as you’re maturing – you know, arguably at a faster rate than I am, because I am older… I feel when you’re younger, you know, there’re more milestones that happen from year-to-year. Do you know what I mean?
LG: How do you feel that has affected your songwriting?
LS: You’re talking about the emotions and the emotions in which I write my songs?
LG: Yeah. When you get older, there are fewer and fewer “first” experiences. At your age, every year is a veritable panoply of new experiences.
LG: How does that affect your songwriting, internally?
LS: Well, I think it has a really big impact on it in the fact that, as you’re saying, there’s so much that happens over the course of one year. At this point when I’m in school and over the past few months, there’s been a song idea that comes at a time almost every week. There’s something that happens where a lightbulb just switches. It goes off and I just start writing stuff down. Not all lyrics see the light of day, but there are a lot of experiences that drive the core of my songwriting.
LG: Do you feel that it is sometimes overwhelming to balance growing up; being in school; doing productions; being a songwriter? You’re wearing a million hats…
LG: How do you do that?
LS: Yeah, it’s really tough sometimes. I’m balancing a lot: I was in my school musical that just closed, I was in RENT as Mark, I was working on this EP for a while, balancing school work… It’s a lot to balance and that still contributes to my songwriting. It feels the walls are closing in sometimes and it kind of helps to be able to release those emotions into songwriting. That’s another reason why I really love songwriting so much in that I can any time I am feeling overwhelmed or stressed about whatever – schoolwork, romance, life, whatever it is – it’s a place I can put my thoughts into somewhere that’ll also help me deal with those stresses.
LG: As a songwriter and performing artist you have to be OK with a certain level of vulnerability in the public. A lot of people don’t do well with that. How do you personally separate yourself enough from the art in order to be able to sing about it freely? What advice would you have for those that might want to write a song but say, “Eh, I don’t know about being that open about things.” What advice do you have?
LS: I’m always trying to be proud of who I am and be proud of my feelings. And, be confident in what I feel and think. Obviously, it’s not to a point where it’s very specific and to a place that is very direct. What I like to do with my songwriting is take all the feelings I’m feeling and I usually contextualize it in a different situation and different way. It tells the same story, but not the exact same story in which my life is being lived through.
LG: You began writing at the age of seven? Right?
LS: I wrote my “first song,” a “fun song” at the age of nine. I started writing a little more in-depth at the age of twelve or thirteen and then really took off in March 2020, when the quarantine hit.
LG: How do you feel the art has grown, internally? I look at some of the work I’ve done before and I say, “Oh, I wouldn’t have done that like that, now!” How do you feel about your own developmental path of your art?
LS: I think my music has grown as I’ve grown as a person. Right in March 2020, that’s when my voice began to change. That’s when my work began to progress more; that’s when the work started actually kicking in a little bit more. I had to navigate through a vocal change; I was still writing songs. And, I think that as I kind of learn more about the world and hear more music and go through more experiences in my life, I learn more and that transpires to my songwriting.
LG: You still are in high school, but one of the biggest pitfalls of this era is that a lot of people such as yourself – in my opinion – have had to grow up a lot faster than when I was your age. How are you navigating the changing world; the pandemic? That’s a pretty damn big thing to navigate.
LS: Being at home a lot of time was very weird because it was one of the main years of growing up and starting high school. It was my eighth grade to freshman year transition, and meeting new people… It was very different, obviously, and it was an interesting experience to navigate and work through. It was really a… I learned a lot from it, though, and made a lot of great friendships from it. It allowed me to take a step back and focus on myself for a little bit, which was good so that I could find a place on who I was moving forward once we’re back into in-person “real life,” as we are now.
LG: As we wrap this up, do you have any advice for artists that are either your age, or artists that say, “I want to write a song, but I don’t know where to go?” What would you say to them?
LS: What I would really say is, “Follow your heart.” Everything is going to come from right here. It’s not going to be something where you can sit down at a piano and say, “I’m going to write a song now. Let me get this pencil and start writing these lyrics.” It’s really something that comes to you and something you need to commit to with your mind and your heart and just let that guide you.
LG: Thanks for your time!
LS: Thanks so much, this is great!
LG: I look forward to hearing more from you soon.
LS: Thank you. Thank you for the opportunity, I appreciate it.
LG: You’re welcome! Have a great day.
LS: You too.