Musicians worldwide flock to Nashville, Tennessee, to hone in on their craft and immerse themselves within the ambitious community of creatives to either lift their careers off the ground or find inspiration. However, Logan Mize found that fleeing from the honky-tonk town and escaping the Music Row mindset is what encouraged him to become the musician he always desired to be.
After hustling in the city for more than ten years to learn the ins and outs of the industry, Mize packed his bags to return back to his roots in the middle of America.
“I’m a small-town guy from Kansas,” says the budding musician during an exclusive Country Now interview. “My dad’s a butcher, and my mom is a school teacher. I live out near my wife’s family farm. Once I got re-acclimated to living full-time out here in rural Kansas and got the bustle of living in a city out of my head, a lot of space opened up. The pace of life here is much more conducive to creativity,” he adds.
To this day, the “Grew Apart” artist can be found splitting his time fiddling with his acoustic guitar and busting his back out on the farm. In fact, the hardworking lifestyle he has made for himself and his family is transparent within each and every song on his brand new record, Welcome to Prairieville.
Mize penned the 11-track collection alongside long-time friend, Blake Chaffin. “We understand each other really well and know what makes each other tick. We also understand the quirks of rural Midwest culture, and we write in our own distinct dialect,” shares Mize about the songwriting process.
He continued to express how the move has influenced his passion project. It was the way he allowed himself to fall back in love with the countryside, talk among the kind-hearted souls of Kansas, and appreciate the picturesque livestock – that left an ever-lasting impact on his new sound and way with words.
“I think now that I live back in rural Kansas, I feel enough like myself to be able to sell the character singing on this album because I’m living it,” he admits to Country Now reporter Tiffany Goldstein.
To give his fans a taste of his blue-collar upbringing, he previously released “George Strait Songs.” A reminiscent anthem that serves as a hometown homage. He brings the song to life with striking imagery throughout the mid-tempo track, which captivates his listeners to fantasies.
“There’s still a little America left in America / There’s still some train track, co-op elevator, main street hanging on/ I know, cause I spent most my life on the country roads/ I love to drive into a sunset hanging over field of gold,” he sings. “The song is more of a heartland anthem, and it serves as a great opening scene to the album. I know people don’t listen to albums in the traditional sense anymore, but I still wanted to configure it so people can have that experience available,” he reveals.
Mize is expected to drop his most personal record to date, Welcome to Prairieville come October 1. Read on to find out more about Logan Mize in the exclusive Q&A below…
Who is Logan Mize? Could you tell us a little bit about yourself? How would you describe yourself as a singer and songwriter to someone who has never heard of you?
I’m a small-town guy from Kansas. My dad’s a butcher, and my mom is a school teacher. I live out near my wife’s family farm in Andale, KS, and help out with the farming part-time during harvest seasons. A lot of that lifestyle is very present in the way I write songs.
Let’s talk about your latest release, “George Strait Songs.” How does this hometown homage serve as an ideal representation of your upcoming record, Welcome to Prairieville?
I wondered about the title on this one because the song really doesn’t have much to do with George Strait. The song is more of a heartland anthem, and it serves as a great opening scene to the album. I know people don’t listen to albums in the traditional sense anymore, but I still wanted to configure it so people can have that experience available. This song just seemed to set the tone as the first track.
Within the lyrics “George Strait Songs,” you mention that Middle America has made you into the person you are today. Could you elaborate on this statement?
The thing about growing up out here is you learn the importance of hard work and perseverance. That spirit is still alive and well. Self-reliance, personal responsibility, and remaining firm in your beliefs have always been admirable to me, especially in a society where the moral goalposts seem to move constantly.
It looks like the music video for “George Strait Songs” was a lot of fun to shoot. How did you come up with the concept? Tell us about that day.
My wife, Jill, usually tends to have most of the ideas for my videos. She described to me what she envisioned with the band playing at a crossroads. There are hundreds of miles of gravel roads out here, so Jordan Horsch and I drove around for hours looking for the perfect intersection and timed it perfectly when the wheat was gold, just before it got harvested. Jordan had the idea of the boom box toss, and then last minute, we ended up with the riding around in a truck bed scene, which turned out pretty cool, I thought.
“It’s About Time” is the next song you’ll be sharing off the record prior to the album’s release. I love the concept and the unexpected play on words! How did you come up with this idea?
Thank you! I was walking around the house playing that intro riff on my acoustic guitar, just staring out the window in kind of a hypnotic state. The lyrics really just fell out, as far as the verses and the chorus go, but I felt like the song needed a bridge. I sat on the porch for a while, kind of playing through how I wanted the bridge to sound, and the twist on words presented itself almost accidentally. That was one of those songs I felt like I didn’t really have to write – it just kind of landed in my lap. Those usually end up being my favorites.
Come October 1, Welcome to Prairieville will be out for the world to hear. How are you preparing for this release? Any exciting plans to celebrate on this special day?
We’ll still be in the middle of fall harvest on the farm by then, so I’m guessing that’s what I’ll be up to. I might have to hit the Little Bear Bar & Grill for steak night and a pitcher of beer afterward. As far as preparing for the release, we have a lot of video content we’ve been working on, and I’ve been busy trying to rebuild a band after 18 months off, so hopefully, I’ll have a group ready to go fire up these new songs for everyone.
How would you like your fans to feel when they listen to Welcome to Prairieville for the very first time?
I never think too much about that because everyone reacts differently to certain things. I remember the albums I fell in love with as a kid, and I still know that feeling of getting lost in it. I hope everyone gets that overall experience with this group of songs.
Out of all 11 tracks on Welcome to Prairieville, which one was the hardest to write and why?
I don’t remember any of the songs on this project being particularly hard to write, which is typically unheard of. Usually, the writing process is difficult, but it’s important to work through the tough ones just to keep your edges sharp. If you work through the tough ones, you know exactly what to do with the ones that seem to fall out of the sky, and it doesn’t take much effort. I think I can say that all of these seemed to write themselves.
You spent over a decade writing this project with Blake Chaffin. Could you share a little insight into the writing process and what encouraged you to release the 11 track collection now?
Writing with Blake has always been a very natural process. We understand each other really well and know what makes each other tick. Most of the time, I think we’re trying to come up with lines that get a laugh out of one another. I remember writing “Wine At The Church” and just laughing back and forth the whole time. It all usually gets edited down from there, but we understand so well the quirks of rural midwest culture, and we write in our own distinct dialect. I think now that I live back in rural Kansas, I feel enough like myself to be able to sell the character singing on this album because I’m living it.
Would you say living away from Nashville influenced your music career? If so, how?
Nashville definitely had its place in my career. I couldn’t have progressed the way I did if not for the 12 years I lived there. I learned everything I knew about songwriting, putting bands together, how the industry worked, etc. But as far as being myself and marching to my own beat, I think it was important for me to escape the music row mindset and get back to living the life I’m singing about. Once I got re-acclimated to living full time out here in rural KS and got the bustle of living in a city out of my head, a lot of space opened up. The pace of life here is much more conducive to creativity.
You recently celebrated your first RIAA Certified Gold Record. Congrats! Tell us about how you felt in that exciting moment. I imagine it was one to mark off the bucket list!
In some ways, there was a feeling of relief. I always believed in myself, but over the course of 15 years, since I started this journey, there have been moments of crippling self-doubt that have crept in, so it was like a little token reminding me to keep going… But mostly, I just felt extremely thankful. I feel so grateful people are willing to make my music part of their everyday lives.
When can fans expect to see you out on tour performing music off of Welcome to Prairieville?
In the past, I’ve always been anxious to play new music, so I’ve mistakenly done album release tours. They’re always exciting, but also, you’re asking people to buy a ticket to a show and come hear songs they don’t really know yet. I think I’d like to let this one sit for a few months and see what kind of reaction we get. I’d love to have the opportunity to go tour on this music in early 2022.
Any other goals/bucket list moments that you’re hoping to reach through the end of the year/into 2022?
Of course. I’d love to sell out the Midland Theater in KC as well as some other large Midwest theaters. If I can continue to grow our audience and I can continue making music I love, I will consider myself extremely lucky.
Fans can keep up with Logan Mize on Instagram.