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By Ashton Pike | Photo: by Catie Laffoon | Grooming by Kimberly Bragalone | October 29, 2018
Logan Henderson steps back into the spotlight with a brand-new EP and a no-holds-barred attitude.
Most of us only get a nonsensical story out of the dreams that run through our imaginative minds at night. Logan Henderson, on the other hand, got the inspiration for his debut EP.
A singer-songwriter who’s no stranger to the spotlight (any Big Time Rush fans in the city?), the talented Texas native has taken on an entirely new challenge with the launch of his solo career. Sprinkling a few singles throughout 2017 (“Sleepwalker,” “Bite My Tongue” and “Speak of the Devil”), Henderson came at 2018 full force with a spring tour (Atlanta included); a brand-new single, “Pull Me Deep”; and the official release of Echoes of Departure and the Endless Street of Dreams, Pt. 1.
Featuring eight edgy tracks, the EP’s intentionally provocative pop songs are at once moody, sexy and emotional, and prove the 29-year-old has waved goodbye to his boy-band days. Here, Henderson pulls us deeper into his dreams, revealing more than what was initially expected of him—but, then again, that’s the point. @loganhenderson
So you grew up in Texas. Where do you call home now?
I’ve been in Los Angeles for quite some time now. I made the move when I was 17. I told my mom and dad, ‘Hey, I’m gonna go out there and try to do something one way or another,’ and I didn’t really have any backup plans. I just knew it was where I wanted to be, and I was going to try to figure something out once I got there. Acting was what I moved out for—and then I kind of found music and music kind of found me.
That’s certainly bold for a 17-year-old. What drew you to acting in the first place?
I know, what an idiot I was [laughs]. I want to say it was the first year in high school when I had a teacher—shout out, Mrs. Collier!—who knew I definitely got into some trouble, got into some mischief. She said, ‘I want you to do this play if you think you’re gonna pass this class because right now it’s not looking good.’ She gave me the lead; she obviously saw something in me that I did not see in myself at the time. And I just fell in love with this idea that I could be different characters and step in other people’s shoes, and I really loved it. So, after that, I shaped up a little bit—not too much, just a little bit—and found a place to act for film in Texas. People were like, ‘You probably shouldn’t move to L.A.; it’s so hard out there.’ But I decided I’m just gonna go for it.
What did your first moments in front of the camera feel like?
Friday Night Lights was the first time I booked something that made me think you can make a living doing this. That show is badass; I loved it. It was a cool little taste of what I could go for and what I could grab.
When did Big Time Rush come into the picture?
Nickelodeon had been tracking me pretty much since I got to L.A. I had actually done a small pilot for Disney Channel, and I remember getting on the show for Big Time Rush once we did that first audition, and this guy came up to me and was like, ‘I saw your pilot on Disney. I thought it sucked, but the only person I liked was you.’ Like, that’s the first thing you’re going to say? [laughs] So he already had his eye on me and there were thousands of kids auditioning. The strange thing was, it was definitely a little boost of confidence, so I felt steady and comfortable for that audition process, which was needed because it was about a year-and-a-half audition process. I had probably just turned 18, and I think it wasn’t until 19 or 20 that we started filming because it was hard to find all the puzzle pieces.
You mentioned that music just kind of found you. How?
I had never made the connection of, ‘Oh, I can do music, and it also be part of a job’—not until I moved out to L.A. and started getting auditions for Big Time Rush, and I realized the two are something I can do together. My voice coach in Santa Monica, she really taught me how to use my voice and made me fall in love with music. So once I figured out how to use my voice, I was like, ‘This is what I want to do from now on.’ And I get superobsessive about things, so once they’re presented to me, I don’t finish until the job is done. I want to go full-out.
Was it difficult finding your own sound when moving away from the band and starting your solo career?
It was a really big piece of freedom. I wanted to show people that growth, and I wanted to invite sounds that were a little bit different from what people were used to hearing from me to give them the sense of where I can go. Going from something like I did to what I’m doing now, I feel like I’ve got some stuff that is very left from what people were expecting—which is what I hope to do all the time. I’ve always loved music that challenged my ears and that’s still the music that I listen to, and that’s something that I wanted to put out for people too. I know as a culture that’s not where we are right now, but I don’t care. I want to make music how I want to make music.
So your debut solo EP was just released this year after you dropped a few singles in 2017. I’m especially intrigued by the title. What inspired it?
Echoes of Departure and the Endless Street of Dreams, Pt. 1—that’s a mouthful [laughs]. In terms of departure, it was kind of me finding out that I need to be on my own. I was getting these recurring dreams telling me, in order for me to move on from some of the experiences and some of the stuff I had written about, in order for me to move on and find closure with some of those relationships and some of those moments, I needed to put the music out and be vulnerable and open up. ‘Sleepwalker’ was one of the first songs I had written and was very much inspired by a dream. Some of the other songs also took shape from dreams that were happening.
Can we be expecting Pt. 2 anytime soon?
Oh, yeah, you got it. It’s going to have a little more soul, a little bit R&B.
The EP definitely has this sexy, moody pop vibe, but it also feels like it’s coming from a very honest place. Do the songs share a glimpse of your personality?
A lot, actually. You can tell that there’s a want, a need, a desire to change and do things differently—a want and a desire to hear myself out more, and these are all things I think people connect to. As human beings, that’s what we want to do: We want to grow. We want to feel like we can change. We want to be different. That was something I was never fully able to write about like I wanted until now.
Moving to more hot-seat questions. Who would we spot on your playlist right now?
Chromeo, The Weeknd, Nina Nesbitt, Young the Giant, Rufus du Sol, Destiny’s Child, Lana Del Rey, Closure, Billie Eilish—I listen to everything.
Favorite song to perform off the album?
They’re like children; you can’t really have favorites. They each came to me when I needed them most.
Social media—friend or foe?
I love being able to connect with and talk with the fans, but I think social media’s absolutely a conduit for some of that anxiety and depression that we feel.
Do you have a go-to TV show for bingewatching?
Thoughts on Atlanta?
I love it. Atlanta definitely has a different vibe—laid-back and kind of chill. I always have a great time when I come and visit.
Your signature drink?
I have a different drink for different moods. I always love a good Old-Fashioned. It’s a classic drink, and I know my way around whiskey growing up in Texas. And, you know what, a spicy margarita is always good too.
What’s next for you?
More time in the studio and then I’ve got some shows planned for the top of the year. I think this next year a lot more things will come to light. I’ve had some great experiences this year already so next year will only be better—and with a lot more music.