Christopher Logan, or as you may know him DJ Logan’s Run has a lot going for him. With photography work seen at New York Fashion Week and in Teen Vogue, he’s exceptionally good at everything – especially as a DJ. Lapalme Magazine had the chance to sit down and discuss how he got his start, photography and his secret DJ tricks.
LM: How did you get started as a DJ?
DJ: I grew up in the South Beach nightlife and have always been drawn to music and the industry surrounding it. In the late 90’s/early 2000’s I worked at D’Vox magazine, a music industry publication in South Florida, where I had the opportunity to photograph and meet all the top DJ’s at the time.
It was a very exciting time in dance music. I knew that one day I would be behind the decks. I sat down with my friend Frankie Sharp a couple years ago over a weekend where he taught me the ropes. I felt like a kid in a candy store. I ran with the concepts and began teaching myself and learning online, In addition to learning from my mentors like Bill Kelly, the co-founder of Winter Music Conference. It all started from my roots in Miami and grew from there.
LM: What do you try to communicate to the audience through your vibe?
DJ: To love one another, my sets are very upbeat and happy. I love taking the audience through a musical global journey. One of my favorite things is introducing people to sounds and songs that may be unfamiliar to them, whether it’s Fado love songs from Portugal, or vibrant percussion from Senegal. I love to create a fusion of cultures through music.
LM: What do you usually start with when preparing for a set?
DJ: Funny enough, a very long and relaxing bath! I typically spin late in the evening, so I like to set the tone before I hit the decks for the night. A few drop of Aura Acacia aromatherapy oil, relaxing jazz, and a clear head is essential for me for an epic night DJing.
LM: What are currently your main challenges as a DJ? What is it about DJing, compared to, say, producing your own music, that makes it interesting for you?
DJ: Promotion comes to mind immediately, we live in a world with many DJs on the scene, in addition I’d personally would love to collaborate with more DJ’s whether it be discussing music, life experiences, and just bonding. I’d love to see more camaraderie between us. I have always been obsessed with music and playing for people. I remember when I was a child my sister and I would record our own radio shows on cassette tapes. We would pretend we were DJ’s at a very young age. I’d love to have those tapes now.
LM: How did Faith Lift Party get started? Can you tell us about it?
DJ: Faith Lift Party began as a foggy idea on airplane a little over two years ago, I left Winter Music Conference in Miami flying back to NYC and was so inspired by the music and events. I felt moved to create something in NYC that was focused on much more than just a party. I wanted to create a movement, a feeling, and a connection with one another. I felt moved to bring on someone on the FLP journey and asked my dear friend Sam Coffie (DJ Beargazer) to join me. Since then we have DJ all over NYC, in addition to taking over the Catalina Hotel and Beach Club for Miami Music Week for the past two years. We have worked with several non profits in the community, food drives have been particularity important in our goals. It continues to build and grow. I can proudly say that we’ve been noted as one of the most inclusive parties in NYC in Time Out New York. That means a lot to us. To create a space that is welcome to everyone.
LM: What do you envision the future of Faith Lift Party to be?
DJ: I envision on continuing to grow in directions we could not possibly imagine. There’s a saying I often go to “You plan, and the Lord laughs.” I trust whatever’s in store will be the right direction for us.
LM: When you are not behind the DJ booth, you can be found behind the lens. Tell us about your photographer career.
DJ: Well, I have been a professional photographer for over 20 years now. I began my career in South Beach, Miami many moons and go and have now relocated to NYC. My concentration has been in the fashion, beauty, celebrity, and documentary. This past year I was lucky enough to showcase my retrospective work of New York Fashion Week during Art Basel. It was a very exciting time for me because it’s where my roots and passion for photography started from. I projected my work onto the Croydon Hotel and their pool. It was super cool to see my work in that form. I have teamed with up Lomography for several years now as their brand ambassador trying out new gear and using their products exclusively for my work backstage. I have worked in the corporate sector in addition to all the glam. Including Rosetta Stone, Disney On Ice! and several pharmaceutical brands. I must say documenting events, shooting portraits, and my commercial work are some of my favorite subject matters currently.
LM: Many people know your fashion and celebrity photography work, how does DJing incorporate in your shoots?
DJ: When I’m on set with my team, I always have music on. It’s one thing that I’m very particular about. I set the tone for the day with it, From getting the studio ready, getting the glam squad pumped up, to the actual shoot, and break down. It’s important to me to create a mood through music.
LM: For young DJs and MCs reading this, how would you advise them to create a strong brand?
DJ: I would recommend researching your favorite DJ’s, artists at the top of their game and see their direction to perhaps we get some inspiration. They are typically working with a larger marketing and management team. I would reach out to photographers to continually have content for social, whether it be pics behind the DJ booth or promotional shoots. Lastly, I would create a logo with your name on it that you really love. Fiverr is a great resource for DJ logo designs that is very affordable for young DJ’s and MC’s alike.
LM: When you look back at your career, what has been the moment you’ve been the most proud of?
DJ: Hands down, I’ve got to say bringing Faith Lift Party to Miami Music Week. Growing up in nightlife in Miami Beach I know how important and special that is to showcase an event and your artistry. I’m thrilled that DJ Beargazer and I have had that opportunity for the past two years hosting it at the Catalina Hotel and Beach Club.
LM: What is one mistake you see upcoming DJs making?
DJ: Oh wow, I think the fundamentals of DJing is sometimes lost. Beat-matching for instance takes time and practice. I’d love to see more growth in those areas.
LM: What is one sub-genre you think doesn’t get the attention it deserves?
DJ: I absolutely love Gospel House music, many people aren’t even familiar with it. It’s the stem of Faith Lift Party. It’s inspiring music with incredible vocalists. Let’s showcase artists like that!
LM: Do you have any secret DJ tricks?
DJ: One very simple thing: Always be a student, you can learn something new every day in regards to DJing and life for that matter!
LM: What is your opinion regarding the difference between old school DJing where everything was restricted to vinyl and modern DJing where most tracks are never put on any physical medium before or after release?
DJ: I have an immense respect for both styles of DJing. They are two different beasts for sure. There has been a resurgence for vinyl for new tracks and older releases which is exciting to see. In today’s world, so much of what we do is digital. The ease of downloading a track within seconds does have it conveniences. But I must admit, watching a vinyl DJ work is truly something beautiful. Last year I attended the Fools Gold Goldie Awards presented by A-trak in Brooklyn, NY. The global talent onstage spinning vinyl was out of this world. I left in such awe, It’s great to see talent recognized in such a fashion.
LM: Do you think this has hurt exclusivity of having a certain sound? A DJ’s ability to have a “unique” style? Is having your own style separate from all the other DJs out there as important in modern DJing?
DJ: Oh I think it’s extremely important and necessary to have your own unique style and sound when DJing. It’s what makes each DJ special. If you go out, you hear their style within minutes. I don’t think that will ever get lost.
LM: When there’s more music than one can possibly take in, it is becoming increasingly hard to know what constitutes an original and a remake anymore. What’s your opinion on the importance of roots, traditions, respecting originals and sources?
DJ: That’s very true! One thing I’ve learned throughout the years, which I can thank Mr. Derek Warburton for is “know your references”. I play a lot of remixes of Motown and Soul greats including disco and funk. I love seeing young producers pulling lost gems and classics from the archives and remixing them for a new generation. It’s important to keep that music alive!
Photographer: Anthony Ryan Tripoli
Grooming: Walton Nunez
Stylist: Andi Wardrobe