Indie-pendence: Logan Manning’s “California”

Lili Harris, Beat Editor

When you think of high school musicians, you probably think either of band kids or the enduring “SoundCloud rapper” stereotype. Senior Logan Manning is neither of these, and yet, he got a song released on Apple Music.
Called “California,” the song is reminiscent of early Ed Sheeran (think “The A Team”), with a simple acoustic guitar supportaing thoughtful lyrics that depict nostalgia and reminiscing over your past. The instrumental and lyrics match perfectly, which makes the piece that much more emotional.
It’s professionally mixed, meaning it’s likely that a lot of dedication was put into making his work sound as perfect as possible. It doesn’t even sound like a student’s project, which makes the song even more appealing once you learn who it’s by.
Logan himself started writing music last year, and wrote “California” last December, deciding only recently to publish it.

Q: What was the process that took you from writing the song to getting it published?
A: I wrote this song in December around Christmas time, but I was sitting on the song for a while and I didn’t really plan to record it. Then, I started to take vocal lessons because I wanted to perform and perform it and other songs I’ve written. I met a producer through these vocal lessons, and he actually offered to record my song for free. He usually charges, so it was a really great deal.

Q: What was the recording process like?
A: It was really fun! I’ve recorded myself before, just for demos, but when I got there he was really open to letting me use the studio. We did a lot of takes for recording guitar and vocals, and he always let me pick which ones we were going to use. It was a really informative learning process for me.
Q: What would you differently if you were to record another song?
A: I definitely took a while to record because I’m not very confident about my voice. I wouldn’t say that I’m 100% or 80% confident in my voice even now, so it took a while to get to the vocal tone and pitch accuracy where I felt like, “okay, I could record this and people would think, ‘oh, this is a real song.’” I don’t think I’ll ever reach a point where I’ll think that I’m perfect, but I want to get to a point where I’m just better. At that point, I would want to start recording and singing a lot more.

Q: What advice do you have for people who want to write their own music?
A: Write a song every day, and finish the song no matter how bad you think it is. That’s the best advice I can give. I’ve been writing songs for about a year and a half and the difference between one and day one hundred is very big if you write every single day.