Aislinn Logan talks to Ema Stapleton about her most recent EP, Look I’m Flyin’, overcoming imposter syndrome, and her future musical projects.
Your latest EP, Look I’m Flyin’, builds upon this unique, experimental pop sound you’ve been developing since your previous tracks such as ‘Spree and ‘Fair Game.’ What was the main inspiration behind Look I’m Flyin’? Did it come from a different place to your earlier music or is it more of a continuation of it?
It’s funny that you say it is kind of a broad continuation of what came before. I don’t feel like I’m doing anything differently. All the songs are coming from the same place. If anything has changed, it is probably that I have improved at production. Most of the EP was completely
self-produced, apart from one song which is older, that’s ‘Everything in Between.’ It’s great because I’m a bit of a control freak so it’s nice to actually be able to turn the knobs and get it exactly sounding as I want it to. But while ‘Fair Game’ and ‘Spree’ are definitely coming from the same place, I feel that the new stuff is a bit more hopeful and less cynical. I think
that’s because I personally have become a lot more comfortable in my own skin in the past few years. It makes sense, then, that my music is a bit better articulated but also happier.
I’m feeling a bit more comfortable with what I’m saying, whereas before I very much felt imposter syndrome and that was holding me back a little bit. At the time, I wouldn’t really make as much music as I could have done because of imposter syndrome. But most musicians experience that at some point and, I mean, most females experience that in whatever they do. But yeah, I feel like I’m definitely growing in confidence and becoming more articulate in what I’m trying to say. But the EP itself, Look I’m Flyin’, is a nod to “Look, I’m doing it, I’m getting there, I can do it and it’s alright,” kind of thing. It’s meant to be a bit hopeful, optimistic.
I really think that came across when I was listening to it! It’s really interesting that you mention imposter syndrome, because that was something that I noticed as a theme in the lyrics on Look I’m Flyin’, the idea of casting this imposter syndrome off and beginning to
be true to yourself. So that theme was a deliberate part of this EP?
Yeah, definitely. That’s great to hear that you thought that from the lyrics. I’m doing my job well! I think becoming more comfortable and also just shaking loose of the thing that most holds people back. That is, your assumptions or overthinking of what other people think.
Once you shake free of that and say, “you know what? I’m just making music, I’m enjoying doing it, I’m saying what I want to say,” you can end up doing something good.
When I first came across you, your stuff pre-‘Spree’ and ‘Fair Game’ was very acoustic, folk-inspired and very different to the more electronically-driven direction you have taken since. What was it that made you take the leap to make this change in your music?
So I think it definitely was a matter of my ability, not my aim of what I wanted the sound to be. There was a big gap between the desire for what I wanted to try and do versus what I was able to do. So there was probably a lot of practicality there. I was learning guitar which is very much the bread and butter of songwriting, when you can pick up a guitar and sing
with it. But that’s not the sort of music I listen to. I listen to alternative pop; I love Grimes and I love electronica, and techno even. So, there’s lots of different influences but I don’t really listen to acoustic folk stuff. Although, that said I do love a trad session in the pub. I’ll bring my guitar along there, I love that stuff. But that’s not what I wanted to make, so as
time went on I got better at production and my ability to create those sounds grew. I also got less scared of trying to do what I want. At the beginning, you’re very scared of trying to make things sound big because you think “what if I can’t recreate them live?” or whatever.
There is, again, to use the phrase imposter syndrome, with even trying to go down that targeted sound route; trying to make something akin to what you would listen to if you were a listener.
So, the guitar was an accessible and easy option at the time and you had this imposter syndrome holding you back from where you wanted to be. How did you overcome that to produce the music you wanted to make? If you were to meet another artist who was
feeling the way you were back then, what would you say to them?
That’s a big question! It’s that age old thing of “time is a healer.” It’s so cheesy, but I don’t really know what single thing it was. I very much used to think I was uncool; I would compare myself to other people and worry about their perceptions of me. I think in my personal life I have done a lot of growing. I’ve become more comfortable with who I am, and I’ve learnt to own that rather than be ashamed. That has grown with the music. Yes,
maybe I’m not the greatest musician or I’m not the greatest guitar player but I do have a set of abilities and I can use them to the best that I can in order to create something. The more time goes on, you realise that if you get out of your own way you can actually end up doing something you didn’t think was possible. If you let yourself be constrained with ideas that
are unattainable, you end up holding yourself back. So, yeah, my biggest advice to any musician would be to get out of your own way. Make something that makes you happy, forget what other people think. You might just end up attracting the ears of people who like it. People are attracted to authenticity when they listen to music. When you make
something that’s just for you people can hear that and they will dig it. Don’t try to fit a mould, just do your own thing. Don’t try to be someone else.
Absolutely. Be yourself! You have been in London for a few years now. How does the music scene there compare to back home in Belfast?
Yes, this is my fifth year in London. There maybe wasn’t as much going on in Belfast five years ago as there is now. Belfast has a really thriving music scene now, especially its punk scene. I find personally that London provides a lot of inspiration because you’re always learning in London. There’s always something different to do. You see a lot of different
things here, you meet a lot of different people. There’s new experiences abound, and I think that makes for quite inspiring writing. I’ve also made a lot of friends now who are musicians in London. There’s also a large Irish diaspora in London. Quite a lot of my good friends are from Dublin and other parts of Ireland, and they are making music in London. I am really
benefiting from the music scene in London at the minute; one of my really good friends has a studio in his house at the end of the Northern line, so I’m going there every Friday and just spending the day in the studio bashing out tunes with him. I’m loving it!
On that note, since you mentioned recording… What’s next for you? Have you any gigs lined up? Any news or events that you’d like us to share?
Yes! I am going to release a single in about 4 or 5 weeks but I won’t tell you too many details of that yet; we’ll keep those in the pack of cards. I’ve got quite a few songs that I’ve finished and that I’ve been able to complete thanks to the whole pandemic situation, so they’ll be mixed in the next couple of weeks and I will be releasing them bit by bit. I’ll hopefully get
another EP out before Christmas, that’s my plan! I’ll hopefully do an at-home livestream here when I release the next single, because I have a nice space to do that here.
We can’t wait for new music from Aislinn Logan! Check out her new EP ‘Look I’m Flyin” on Spotify…
Interview by Ema Stapleton
Featured images by Rory James