Logan Mize On Tortuga Music Festival, Musical Influences And Growing Up In The Midwest
Every April, thousands flock to Fort Lauderdale Beach for three days of country, rock and roots music; ocean views; and marine conservation at the nation’s biggest beach-side country music event: Tortuga Music Festival.
The festival achieves far more than provide a weekend full of boot-stomping and yee-hawing. Non-profit Rock the Ocean partners with Live Nation to produce the event. A portion of ticket sales help fund ocean conservation research; more than $1 million has been raised.
Tortuga was named the Academy of Country Music’s "Festival of the Year" in 2017, the same year it clocked nearly 100,000 attendees. The seventh annual festival has brought some of the biggest names in music — not just country — since its inception in 2013.
From Kenny Chesney and Old Dominion to Nelly and Snoop Dogg, it spotlights famous as well as rising music artists all while helping a great cause.
This year, festival headliners include Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Thomas Rhett and Flo Rida, all established names in the industry. However, other up-and-coming acts, like Kansas native Logan Mize, are just as worthy of recognition.
Mize is the perfect fit for a country crooner. He grew up in a cozy Kansas town with a population of 2,000 and only two paved roads; he owns a farm and resides in an even smaller area than the one he grew up in; and country music has pulsed through his veins for as long as he can remember. He of all people understands country music.
“Country music makes sense to me,” he said. “It’s been a part of my life from an early age.”
On his latest album, “Come Back Road,” Mize pays homage to his Midwest upbringing in the first song, aptly titled “Somebody to Thank.”
He spotlights different facets of his life that have shaped him and shouts out several lifelong musical influences, such as John Mellencamp and Bruce Springsteen.
“We knew this had to be the first song on the album,” the 33-year-old singer-songwriter said. “I liked the gratitude and emotion that's there; I feel like it set the tone for the entire record.”
He hopes the song accomplishes for listeners and fans what listening to Alan Jackson did for him.
“When I first heard Alan Jackson, I was like, ‘Oh, this describes my surroundings,’” Mize said. “[Country music] sounds like my life.”
Overall, Mize has reached impressive numbers with his music: “Come Back Road” debuted on Billboard's top 20 country albums chart and reached No. 2 on iTunes' country chart. He also has more than 1 million monthly listeners on Spotify, where his song “Ain’t Always Pretty” has surpassed 37 million plays.
This is the first year Mize is performing at Tortuga Music Festival, and he will take the “Next from Nashville” stage on Sunday, April 14 at 4:45 p.m.
Mize wants fans to enjoy a “different flavor” of country music through his performance. Even though his tunes stray from stereotypical country sounds, they stay true to Midwestern roots with a twang of Heartland rock.
“It’s a different brand of country music,” Mize said. “I think it’ll be something enjoyable and something different for them to sink into.”
As for his fellow Tortuga performers, Mize has a few artists in mind that he can’t wait to watch.
“I love Maren [Morris],” he said. “We’ve been signed to the same publishing company for years, so I’ll be super excited to see her play.”
However, Mize is most looking forward to Sheryl Crow, who will perform on the Tortuga main stage at 6 p.m. on April 14.
“Sheryl Crow is probably one of my all-time favorites,” he said. “I’d probably flip out if I met her.”
He does have a tie to the singer-songwriter, though, just not by his own means — but through his wife. The two met while sizing their kids’ feet at a Stride Rite store.
“My wife and Sheryl know each other,” Mize said with a laugh. “I’ve just never met her.”
For more information on Tortuga, or to purchase tickets, visit tortugamusicfestival.com.
Photo courtesy of Logan Mize
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