Commonly compared to James Bay, Six Nations’ own soulful Singer and Artist Geordon Logan Staats has triumphantly secured two coveted awards with his album Goodbye Goldia; first the Summer Music Festival Award for Best Folk Artist and finally, the Native American Music Award for Best Debut Artist.
The award ceremony took place this past weekend and Staats said that achieving this feat as a solo artist was something “special.”
“It was really special to me,” said Staats. “I was competing against records with tons of money behind them, and tons of layers, tons of production, auto-tune and stuff like that. And my record was just straight up Logan Staats, in a room with a microphone, no editing.”
Staats didn’t fail to mention that his success was carried by dedicated voters, and assured him that he is “at least 80 per cent sure” he’s on the right path.
“As a musician you struggle on the path that you’re on a lot,” he said. “It’s a very discouraging industry, and for me — to do that as a solo musician — it proved to me that I’m on the right path.”
To win two awards within weeks of each other, Staats said that he’s sure this is what he needs to be doing, as music has always been where he seeks “refuge.”
“Music for me — I know it sounds so cliché — it was just to make me feel better, it’s a therapeutic thing for me,” he said. Staats explained that Goodbye Goldia was a manifestation of his emotions. “I was going through a very tough break up, and I mean a very, very tough break up with a relationship that my family didn’t support. It hurt me a lot as a person, you know, it did. But the only thing that I could find refuge in was my guitar,” he said.
Just as many artists fuel their music with passion and emotion, the music scene also offers an array of self-abusing substances that Staats has turned away from. This changed his experience at the “after party” for the NAMA’s, which had a great ending.
“I’ve made the choice to stop drinking and to stop using drugs,” he said. “It was really kind of different to be at an event like this and to be celebrating and to be thinking differently. So, because of that I ended up a lot more social, a lot more coherent and I was just able to socialize at a different level. I made friends with Kieth Secola and Taboo from the Black Eyed Peas, and I got the whole night to bond with those two guys,” he said.
As well, out of the emotion comes even more opportunity as Staats explained that his music has connected with many people on an emotional level.
“[I was in a dark time] and it translated over into these songs that were just really soft and gentle, that people really, really related to,” he said. “I got some messages on Facebook and on Twitter and stuff of people just telling me that they’ve gotten through dark times just listening to the songs. And that’s why I wrote them,” he said.
It truly is an art to express oneself through music and help others feel at the same time; and it is a talent Staats definitely has.
Cutline: Singer, performer and artist Geordon Logan Staats poses with his Aboriginal Peoples Choice Best Rock CD Award, Summer Music Festival Award for Best Folk Artist in hand, as well as the Native American Music Award for Best Debut Artist in his home. Photo by Chezney Martin