Sunday January 14, 2018

He's bringing Mohawk back: Musician Logan Staats wins first episode of CTV's The Launch

Logan Staats performs his new single The Lucky Ones on CTV's The Launch.

Logan Staats performs his new single The Lucky Ones on CTV's The Launch. (Courtesy of CTV)

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Musician Logan Staats from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory is fresh off his win on The Launch, a new TV show that gives Canadian singers a shot at stardom.

Staats was chosen out of 10,000 applicants to be featured on the inaugural season of the series, and was mentored by Canadian country megastar Shania Twain.

"Being the first one, being the first guy, the first episode, there's something a bit nerve-wracking about that, because we didn't really know what was going to happen," said Staats.

"It's been, honestly, one of the best things that I've done thus far in my musical career."

Staats has been playing music for 10 years, and has travelled the world for his craft, but his experience on The Launch was unlike anything he's done before.

Staats in studio

Logan Staats in studio recording his single, The Lucky Ones. The track quickly shot to the top spot on Canada's iTunes. (Courtesy of CTV)

"I kind of had to go outside of my comfort zone just a little bit for this one, it was challenging," said Staats.

"Normally I'm in a studio environment, and the producers and engineers are doing anything they can to accommodate me … and this was the complete polar opposite, I was going in and I was having to work for the producer and I was having to sing his song."

The song that Staats performed is called The Lucky Ones, and was written by Grammny nominated songwriter busbee.

When he was getting ready to perform, Staats said a simple suggestion from his mentor, Shania Twain, helped take his performance of the track to the next level.  

"There was one part ... in the show, where I had just got the song, and I was learning the lick on guitar, and I was singing it, and I just didn't have enough time to find it," said Staats.

"[Shania] suggested I put down the guitar for this song and just sing. Without that guitar in front of me, it opened my voice up to do some things that I probably couldn't do while holding a guitar."

Sharing the experience with family and friends

Staats said he got together with people from his community, Six Nations of the Grand River, to watch the show Wednesday night at a bar in Brantford, Ont.

But Staats was the only person in the room who knew that he won.

"That was really, really special for me to see my dad's reaction, to look at my mom's reaction and to be holding my daughter, while they announce that I am the chosen one."

"My dad, he's not a crier … so once he started crying, then my mom started crying. And then when my mom starts crying, I start crying — it was a chain reaction, vicious cycle of emotions."

Logan Staats on The Launch

Logan Staats from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory won the first episode of CTV's The Launch. (Courtesy of CTV)

Sharing the moment not only with his family, but with the people of Six Nations was special to Staats, who said that community, family and music are the most important things in his life.  

The musician is proud of his Mohawk roots, but said that because of the legacy of residential schools, he was not always knowledgeable of his own culture.

"It wasn't until later in my young manhood that and submersed myself in that, and went back and figured out how beautiful we are as a people," said Staats.  

After the episode aired, Staats's single The Lucky Ones shot to the top spot on Canada's iTunes, ahead of Ed Sheeran and Justin Timberlake.