On Tuesday, May 19, Logan Mize releases his Sony debut, the Pawn Shop Guitar EP. And after a three-year span since his last independent record came out, the Kansas-born singer is happy the wait is over. “The people I worked with before were kind of hesitant about putting new music out, but I knew there were fans out there who were wanting it," Mize tells Billboard. "It’s great to get music out there. I’m really excited about it.”
The deal with Sony had been something that Mize had been working on for some time, he says. “We’ve been talking for awhile, and they had told me they didn’t have a spot at radio yet," he explains. "I thought that was a cheap way to say no, but sure enough -- when a spot opened up, Sony called. They are great people over there.”
Mize -- whose great-uncle Billy was a pioneer of the Bakersfield sound -- is signed to Big Yellow Dog Music, where the head of the company really took a great interest in him and his songs. “Carla Wallace is behind all of this. I was kind of homeless at the time, living in a Suburban. I was walking up and down trying to find another publishing deal after losing my first one. I met with her, and played her a couple of songs, and had a deal memo in hand. She immediately jumped on it, and has been in my corner ever since.”
Mize’s debut single, “Can’t Get Away From A Good Time,” definitely has some strong numbers behind it -- over 100,000 sales and 3.8 million streams. Of the track, Mize says “It’s a goofy song, but I think it’s a moment I can say I’m proud of.”
Another song from the EP that he is excited for fans to hear is “El Camino,” which he wrote with pal Blake Chaffin. “That was a weird song,” he says. “It’s kind of got shock value to it, almost like a ‘Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy’ feel. People seem to either love it or hate it, so we figured, ‘Why don’t we put it on there?' "
Mize has appeared in the CW series Hart of Dixie, as well as in a cotton commercial alongside Nashville star Hayden Panettiere, whom Mize says has strong similarities to the character she plays on the ABC soap. “Who she is on the show is kind of who she is in person," Mize explains. "She’s very strong, and knows exactly who she is. We walked in, and had been on the road. We were at the Station Inn that morning, and she made them turn on the PA. At first, they wanted us to lip sync and pretend like we were playing. She said, ‘I want to really hear them play a song before we get started.' They told her ‘Well, they’re not really here to play,’ but she got them to play some songs -- and then she said, ‘OK, I’m good now.’ It was pretty fun.”
Mize is also very active promoting his home state through his role as the official tourism ambassador for the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism. “Kansas is kind of known as one of the fly-over states, and a lot of times, people don’t realize the really cool history here," says Mize. "We’re doing a couple videos, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Billboard is premiering the exclusive stream of the Pawn Shop Guitar EP. Listen below.
1. "Thank God For You"
2. "El Camino"
3. "Can't Get Away From A Good Time"
4. "Better Off"
5. "What I Love About You"