Rachel Logan is a radio host with a passion for 1980’s rock music; especially Hair Metal and the newer Melodic Rock. This passion is what brought the creation and production of her rock radio project, “Rachel’s Rock Refuge,” into fruition.
Hailing from Rockville, MD (coincidence?) and thriving in her former home of Atlanta, Georgia, Rachel’s love for radio and music is evident from the moment she cracks the mic. Working for years as an FM Radio On-Air host and voice-over artist, it was a chance meeting at the recording studio (where Rachel had a session) that she met the engineer and talent, Mike Brilhart, who initially inspired, and gave the first home to “Rachel’s Rock Refuge.” In just three years, the two-hour weekly show that began at 97Underground, expanded to a second Flagship station, ARfm in Nottingham, England (Programmed by Steve Price) with a core audience focused on Melodic Rock, and has since further expanded to a station in Germany.
Now, MelodicRock Fest 5 is gearing up to take place in Chicago on May 4, 5 and 6, 2018. Rachel recently discusses her love for music, the radio show, and more via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM) of Entertainment Vine: How did you initially get interested in music and what is it about 80s hair metal that so interests you?
Rachel Logan (RL): I don’t remember ever NOT being interested in music. The earliest memory I think would be at 4 four years old. My mother had a Carole King album going on the record player. I believe it was, “I Feel The Earth Move” that did it for me. I danced and danced in front of the record player! Music has been proven to lift our mood, to enhance our creativity and to bring us together. I don’t think it gets much better.
MM: What inspired you to enter into radio and how did you get your big break?
RL: Oh my, a loaded question but I’ll simplify as much as possible! I’ve dreamed of being on the radio since about twelve years old. I’d listen to my ‘DJ Idols’ and literally practice what they were doing…Talking up intros, segueing records, giving away prizes, and reading commercial copy. Little did I know at the time, that’s what was called voice over! My big break, I’d say, came in two parts…
Back in 2003 or so, I kept seeing a certain radio network mentioned in the radio trades and their studios just so happened to be located about 45 min from me back in Atlanta, GA. It took me awhile, but I finally got up the nerve to make a phone call. That phone call led to my first REAL air shift at a network, that served many stations throughout the U.S. I was only there the last four months before it tanked, but what a gig! We all made a great team and made the same amount of money…What?! Wish it would’ve lasted much longer.
The second break came when I attending the Air Awards in Atlanta. It was there that I met some key people from Cox Radio One of those key people believed in me and got me in the door in one of the biggest radio markets in the country. The rest is history…
MM: What’s the best part about working in radio?
RL: I’d say the best part, be it FM or online, is the connection with the audience. In FM, you’re answering studio lines and it’s an instant connection with someone who’s listening to you and your station at that moment. Somehow contributing to putting a smile on their face is priceless… Giving away prizes helps! With the online show, the connection comes from listener interaction on social media…Just as powerful in my opinion.
MM: You also do voiceover work! So, how did you get into that and what gigs have you landed?
RL: Well, when you’re an on-air talent in radio, voicing commercials is part of your job. You are required to learn recording and editing software and to hone your skills in commercial copy interpretation. It’s not #1, but it matters and you must learn it as part of your job. Of course, this helps greatly when you set out to do VO on your own, with your own clients. Years ago, I knew plenty of people making a very respectable living working out of their home studios as pro voice talents. I thought, ‘If they can do it, so can I!’ I jumped on it over twelve years ago and have never looked back. I’d say the most notable gigs I’ve landed was the voice of Pandora Jewelry in 2015 throughout North America, TV work for Palm Beach Tan, Publix Grocery and a gig for Axe Shower Gel that aired on ESPN.
MM: What are the challenges of being a professional radio host and voice talent?
RL: Hmmm…Well, no complaints, but it is A LOT of work…The Rock Show is a project and commitment taking hours each week to produce, program, voice and edit. With voice over, it’s up to YOU to market yourself, YOU to send auditions and YOU to send your best work 100% of the time. It’s a challenge, but you have to love it.
MM: What are some of your favorite 80’s songs and can you please describe Melodic Rock for us?
RL: Absolutely! Well, it’s hard to narrow down a few songs, but my 80’s playlist spans from Hair Metal, to Pop to Dance and R&B. Even some ‘New Age.’ Remember that? We might call it ‘Smooth Jazz’ in today’s world. Melodic Rock in my eyes, in a nutshell, is the Hair Metal of today. A similar ‘sound’ to what we remember in the 80’s but with the depth of today’s technology: powerful vocals, provoking lyrics, catchy hooks, choruses and melodies that grab you…I think Melodic Rock incorporates all of these attributes and more, serving very much the core audience of yesterday’s Hair Metal to even the Classic Rock we’re all familiar with…
MM: Your show Rachel’s Rock Refuge focuses on both Hair Metal and Melodic Rock. Can you tell us about the latest Melodic Rock Fest and what people can expect if they’ve never been?
RL: I’d love to! Melodic Rock Fest 5 is about to take place in Arlington Heights, IL – just outside of Chicago – at H.O.M.E. Bar, May 4, 5 and 6, 2018. This is the event created and organized by Mr. Andrew McNiece out of Tasmania, Australia. I can’t say enough good things about this venue along with the Fest itself. What so many Melodic Rock fans enjoy is the sense of camaraderie among the fans, the bands and each other. It’s a sense of family, and knowing you have something pretty special in common with the person next to you that loves the band on stage at that moment! Knowing you’re going to see friends you haven’t seen in a long while is a killer feeling and the anticipation of seeing your favorite bands up close and personal is just awesome. And BTW, if food quality matters to you like it does to some of us, their restaurant is off the chain!
MM: I want to congratulate you on the expansion of Rachel’s Rock Refuge into now three countries and the growth of the show in general! When it comes to interviewing the artists, your interview style has received many a compliment and notable mention… Can you expand on that a little?
RL: First and foremost, thank you so much for that. I’ve learned a lot from my years on FM radio. I want talk TO people, not AT them. I’ve noticed a big difference between the two over the years. I strive to set a tone in each show of hanging out one on one, with YOU, a drink in hand, taking a load off, kicking back, sharing some laughs and enjoying the music TOGETHER. I look at interviews as conversations, getting to know someone, what makes them tick, what drives them both in music and in life. I integrate questions about them, from a human level, along with the related music or band questions. If they have a new album coming out, a tour happening, etc., it’s a given that we’ll be talking about it and promoting it. But what about what ISN’T on the resume? I always say, it’s about the individual first, the musician second.
MM: Rachel, thank you for spending some time here with us on Entertainment Vine!
RL: It was my pleasure! Thanks so much for having me, Meagan. Rachel’s Rock Refuge airs as a simulcast on 97Underground.com, ARfm.co.uk, and RockWorld24.com each Tuesday at 11am PST, 2pm EST, 7pm U.K. and 8pm Germany.
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