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In Their Own Words: Logan Sama Leaves Kiss

We caught up with respected Grime DJ Logan Sama to find out more about his decision to leave Kiss FM after 10 years at the station. 

Announcing the move yesterday on his Twitter account, Logan revealed that Kiss’ decision to move his show, along with much of their specialist programming, to their new exclusively online Kiss Fresh platform was largely responsible. The outpouring of respect from the Grime community was instantaneous, with figures such as DJ Q, Kozzie, Spyro, Wiley and JME quick to sing his praises. Logan meanwhile, will continue to push Grime as only he knows how, with the launch of keepinitgrimy.com, a new dedicated online platform. Below the man himself explains the decision in his own words.

How surprised were you by Kiss moving their specialist programming to this new platform, Kiss Fresh?

Let me clarify, Kiss have not moved all their specialist programming to Kiss Fresh. They still have to broadcast a certain amount of ‘specialist’ radio per week as per their license. It just will not feature many of the DJ’s you may currently associate with the station.

I was flattered that Kiss saw me as someone who would drive listeners to their new Kiss Fresh project. The content I provide to the Kiss network has always performed incredibly well compared to other shows. I am a concrete fixture in the top 5 most listened again shows, the only show that regularly trends on Twitter, and my video content has attained numbers which are unmatched. I understand that mechanics behind the schedule changes even going back to my 11-1 time slot moving to 12-2am several years ago. Commercial radio is about driving Rajar numbers up to sell advertising. My bosses are under pressure to do this, and therefor the schedule changes to accommodate that. It is how commercial radio is going with so much competition for a listener base who are drifting away from traditional FM radio formats.

Had you begun to feel with the shift towards online for a lot of stations/programs that FM was maybe becoming a bit redundant?

I was a pioneer within the industry for my online content and my social network interactions. The only show on legal radio which trended with such regularity was KissGrime. A YouTube channel based around the visual experience of the show not only generated over 20 million hits total but was also a platform for such people as Jamal Edwards, founder of SB.TV, to get their first opportunity to work within a professional broadcast environment. I wanted to provide bitesize downloadable mix content for my listeners through the show back in 2005. I wanted to do live video streams of my show almost 6 years ago soon after Ustream launched. All these things are now the bread and butter of radio broadcasting. I am an early adopter of anything that allows me to give more to the enjoyable experience of my listener base.

Is there a particular show that stands out as the highlight of your time at KISS?

There are many, but the most memorable are probably the crazy sets we did with people like Wiley, Skepta, JME, Ghetts and Badness at the heigh of the ‘Boy Better Know vs The Movement’ era, the set we did for Kano’s Home Sweet Home album with Kano, Skepta and Ghetts, a ‘Next Generation’ set with Chipmunk, Griminal, Dot Rotten, the OG’z and many more which launched them into the Grime history books and the P Money mixtape launch set we did featuring a list of MC’s too large to mention. It was also an honour to have people like Dizzee Rascal, Tinie Tempah and Wretch 32 on my show before they were platinum selling artists.

Are you excited or nervous to be going out on your own with ‘Keepin It Grimy’?

As always I am excited. I see possibility and opportunity and no limits. If you are passionate in what you do and you believe in yourself, you should be excited every day because the tools are all there for you to do whatever you want with your music. It’s all open source and all it takes is a creative mind to utilise them. The KeepinItGrimy project is of special importance to me because I strongly believe that ownership of our own platforms and media outlets is essential to give our music the right and proper promotion it deserves. With every major change there is certainly a bit of adrenaline flying round my bloodstream, but my reaction is one of excitement not nervousness.

You spoke about being able to use the platform to work on ‘exciting projects and crazy ideas’ with this new platform. Care to elaborate for your fans on there on what may be in store?

I feel that there is so much that can be done with the multi media platforms that isn’t currently being done and Radio as a format is too one dimensional. There is not enough interaction and the experience is not immersive enough for the audience in this day and age. I play on continuing to provide exciting and must-see live experiences for my loyal audience backed up by on-demand content that is both informative and entertaining. I feel that Grime does not get ‘out there’ enough. I want to be the missionary who brings it to the people and spreads the good word.

Stay up to speed with Keepinitgrimy here.