Tucked away off a quiet alley after a quick turn from Main Street and N 7th Street in East Nashville, a single glass door stands against the freshly painted block. A logo hung above the door hints to what awaits on the other side.
Once inside, the polished concrete floors and contemporary lobby area signal something special is about to happen. Your eye is then immediately drawn the bright message above a wide hallway:
Mural painted by David Wright. You can see his work on Instagram @manecoon.designs.co.
HOME is the acronym for Helping Our Music Evolve, a non-profit community space tailored for the music industry. Musicians, artists, producers, and others are welcome to become members – or Homies. (Clever, right?) The mastermind behind the concept is Logan Crowell.
After researching Logan and HOME, he and I emailed back and forth. He said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “You need to come by and experience it.”
Nothing I’ve read compares to seeing HOME in person.
Aside from being a songwriter, musician, and producer, Logan is also fluent in Spanish, a skill he mastered while living in Spain. Education and world travel make for an impressive resume and LinkedIn profile; however, when you meet Logan in person, you can feel his passion. He embodies the person who truly wants to make a positive difference for those in the creative realm, and not solely for his own purpose. A little-known fact, and one of the things Logan hopes to illuminate with his work, is Nashville is not just about country music. From electronic to heavy metal, Nashville is The Music City.
Here is an excerpt of our interview:
Heather: Did you move to Nashville to get closer to the city's music community?
Logan: I moved to Nashville from Little Rock, Arkansas. I had been living the starving artist lifestyle for quite a while and I decided I needed to go back to college to finish my degree. I was accepted into Belmont's Adult Degree Program, where I made it my mission to learn about the music business. I was turning my creative focus toward production, so I took some audio classes as well. I was there from August 2015 - December 2016.
H: I found where you are also the founder of Record Realization and the Nebo Jam.
L: Record Realization is my production and branding company. I started it about a week before I had the idea for HOME. I honestly wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to do. I just realized a lot of things about the music industry are in flux and that there are opportunities for new business models. I also knew firsthand what it was like being a frustrated artist trying to make sense of such a strange industry. So, I jumped in and started making moves with a creator-first mindset.
During my first year in business (2016) I managed to book a few hundred shows, produce some cool records, a lot of video content, and even booked, presented and produced a band competition and a festival - all under the moniker Record Realization. Currently RR offers branding, production, and artist management services. The booking service has since become a company called Voice to Venue. My partner Bryce Vernon is managing operations and setting us up to scale our unique business model.
The takeaway from 2016 is that you can't do everything for everyone all by yourself. 2017 was all about team building. I really understand the importance of having a great team, and I learned a lot of that in the process of putting on the Nebo Jam.
Nebo Jam [is] a music festival that takes place on my dad's farm in Dardanelle, AR. The inaugural Nebo Jam was held September 2016 from noon to 3am at the foot of Mount Nebo State Park. 12 bands, 11 acoustic performers. Mount Nebo is a national hang gliding destination, so I promoted that "if you hang glide in you get in for free.” We had five fly-ins and about 500 total attendance. It was spectacular. We took last year off as I was building the HOME facility, but I hope to be able to make it happen this fall.
It's also worth mentioning that I manage a pop-rock band called EverSōl and an indie-Americana artist named Ryan Sauders. Both acts are fairly new. I took on a partner for Record Realization; a very talented producer by the name of Matthew McDavid. Together, we are working on EverSōl's first release, due this fall. Ryan is still back in Arkansas but gearing up for his second studio project. You can find his first one on Spotify. I highly recommend it.
Fun fact: While HOME was in the conceptual stages, Logan was texting ideas for the name to his mom. He’d search available URLs at the same time. When he presented her with “Helping Our Music Evolve, and we’ll call it HOME”, she replied with, “Absolutely. That’s the one.”
“And the rest, he says, “is history.”
What makes HOME different
Sitting with Logan on the couch in the lobby of HOME HQ, Logan and I look at the website while talking about the music industry and the impact HOME has already made in a short time. We talked about how people like writers, musicians and the like work from their own houses, but every now and again you need to get outside your own four walls. Sure, there are coffee shops, a sprinkling of restaurants, or the library where you can work, but even those locations have their limitations.
I compared HOME to shared working spaces, which would offer a bit more in terms of working away from home. But for the musician, he or she needs even more. Because of all the amenities HOME offers, Logan uses the gym as an analogy. Members have access to a variety of services to use what is needed, when it is needed. Furthermore, HOME is a great place for creatives to hang out, and the likelihood of sparking organic, working conversations is greatly increased by HOME’s growing network of music business professionals.
In earlier interviews, I’d asked Logan a question regarding any “big deals” that may have been executed because of what HOME represents. His answer, especially after meeting him in person, summarizes everything up concisely:
HOME just opened to the public on February 15th, 2018 and things move pretty slowly in the industry. Nashville, especially, is a relationship driven town and relationships take time to build. But suffice it to say that there are a lot of great Homies (HOME members) using the facility. From labels to agents, managers, publishers, producers, you name it. It is quite the professional ecosystem. The deals will come organically. HOME's focus is on helping creators understand which deals are good deals and what actions are they can be taking to cultivate those relationships and achieve their career goals. And the revolutionary part of the concept is that we also give them a world class facility to prove their talent. We remove barriers to entry and empower the creative community.
It has been a few days since my visit, and I still can’t wrap my mind around the genius of what Logan has built. As a fellow creative, even though I don’t work in the music industry, I can visualize the influence HOME will make to the music industry and this great city of Nashville.
When you meet Logan Crowell in person, immediately you feel a sense of calm and trust. With his tousled curly hair, boy-next-door charming smile, and the bluest, most incredible eyes I’ve ever seen on a man, he could be on the cover of any magazine. (Sorry, ladies. No bachelor here. He’s absolutely head-over-heels in-love with his girlfriend, Mary Goines. I met her, too. She is adorable.) Logan is gracious, kind, and confident without being arrogant.
Here are some other bits of trivia on Logan:
Favorite book: The Power of Now Ultimate comfort food: breakfast food Greatest lessons learned in life:
Working on your own personal growth and development in mind, body, and spirit is the best investment you can make.
When you focus on serving other people, magic happens.
Music has the power to heal.
And there you have it. HOME is both a small business and a non-profit, and it’s no doubt going to make a significant wave in the music industry as a whole. Nashville is fortunate Logan Crowell chose Music City as the first home for HOME.
Be sure to check out HOME on Facebook and Instagram @helpingmusic. You can find more details and information on how you can become a Homie on their website, helpingmusic.org. Just be sure to drop by. From the amazing murals by local artists to the state-of-the-art equipment, words and photos can’t replace a first-hand experience.
[Except where noted, photo credit belongs to helpingmusic.org and Logan Crowell.]
Written by Heather Blankenship Clift for Live Laugh Love Nashville.