MONDAY, MAY 23 — It’s almost June. For most of us, that means that summer is near. But for the average American high school student, things are about to get stressful. The school year is almost over, and exams are swiftly approaching.
For the most high schoolers, school will become the main focus. That is, unless they are St. Johns high school junior Logan James Browne, aka Apollo.With over 13,000 listens to his track, “I Lied,” on SoundCloud and the recent release of a second mixtape, 17-year-old rapper Apollo is establishing himself in the Lansing rap scene. Understandably, his main focus lies outside of school.
While Internet success can strike quickly, this was not an overnight success. Years of planning have gone into Apollo’s music and performances, including Friday’s mixtape release party at the Loft.
“I spent a year and a half writing, 13 months planning,” Apollo said. “I spent like five months planning this event specifically. I had a show in January that was good, but I didn’t feel comfortable releasing it yet. I didn’t have all the songs that I wanted.”
Even the name Apollo was carefully chosen, as well as his tagline: Apollo Mission 27.
“Apollo is the god of music and poetry, so I based it off that, and Mission 27 is like a movement of mine,” Apollo said. “So Mission 27 came about because that’s like the Apollo Mission 11, when we went to the moon. So Apollo Mission 27 is my mission, which is peace, love and progression.”
The number 27 comes from his former producer name, Cobalt. The atomic number of Cobalt is 27. His choices are carefully calculated, designed to help him stand out in an industry where it can take decades for some to make their mark. Only three years into the game, Apollo’s passion for music was ignited by tragedy at home.
“When I was 14, my parents got divorced, and I really got into music,” Apollo said. “I started booking my own shows when I was 15. The day my dad left, I really dove into my first mixtape; I was 16.”
Friday’s concert marked the release of his second mixtape. He was the headliner, with openers like Rosco P, Landoh and Lil Rockstar Jay warming up the crowd.
And it doesn’t look like Apollo will be slowing down anytime soon. In the past year, he’s performed 20 shows at Mac’s Bar and four shows at the Loft. He attributes his success in booking performances to hard work and networking.
“I wouldn’t have got this if I didn’t network. I network constantly,” Apollo said. “I just do shows a lot, because you never know who you’re gonna meet.”
Even with such a beyond-his-years maturity and enterprising attitude, sometimes Apollo’s age catches up to him.
“One time a guy in the studio was like, ‘Can you please buy me a cigar?’” he recalled. “I literally can’t. I’m 17; I can’t buy that.”
When he does get older however, the aspiring rapper hopes to leave Michigan.
“I want to be a rapper. If I can’t do that, I would love to be an (audio) engineer,” Apollo said. “Somewhere in California or somewhere nice — to get out of the cold in Michigan.”
For now, there is still high school to finish. Brian Hufnagel, a St. Johns classmate, said when he’s not recording and dropping mixtapes, Apollo is just a regular student. He does the things one would expect from a high schooler.
“I’ve gone to school with Logan for the past two years and he’s always been a really nice guy,” Hufnagel said. “He’s in the local drumline at St. Johns. He plays bass and he’s always a lot of fun to play with and be around. He’s just a junior in high school, just living his life.”