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Logic1000’s Debut Album 'Mother' Is a Time Capsule of Her Motherhood Journey

photography CLARYN CHONG
19 March 2024
There's a certain anonymity behind a DJ's artistic alias, carefully curated appearances and timid publicity sprees. Samantha Poulter, the producer behind DJ Logic1000, is a Sydney-born artist whose ascent to international stardom is only possible with a certain intuition—someone who is aware of who they are and what they excel at.
Poulter has had a transformative past few years. Perhaps the most prolific milestone was the birth of her first child, Genie. This new title of ‘mother’ is manifested in her newest full-length project, fittingly titled Mother. The verve of feminine energy on the album feels emblematic of her greater motherhood journey, or rather personal evolution, which brought upon an “overwhelming feminine kind of energy.”
Singles like the irresistibly melodic 'Self To Blame' featuring Kayla Blackmon and the faster-paced 'Grown On Me' groove came before the twelve-track project. These singles teased that Mother would lean into Poulter’s signature pop sensibility: nineties-inspired dance anthems and catchy hooks that transport you to the dance floor.
The project proves Poulter is fine-tuning her inventive, multi-genre approach. The album opener, ‘From Within’, nods to UK bass, while house track ‘Promises’ features soulful Rochelle Jordan vocals, and ‘Every Lil’ explores Latin-fusion with a little help from Venezuelan singer/producer MJ Nebrada.
What makes Poulter’s sound stick (or rather stand out) is its undeniable personality: beyond layers of sampled hooks and upbeat grooves is an emotive warmth and allure—house music that speaks to the soul.
Based in the Sydney suburbs of Yarrawarrah and Botany Bay, Poulter’s musical journey started in her room when she would upload tracks to SoundCloud under the alias DJ Logic. A late bloomer to the scene, Poulter debuted in 2018 with her self-titled EP, packed with tracks that cleverly merged techno, IDM and garage. Poulter first collaborated with her long-time creative partner and now husband, Thom McAlister, on the 2020 stand-out track ‘Perfume’, which augments a soulful nineties vocal sample, paving the way for their sound as a collaborative duo. By the time ‘In The Sweetness Of You’ was released in 2021, Poulter and McAlister had relocated to Berlin, where they’re still based, working and raising their daughter.
In anticipation of Mother's release, Amalia Stramotas sat down with Poulter to discuss the album's creative roots, her philosophy of carving artistic authenticity, fitting the ‘niche’ of the Berlin scene and the beauty of giving birth.

Amalia Stramatos: It's a pleasure to talk to you today! How’ve you been finding the Sydney weather?

Samantha Poulter: I think last Thursday was the most humid day ever recorded in Sydney. It's been hot, but it's such a relief to be in warm weather. It was like minus 10 in Berlin...

Well, firstly, congrats on the album—I've had a good listen—after a lead up of solid single launches, it did not disappoint!

SP: Oh thank you!

AS: This is your newest full-length project since 2022; there's a lot of pressure that comes with dropping a full body of work. How did you tackle any expectations?

SP: I think by being really present and not overthinking things. That's even part of my creative process with Thom; we try not to overthink too much and just be really intuitive with the music we make. I think that kind of transferred into the expectations of the album. I mean, there is definitely more pressure when you're releasing a full-length thing, but I ultimately just treated it like every other release, and we'll see how it goes [laughs].

AS: Where did your inspiration start for this album, creative or not?

SP: I think when I became pregnant and gave birth to Genie, I created something enormous and just so profound. I was like, ‘Damn, maybe I could do this again’. Not to say [music] is as profound of a thing, but I wanted to create something new and unique to me, and I think it came from becoming a mother, creating life, and then subsequently creating a body of work.

AS: A lot of the themes in this project seem aligned with the revival and re-blossoming of motherhood. Would you call your project a concept album?

SP: I mean, maybe. When we were writing it, it wasn't a concept album, but retrospectively, I guess it could be seen as that, given the context in which it was written and the amount of transformation and change I went through while writing it. It's more secondary to the actual music, but [that thinking] could be applied.

 AS: Of course. I’m also curious how you conceptualised your album cover art for Mother.

SP: We worked really closely with this art director, but Thom and I knew we wanted to work with Ruby Barber, who is an amazing floral kind of artist. I'm just trying to think back to when we actually came up with the idea. It was very much a conversation between us and the art director, and we were just bouncing ideas off each other and basically I was like, ‘I want to work with Ruby on this'—it just kind of came organically from that.

AS: For the most part, this is a female-led project; was that your intention?

SP: I really felt since giving birth this ‘overwhelming feminine’ kind of energy within myself. When I was in my twenties, I was very much a boy kind of girl, but in my thirties, I've really kind of shifted a lot. I see so much strength in women in this struggle that we go through. I really wanted to champion and collaborate with people with whom I align and share this feminine energy. It just felt right.

AS: Your album has an array of features from both emerging and established artists. How do you choose your collaborators when working on a project?

SP: We've got this group chat with the label, so we have a lot of back and forth about ideas of who we want to collaborate with. We've got a stockpile of artists. Every single artist like Rochelle Jordan, and even people who I've worked with in the past like Una Pinku, they're so impressive—they're really good at what they do [laughs]. It just makes our job so much easier, and it's so fun to collaborate with them, even if we're not in the studio with them. Getting their feedback, hearing their A Capella for the first time and picking out pieces that we want to use is such an exciting process.

AS: I first came across your work when I listened to your remix of Christine and the Queens ‘La Vida Nova’.

SP: Oh yeah!

AS: I truly think he’s one of the most ineffably remarkable yet underrated artists working right now. What was it like to get to work together?

SP: I hadn't really heard of his music before, and once we were asked to do the remix, I listened to his catalogue and was like, Oh my god—insanely good. I'm like a massive fan now. Also, our collaboration was pre (Chris’) transition, so it's quite interesting to see how the project has changed and grown. It's just been such an amazing honour to have done that in our catalogue.

AS: Could you name a dream collaboration that you'd hope to work on in a future project?

SP: Oh, yes. I would say Summer Walker.

AS: Good pick!  I can imagine that. Her nineties soul influence feels infused in your own work, especially the hooks of your songs. It's like your forte, really.

SP: [Laughs] Well, hopefully it happens! But I don't know, that's dreaming big. I like to dream big.

AS: How were you first introduced to that nineties R&B sound? Do you remember?

SP: It was just the music I was exposed to at the time. I was a teenager and that's what people were playing at underage nightclubs and on the radio. I was very lucky to have grown up during that period when R&B was just everywhere.

AS: You and your partner have now built a base in Berlin, where you’ve been raising a family. Before that, you were living in London. How does the Berlin music scene compare to other parts of the world?

SP: I actually don't think I have that much of a following in Berlin. I think it’s quite niche; it's very fast techno. Maybe I'm stereotyping but I feel like my sound doesn't really fit there. Somewhere like London has everything, and I think cities in Australia are similar to London in that way. It's a bit more open-minded.

AS: Well, now you've touched back down in Australia after a break to play a string of festivals over the summer. Do you have a favourite state to play in Australia?

SP: Because my hometown is Sydney, I would have to say here. All my friends are here and you know, they come along and it just changes the vibe and energy.  Also, the crowds here are really fun. Melbourne, Naarm, is quite a fun place to play. I'm really excited for the Boiler Room performance; I think it's going to be super fun. Wait, no, now I feel like most cities in Australia are fun [laughs]. Australians are a good crowd; they are very responsive.

AS: Well, they love you here! Do you have an ideal gig? Intimacy over larger atmospheres like festivals?

SP: I think I prefer festivals. I get really in my head when I'm in a small club, but at a festival, I feel a bit more removed. I know that's kind of weird because, at the same time, you really feel the crowd, but on the other hand, there is this distance, like physical distance. You're doing your own thing, and I like that.

AS: I read somewhere that you were studying something else before you pivoted into music.

SP: I mean, I studied a few things, all along the lines of psychology. When I first left school, I studied psychology and then went on and off with that. I think the last thing I studied was psychological science at UNSW, which is basically psychology; you can end up being a psychologist doing that. But I didn't finish. That doesn't matter.

AS: Do you have advice for those undertaking tertiary study who fear they won’t break through as musicians? Or even those who find the formal ‘musical education’ route isn’t for them?

SP: I think it's so different for everyone. The way people make music is so individual. It's hard to give blanket advice because I think the most important thing is really thinking about your values. Do you value formal education? Do you value using your intuition? Do you value learning on your own? Hone in on what you value, and then make decisions from there. Live a life that is in line with those values.

SP: For a long time, I thought I valued education; that's why I was so stuck on going back to university to finish my degree. But then I realised that I was just doing that because society was telling me to; my family was telling me to and, you know, it's just the normal thing to do. But as soon as I let go of that and was like, ‘I love music; I want to make stuff that I want to hear’ and just got in the studio, that felt a lot more authentic and in line with what I really wanted to do with my time. Instead of forcing myself to read these peer-reviewed articles [Laughs]. It wasn't authentic. That's my advice. I don't know if that makes any sense.

AS: That's wise advice. You said you were focusing on 'making the stuff that (you would) want to hear’. It makes so much sense, right?

SP: I think often artists get in their heads about what their audience and fans expect of them instead of just listening to what they want to hear. And I think it's the same for DJs as well! I don't play stuff that people want to hear; I play what I want to hear. If people don't like it, that doesn't matter. You're being an authentic artist, so eventually you can make it work. You have to be like, ‘take it or leave it.That's when success comes to people.

AS: Well said. You’re not only shining in the industry as a female producer, but you’re juggling this rising fame with first-time parenthood; these are both topics you discuss on a podcast you launched with DJ Halina. How did this podcast come about?

SP: I think it came about because I was looking for something like it when I was pregnant and couldn't find it. Halina and I wanted to create a resource for up-and-coming DJs and producers, as well as others in the industry like writers, agents and managers, to give them hope and also a realistic view of what it's like to be a parent in the music industry. I don't know any parent that we've spoken to so far who was like, ‘I wish I didn't do it’. It's a really rewarding thing to do, and it's one of life's greatest gifts. At the same time, it's about giving people realistic expectations of the day-to-day (of parenthood), how hard it can be, and normalising it as well.

AS: I have to ask: Your children will one day get to say they were raised by two globally successful DJ’s. Have you thought about that?

SP: I actually don't know if I've thought about it, but I definitely think about Genie’s interests and how they're going to be shaped by us. I'm very conscious of not putting pressure on them to be musicians or have the same interests or tastes as us. Back on this authenticity thing, I want Genie to be her authentic self and really nurture what comes out in childhood and help her nurture that going into adulthood and see what comes of it.

AS: What have you been getting up to with Genie and your partner in Sydney?

SP: We've been going to the beach a lot because we're staying in Clovelly. We were in the Blue Mountains for some weeks with family, just spending time with people we love and absorbing the weather. Also absorbing the differences in culture as well. Australians are so lovely. I almost had culture shock coming here and I was brought up here!

AS: Any plans to celebrate the album release?

SP: Oooh, I think I’m going to do some in-store events in London at record stores. I really want to take Genie and Tom to Minorca. Have you heard of it?

AS: I have!

SP: I hadn't heard of it until I moved overseas. There's this particular hotel I want to stay at, so maybe I can treat myself and spend a week there to chill, eat well and sleep [laughs].

Mother is released on all platforms on March 22nd.

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SEE ISSUE #06 HERE. The theme for this issue, Revelations, delves into the unfiltered aspects of life. It’s an appreciation and exploration of raw beauty, where authenticity reigns supreme; the unconventional is not just accepted but celebrated. In a world of manufactured perfection, this issue chooses to validate our quirks and idiosyncrasies. After all, they are what make us inimitable.

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