Get to know Logan Manning- the Singer, Songwriter, Guitarist and More

By: Madelyn Walthall

Logan Manning, a fourth-year sociology major, is no stranger to the spotlight. Between going on tours across the world with Point Loma Nazarene University’s concert choir to performing with singer and third-year commercial music major Noel Tsoukalas, he’s had his fair share of stage time. But there is more to him than meets the eye.

The Point chatted with Manning about his musical experience and life as a soon-to-be college graduate. 

The Point: What’s your earliest memory of being drawn to music?

Logan Manning: When I was little, I would walk around with a toy drum, and I had a guitar strap that my dad had. So I’d walk around and play with that. But yeah, I always loved the drums when I was a baby. I would play on the pots and pans and stuff. 

TP: When did you learn to play the guitar?

LM: I first learned how to play guitar halfway through my sophomore year of high school. I learned it kind of late.

TP: What does being Noel Tsoukalas’ guitarist entail? Do you record with her? Do you enjoy performing?

LM: We’ll write songs together, and then sometimes she’ll bring songs that she’s written and I’ll help her produce a demo of it. Like, “Middle of May,” I helped produce the demo, and then “Hobby” as a part of the writing process for that in LA, and some of our other songs that haven’t released yet. 

TP: Alongside Tsoukalas, what have been some performance highlights?

LM: We played the Ventura Music Hall festival. I got to play a couple of gigs in LA on Hollywood Boulevard. I got to play the Brandy Melville Instagram video shoot with her. Yeah, just a lot of gigs. We usually usually play like, maybe one every other week, sometimes every week. 

TP: Something that people might not know about you is that you released music a few years back. What was that process like?

LM: So I was taking vocal lessons with this guy named Tim Carson, and he has coached a lot of really good people who went on to sing on The Voice. But at a show, I was playing by myself that he kind of pushed me or encouraged me to do, there was another person who had previously done vocal lessons with Tim Carson. He was a producer in Seattle, and he offered to teach me how to produce music and record my song “California.” 

And so eventually, I recorded that little EP [Weightless] in my bedroom, and I finished it in the summer of 2020. I didn’t really know if I wanted to release it. I released a few songs, but I just didn’t really know if I wanted to put out the whole thing. I decided to put it out. That was December of 2020. 

TP: Do you have plans on releasing any new music?

LM: I release a couple of songs every now and then. But I honestly ended up deleting it a lot of times. I haven’t put out music in actually, it’s now two years. But I still write and record music, maybe just not as frequently but I don’t know if I’d ever release music again. I kind of like having that for myself, I don’t know, it takes away a lot of the pressure of writing to make it good for other people versus just writing a song as if I’m the only person to ever hear that song. There’s less pressure to make it really good and it’s more like a journal for me.

TP: Outside of music, you also have a unique internship. Can you tell us what this position is and how you got this job?

LM: Yeah. So I am a student intern for the US Attorney’s Office, which is the federal prosecutor’s office for the Department of Justice. And I work for the US Attorney, which is a presidentially-appointed person who’s essentially the head of law enforcement – executive for San Diego County and Imperial County. And I got the position through a professor who had encouraged me to try and get an internship with the Department of Justice. And I applied on their website, and he wrote me a really good letter of recommendation. And yeah, honestly, I think I got really lucky because the guy I interviewed with sang in choir and I talked about singing in choir. The program’s kind of cool, they give you a mentor, and he ended up being my mentor, through my internship. 

TP: What has been your biggest takeaway from this internship?

LM: I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is a lot of people have a negative connotation with people who commit crimes or go to jail. And I feel like from observing trials or interacting with those people at work, I think the biggest takeaway I’ve learned is that people who enter the criminal justice system, it’s usually because someone in their life has failed them previously. But yeah, I think, I guess just in simple terms, that I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned is just everyone’s human and be kind to everyone, regardless of the label society puts on them or the, you know, circumstances they might find their life in.

TP: Do you see yourself working within the government after graduation?

LM: Yeah, actually, as of today, I got offered a job as a community outreach specialist. So that’s awesome. I’ll run all their community outreach programs, and the focus largely is on youth and youth gang prevention, preventing youth trafficking. And yeah, just trying to build a better relationship between youth and law enforcement.

TP: What is one thing you hope to do for yourself after you graduate? 

LM: Actually, I think it ties to music. I want to do a lot more music.  I think while I’ve been in college, I’ve done a lot of writing and recording for other people. And while I still do like, every once and a while, I really want to after I graduate, and just, I don’t know, don’t have to come home and do homework. I definitely want to restart my habit of music being something I do every day. Like writing and recording. And I’d like to record another album of my own songs. I don’t know if I’d ever release it. But just to have another one. I think it’d be really cool.