We caught up with upcoming singer/songwriter Davis Mallory to find out more about his upcoming EP ‘LOUD’, as well as discovering who he’d love to collaborate with, his dream venue to perform at and more!
Who or what was your biggest inspiration for creating Loud, and why?
I wrote the song “Loud” with Mitchell Rose. Mitchell is a great pop writer, and we wrote “Loud” during our 3rd co-write together – over piano in his high rise condo in the gulch. We were trying to write something a little edgy for me – and Zayn’s “Pillowtalk” was my current obsession at the time. I also compare “Loud” to my version of George Michael’s “I Want Your Sex.” The song “Loud” tells the story of seeing someone who you are attracted to, and trying to convince them you could love them better, how you want to take them home and show them the kind of love you have to offer. There was a guy in my life that I had a major crush on when I wrote the song so thinking back on it I believe I know who the influence was for writing it – although he turned out to be straight unfortunately and has a girlfriend now.
In regards to the EP titled LOUD (which we are dubbing a Mix Tape since each song has a different producer and sometimes a different feel entirely) – the project was written almost entirely throughout 2016 minus one song (“Bull Frog” written in 2015). Each song is about a different aspect of my life but overall the project was influenced by my now-ex boyfriend whom I dated from 2014-2016 and was root cause for several of the songs on the project. The song “Be Without You” was written right after our final break up when he moved away from Nashville. “Distance” written with Bay Brooks is about trying making a long distance relationship work which he and I were trying to do. “Under Your Spell” I wrote after we broke up and is about new love and a culmination of all the times I have been in love in my life. “Loud” was written after our break up and about a new crush that had entered into my life. “Ocean Blue” I wrote as a top-line over an instrumental provided to me by a duo of EDM producers in Italy but they didn’t like the idea. I played it for Paulo Ventura – a Nashville-based Brazilian EDM producer who loved the lyrics and created his own version of the song along with Brazilian DJ/Producer RDR. That song is about traveling the ocean to get to someone you love – and is more so an imaginary story but I began writing it with my ex one day and sang it to him in the car when the idea came to me so I often think of that moment when I think of the idea for that song. “Not That Far Away” is a song about going to heaven – I wanted to write something Katy Perry-ish about what happens when we die and the instrumental is produced by Jon Santana who is a great pop producer and has done many of Cappa’s songs. “Anyone Would Know” I wrote about my last boyfriend when I lived in New York City – I was journaling during the relationship and we both had insecurities about us things working out between us – I wrote in the journal “anyone would know that I am with you” in regards to the love that I felt for him was so strong that people could see it on the streets around us. I actually released a different version of “Anyone Would Know” as a single in 2015 on Valentine’s Day and Swedish DJ / Producer John Dahlback heard it and took the stems and re-created it into a very cool new version that’s almost like a Chainsmokers song and I’m excited for it – it comes out April 20th 2016. There are 2 remixes of “Loud” on the mixtape one by Landis whose version was already released in January 2017 on Cedric Gervais (famous for the Lana Del Rey “Summertime Sadness remix”) record label Delecta/Armada Music. The second remix is by LA based producer BPT. BPT’s version is similar in feel to Mike Posner’s “I Took a Pill in Ibiza (Seeb Remix).” Lastly “Bull Frog” is the first song I ever wrote with Grammy winning songwriter Scot Sax. Scot was listening to Prince when we began our co-write and we wrote “Bull Frog” hoping that Prince might record it. The song is about seeing someone on the street who has a boyfriend that is a bull frog and you know you could be their prince. I lived in New York City before moving to Nashville so why we referenced the intersection of 6th Ave and Prince a street I often strolled along in NYC. In the bridge I wrote childhood nursery rhymes: “SkinnaMiranka dink do” from Sharon, Louis & Bram’s Elephant Show, “Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dumb” from Alice in Wonderland, “Fi Fi Fo Fum” from Jack and the Giant Beanstalk and “Eenie Meanie Minie Moe.”
The title is very bold and catchy, where did this arise from?
The title stems from the lyrics to the song “Loud” which go “I wanna make you feel it now – cause we’re getting loud.” The song “Loud” is my very first song ever to be signed to a record label – with Landis’ version out on Armada Music/Delecta and thus became the title of the EP overall. I love Michael Jackson and his project “Bad” was another influence for me titling mine “Loud.”
How would you describe your music style?
My music is an infusion of EDM/Dance music with mainstream pop elements and vocals that draw from my southern influences (I was raised in Georgia, but grew up listening to 90s pop music like NSYNC/Backstreet Boys/Britney Spears). I’d compare my music to the works of Ellie Goulding or Robyn with some Shawn Mendes/John Mayer influences for instance in the “Distance.”
What was your favourite stage in the process of creating Loud?
I love the art of songwriting – on average I write 3 new songs every week in Nashville – the next step though is finding that perfect producer. I am such a singer – I sing all the time – so the act of recording these songs is a favorite of mine – although I can get burned out after many hours and many takes doing vocals – but I love that step. With Music Videos I often work with a creative director (Derrick Lipschitz has been a key Director for me on many of my projects).
I am definitely hands on with my videos from casting, to location scouting, and story-boarding what I want the video to be about. I love the creative aspect of videography – I am an ongoing documentarian – if you follow me on Instagram I document my day through my stories, trying to keep it entertaining. I began movie making at a young age – I was on the team that made our high school video yearbook – and then having taken part in a reality TV show – I enjoy being both in front of and behind the camera. I do a lot of the finishing touches on the edits in my own music videos.
What is your dream venue to perform at?
I would love to be part of big music festivals like Glastonbury, Tomorrowworld the EDM festival, Bonarroo or Coachella would all be awesome!
We see you were on Real World: Denver. What was it like transitioning between reality TV and the music industry?
When I met the director of the Real World I asked him what I should do after the show was over – and he told me that he tells the same thing to all the cast members who ask him that question: “whatever it was you wanted to do before you did the Real World, go do that!” For me it was singing and working in the music industry – I grew up singing in my church choir and had dreamed of being a famous singer.
My uncle managed Amy Grant as a child so having a career like hers was my goal. Before entering onto The Real World though I graduated college and so I was looking to find a real job – Brian Graden then-CEO of Viacom set me up on a series of job interviews at MTV within their Talent Department, News and Documentaries and Music Programming. I ended up getting a job as a Music News Host for the website NewNowNext.com. I interviewed artists, reviewed live shows and promoted musicians for 2 years. I interviewed the artist Diamond Rings about his recent signing to the record label Astralwerks and wound up getting a job for the president of this label’s executive assistant position for this label just a few weeks later when a friend in New York set me up for the opening. I got the job – something i had dreamed of since I was a kid – to work at a record label! I worked at the label for over 2 years which at the time held artists like David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia, Kylie Minogue, Kraftwerk, Chemical Brothers and The Pet Shop Boys. I was interacting with a lot of artists both on the job and socially those who lived in New York – I met the artist Parson James and together we began co-writing – at this time I had only been writing songs by myself, never really with other people and it was seeing my lyrics get used in songs that validated my belief that I could be a songwriter, and I loved doing it! I had a conversation with him about redirecting my life towards an artist’s career instead of being on the business side – my dad had just moved to Nashville that year to be the director of a music venue called Rocketown, so I asked if I could move in with him and he said yes and I left my job at Astralwerks, moved to Nashville and begin songwriting towards my own debut project.
What would be your advice for someone wishing to enter the music industry?
My fellow MTV-star Diem Brown and I once gave a joint college speech together – and the message from her speech was centered around achieving your career dream. Diem said go find someone who has done what it is you want to do, ask them how they got there and follow their steps. This advice definitely guided me along my own career path as I sought out people who were doing the things I could only dream of. Another aspect to my business mantra comes from one of my very first jobs – I was a phone sales rep and I had to call over 100 people every day hoping to make at least 10 sales from these calls and it worked. It was this tactic that lead to a lot of my approaches to other areas in my life ever since. When it comes to setting up co-writes, reaching out to dream music producers collaborations, sending music to record labels, or even looking for a job, asking for write ups on my music, it can apply to anything really – putting that solid 100 calls/emails and hoping that 10% respond can definitely help move things forward in your ambitions.
Where can fans expect to see you perform this year?
I am in talks to perform at an EDM Festival that would be happening in TN this year. In the meantime I have been performing locally around Nashville – recently at The Country I sang for the first time live many of the songs on my EP. I am also in talks to perform at some LGBT prides this season. My goal is to tour this EP once it’s out.
We understand you grew up in a musical family, have you always had a passion for performing?
As a child I was actually really nervous performing – I recall a story when I was was a child and had entered a talent show at my elementary school and ended up chickening out from going on stage. I’ve gotten much more comfortable with it now though and feel like my experiences performing around Nashville the past 2 years have groomed me to being much more comfortable. I am a Leo which is associated with being an entertain, I love to make people laugh and have a fun time so I think that transcends into my stage presence – I like to tell jokes between songs and I do love to captivate an audience.
We love your collaborations! Which other artists would you like to work with?
I was actually making a list this year of artists that I would love collaborate with. You might be surprised that Miranda Lambert was high on the list. It was an entirely female list of hopeful duets: others include Ellie Goulding, Robyn, Kasey Musgraves and Maren Morris.
Did you find it difficult deciding which songs to feature on the EP? If so, how did you eventually decide?
I created a playlist of over 20 songs to narrow down for LOUD, the songs that I did not include I hope to put on a later project. I tried to pick songs with a similar sonic feel to them – they lean in happy EDM/pop direction.
What else does 2017 have in store for Davis Mallory?
I recently DJed in the Dominican Republic for the Budweiser Awards – my second year doing this – which was a great time. I DJ often in Nashville so I’ve got a full calendar doing that – I’m at The Valentine and Tin Roof almost each weekend. I am actively songwriting – this year I have written several new songs that I really love – one being with Bonnie Bishop. Bonnie and I wrote a song called “The Fear of Falling” – It is our second together, the first being one called “Love Overcomes” which we wrote 2 years ago and I am in the middle of having produced. I have been writing with Raquel Cole for a while and this year we wrote a song called “Back To You” that I feel is one of my best. I also just started working with an incredibly talented singer/songwriter named Katy Moco. We wrote 2 new songs this year that I think have a lot of potential. The first one is called “Make It Out Alive” which has this Indiana Jones storyline set to a an EDM beat and the second is called: “You Missed Your Shot” which has this Justin Timberlake meets Chris Stapleton style going to it. I’m working on my debut album to follow up from this EP so I predict many of these songs would make it onto it!
Make sure you keep up to date with Davis by following him on Twitter @DavisMallory
You can also check out his newest video for Loud here!
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