Music Tea w/Davis Mallory

If there’s one day we all dread…it’s certainly the Monday after Pride

The glitter has been swept up, the fabulous drag queens have taken their faces off and all of those fierce new friends you met yesterday have now gone back to their respective routines from all over the ti-state are leaving you to feel all sorts of “ugh” and searching for that one last unicorn. 

But if there’s one thing we should all remember, it’s that there’s never, ever a bad time to feel the love and keep the Pride tea spilling. In fact, we’re all going to head down south to Nashville to break some mugs with former Real World Denver house mate and rising out-and-proud singer/songwriter, Mr. Davis Mallory, where he stopped by to spill about his visual live shows, his fiery new single, “Loud, ” Katy Perry and what “Pride” means to him. 

Break a mug with Mallory below to add a little sparkle into your post-Pride Monday…you’ll be glad you did. 


Kicking off our spill, you just made your live show debut last week in Nashville. First off, congratulations and second, tell your Philly fans what they can expect from you as far as any upcoming shows on the horizon… I’m trying to make my show very visual. I used to work for Kraftwerk, their record label, Astrowerks, and I went to one of their shows and they had these really cool video elements as they DJ’ed. So, I’m kind of embodying not what I learned from those artists necessarily cause my show’s different, but having seen some really cool shows, I want my shows to have a really great visual aspect. But, the biggest stresser for me was just figuring out what software to run everything through and hiring people to actually create stuff that I thought was cool was tough, too because this is my first concert. So, I’m just trying to find people who have visual [ideas] that I can put into my show. I’m actually taking responsibility and making a bunch of [the software] myself. 

I’m no computer nerd, but that certainly seems stressful. So, what do you do to take the edge off when it gets a little rough? I love singing, which is kind of the reason I got into this industry, so I’ll sing or write music in my down time. Music in general has always been a peaceful thing for me. And then exercise. I run a lot in Nashville and go to the gym. Those are definitely two things I do when I just want to take my mind off of the tough stuff. It’s just a way to find something out there that’s outside of myself. 

Okay, let’s spill about your new single, “Loud.” The vibe is hot and those indie pop vibes are killer. How did it all come together? I wrote it with a guy named Mitchell Rose who’s a pop vocalist and songwriter in Nashville. He’s a little bit like Charlie Puth in some ways and we’ve written two songs before “Loud.” I just started working with a publicist out of New York who targets gay audiences and works with RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants and I was sending him a lot of my demos to figure out which one would be the next one to promote and he told me, ‘I feel like you should write something kind of sexy.’ So, I went in to that co-write having that in the back of my mind. [Actually] Zayn Malik’s “Pillow Talk” was really popular at the time and I remember the song has [the lyric] “fuck” in it, so when we were writing “Loud” we included “fuck” in [the lyrics] and we were deciding if we should change it to something clean…we were like if Zayn can get away with it on Top 40 then there’s probably no reason to change it, so we kept it. The song is basically about me [having a crush] on a co-writer–not the one I wrote the song with–one of my other writers, which became the reason I wrote the song. It was written by a straight man from his own perspective about girls he thinks are sexy and it’s basically a pick up song–you’re singing it to someone you find attractive. And as far as recording it, we started it out in August of last summer, and then a producer in Miami heard it and asked me for the SIM and he started making a really hyper upbeat version, but he lowered my voice almost beyond recognition. And then it got signed to Armada music and it was my first song to ever be signed to a record label. I made the music video in December of last year. 

There’s a piece on Philly Mixtape that just got released where I asked a fine selection out & proud entertainers in Philly what ‘Pride’ means to them, and with our Pride also being this past weekend, I want to ask you as well…. For me, even as an artist, I’ve been trying to put visuals of same sex relationships into my music videos and I just think Pride is about visibility and not being hidden. I hate to throw my Mom under the bus and it’s not what this is about, but my Mom’s always like, ‘Gay is not your only quality so why do you seem to have everything gay branded about yourself?’ It’s not my mantra and it’s not what I’m trying to do, but I think being proud is identyfying with being gay and not hiding that. It’s about having Pride in who you are and not being embarrassed or ashamed and not wanting it to change…you’re happy with it. And so I try to be vocal and visible about that and not hide. 

Shout out a few albums you absolutely cannot live without…. Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is one of my first early favorite records just because I loved all of the commentary. Of course, I loved every single song. I just remember as a child loving that record and all of the B-sides that were on the end of it. At the same time, there was a guy named Kirk Franklin who’s album [The Community] was really big to me as a kid, too. I just loved how he featured all of these diffeeent artists on it and made a true community out of his albums. As far as new music, I’m also a big John Bellion fan, I just love how he self produces and his music is just so interesting. 

Let’s spill about summer music…Katy Perry…love it or hate it? I actually really like it…and it’s weird because I thought everyone liked it. I also DJ and anytime I play some of [her new music] it all goes over very well. But I have heard people hate on it and I heard her label wasn’t really keen on what she was submitting but she pushed it forward herself. I think that it’s cool music, I love the beats. I’m a fan of deep house in general…it just makes your body move. 

One last spill, what would you say to any performer out there who decided right this second to dive into this bat shit crazy business? I was actually thinking about it last night. I’m in a place now where I have a lot of producers that want to work with me and will send me instrumentals to write over, and there’s not a lot of money being handed over between me or them, but I enjoy it because I love what I’m doing. It’s really about working hard and making sure your trusting yourself. And a lot of this comes from being around other people who were good at it and I learned a lot from them. I’m finally getting to a place where I’m finally feeling comfortable to write by myself, which I try to do as much as I can. But really, just find your place, if you work hard enough it can be done. 

And there you have it. For much more with Davis Mallory, check this out, and then dance, bish. 











Music Tea w/Cold Beer & Broads’ Larry Studnicky

Although his music journey is just getting started, New Jersey raised (and Princeton graduating) Cold Beer & Broads founder, songwriter and lead singer Larry Studnicky has already had one hell of a ride in the entertainment industry. While writing charismatic tracks was always in his talented nature–as proven in his group’s latest tantalizingly titled single, “Jennifer Aniston” (we’ll get to that title and so much more in just a few)–but Mr. Studnicky spent the early part of his journey as part of a super successful entertainment law firm in the early ’90s that handled music business for the likes of L.L Cool j, Mary J. Blige, and everyone’s favorite Death Row Records mogul, Mr. Suge Knight. 

In fact, Larry still holds it down as a successful attorney in NYC, but lucky for him, he’s got a great group of talented musicians who have joined him on his Cold Beer & Broads journey, including pop-rock composer John Macom, classically trained pianist and composer Charles Czarnecki and songwriter and producer Kevin Dow, whose performed not once, but twice at The White House during Mr. Obama’s past eight years. 

So, you can probably already imagine that together, these fine tuned gentlemen (they also have two stunning back up vocal divas as well) create music that is slick, polished, but most of all…it’s just a whole lot of fun to listen to. Really, isn’t that what music is supposed to be? But the main question is, just how do Mr. Studnicky and his oh, so merry band of Cold Beer & Broads mates put it all together? I recently got the chance to spill some music tea with him, where he broke mugs about that and so much more, including chatting about about his days as Suge Knight’s attorney, what he hopes for his latest venture, and just where, oh, where he got that band name from. 

For much, much more Cold Beer & Broads music truth, including where you can get lost in their headphones ready E.P., Six Pack, check out their official website right here.

Okay, first up, you just have to spill about where the name Cold Beer & Broads was derived from…It literally came from a brief effort trying to find some kind of interesting name that hadn’t already been taken. Now, this goes back to 2011, and this is arguably borderline on the stupid side, but when the three of us came together to co-write, the two of us, [John and I], he was in his ’40s and I was already in my ’50s and Charles had just barely cracked the thirty year mark. [The name] literally came from me saying to them, ‘You know, I wish we had done something like this 10, 20 years ago, but when people could still make money selling actual records in stores.’ And it came out of a thought about what we would have done with the money. So, we were all single back then, so I said we would’ve probably pissed it away on cold beer and broads! I said, ‘Let’s go with that.’ John and Charles were a little resistant, but eventually they just kind of caved and we just stuck with it. 

There’s certainly no denying that it’s an attention grabbing name…I think it’s a stronger name in some parts of the country than others. A year ago, [I was with a group] of people who were in town from Texas and we were chatting about music, and I told them I was involved in this band and one of the gals said, ‘This is a great name! You would have no issues in Texas!’ But every now and then while getting reaction from the singles we’ve put out to the Internet stations where people give you feedback, every now and then someone says something about the name. But, I like [it] and I think it lends itself to the artwork and merchandise…and maybe an eventual lifestyle brand. 

Speaking of interesting titles, your new single, “Jennifer Aniston” is certainly turning music heads because of its name. I just have to know where the inspiration came from to write a song about everyone’s favorite Friends star? When I was at the music firm in the ’90s, I had a colleague who would make a point one day a week to get home early enough to watch Friends (keep it mind this was before TIVO happened), but I wasn’t watching it at the time. And he said, ‘You gotta watch the show, it’s really well written for a comedy. The girls are hot, the guys are hysterical.’ So, I took him for his word and I started watching the show and I just thought she was fabulous. Among the three girls, I just thought she was special. I didn’t ever think about it back then that I would ever be writing a song about her, it literally came out of nowhere. I was going home from work one day and I was heading for the PATH station and I don’t know why I was thinking about Jennifer Aniston, but I was, and the first few lines of the song just started playing in my head. So, I stopped and pulled out my iPhone and fired up the recording app and sang pretty much the whole first verse with the chorus right there. Then I went home and continued to play around with it over the next few days until it became a full song.


Switching things up a bit, you’re also a very successful NYC attorney where you once represented the one-and-only, Suge Knight. I can truly only imagine what that experience was like for you. In the ’90s, I was at one of New York’s small, but meaningful entertainment law practices headed by an old-time guy who’d been the city’s top music lawyer probably since he was a kid in the mid-”50s. And we had a huge practice in urban music, and some of of our clients [in the ’90s] included L.L Cool J, Mary J. Blige. One day our firm’s senior partner said ‘I got a call from one of Suge Knight’s guys and he wants to come out and talk with us.’ Everybody was kind of apprehensive at first, and when he finally showed up at our office, he had an armed guard in the lobby of our [office] building and another armed guard in our office. There were three of us who sat with him and looked over what he wanted us to do. It wasn’t long before our senior partner sat back and said ‘This man is a real record man and I would be happy to work with him.’ So, we started representing Death Row [the label] and I spent a fair amount of time over the next few years flying [with our senior partner] flying back and forth to L.A. to negotiate various things, including the Interscope Records deal that got Death Row back in having ownership of its master recordings, which was right before Suge violated his parole and was sent back to jail. So, that’s when it started and I did actually find out over the years that if I was stuck on the other side of the velvet rope trying to get into a nightclub, I could lean in and say I’m Suge Knight’s corporate lawyer, and they would let me in, just take me for my word. 

What is one thing you’ll truly remember the most about handling Death Row and Mr.Knight? He was a good client. In the music industry, good clients have market power. They have leverage in the marketplace because they make a lot of money for somebody. Like when you have a little boy band and there’s no bidding war between the labels, you have absolutely no power in making that deal. When we took on Death Row as a client, they were grossing annually $100 million dollars for Interscope. That gives you a client who has clout, leverage and negotiation, and it completely changes the landscape of everything you’re doing for [them]. So, that was fun to have a client in the music business where you could be on the other side of a music label and you can tell them to ‘stuff it’ and that you’re not going to take their first crappy offer or deal because your client has market power and you can negotiate. As a music lawyer, Suge Knight’s as high as a profile client as you can get. 

Now, let’s get back to your music. What is the one thing that is the ingredient to keep Cold Beer & Broads along? It’s probably the writing sessions.  Everybody in the band has a full-time job of some sort, and it’s hard to get people to keep things moving, but [the recording sessions] are where all the cool things happen. I always go in with the lyrics and the melody for the song and some basic idea for the instrumentation for the song;sometimes it’s an acoustic guitar, other times it’s an electric guitar line. When a song is done, it’s so much than I could’ve ever imagined it could be because everybody brings something special first to the writing process and then onto the studio process. When you’re done recording, everything that’s happened with the song has happened already in terms of creativity. All this cool stuff that you didn’t anticipate when you wrote the first version has been contributed and it’s so much better than what you thought you we’re going to actually do. That’s why I keep working with this people, because they each had their own styles of creativity to make it all happen. 

One last sip, what do you see for the future of Cold Beer & Broads? Hard to say. We’re a one hundred percent do it yourself project. There’s no label backing us and no publisher involved, meaning that there’s only so much that can happen. Interviews like this with a publication like yours mean a lot to us because we’re an unsigned band and nobody really knows who we are. But as long as we don’t go broke doing it, we’ll just keep doing it and keep making music so each song will find its own life out there! 






Music Tea w/ Shannon Turner

Locked and absolutely loaded with a powerful voice that will tug at your heartstrings, yet lift you up to the music heavens at the same time, Ms. Shannon Turner has certainly proved that she’s owning Philly’s fast rising cabaret scene and then some. Tomorrow night, the dazzling local songstress will take her talents to the L’Etage stage for her one-of-a-kind Glitter & Garbage residency (which you can sort through all the fabulous details right here ), for a night that will be full of life, those absolutely undeniable vocals and most likely one or two David Bowie numbers since she’s a huge fan of the dearly departed music legend. 

I got the esteemed chance to spill with Shannon about her love for the late, great David Bowie, as well as how she got her cabaret start and just where, oh, where she came up with the name Glitter & Garbage from..and it’s quite a Philly-centric story.

Kicking off our music tea, spill for everyone on how you got your start in music. I went to school for musical theatre and halfway through the program, I was really unhappy and I didn’t like being told what I could or couldn’t sing. One of my teachers, who I didn’t really even like, suggested that I do cabaret style songs and shows. So, I took that to mean whatever I want to sing, whatever tells a story and is relatable. It took me going out to piano bars in NYC, doing mini few cabarets and a few musical theater productions in different cities before I was comfortable as a performer. I did my first professional show when I was 21 with The News In Revue, which were a political/musical sketch comedy group. I learned a lot from the people who I worked with in terms of how to connect and deal with an audience that maybe doesn’t care or is full of senior citizens that are falling asleep, or maybe they’re offended by what we’re up there doing. I went on to sing and perform with a troupe of burlesque dancers in NYC called The Love Show. I wouldn’t classify them as simply burlesque dancers because the choreography is so strong, intricate and beautiful. It really tells a story. I learned a lot from working with them.

Now, going back to your theater group. What kind of political and musical material would you put out? That was before DOMA was repealed, so there was musical number called “Institute.” It was about a family full of moral high ground–the daughter was pregnant and the son was gay and was”recruiting from the audience” and was also Boy Scout. They sang a song about how the institution of marriage can never be corrupted, but meanwhile the parents were getting divorced and their in denial that their son is gay, the daughter’s running off and getting pregnant behind their back. It was the juxtaposition of these two ideas that brought the show to life. Audiences loved it.

Okay, so another reason I wanted to spill with you was because I straight up got to witness your brilliance singing the dearly departed David Bowie’s “Life on Mars” at The Eric Jaffe Show a few weeks ago. Now, I know you’re a huge Bowie fan, so what was that experience like for you?  I think that when most people think about David Bowie, they probably think about ” Life on Mars.” It’s just one of those iconic songs, so I thought of it as a send off to him, you know, like we’re just sending him back to the stars where he came from. And “5 Years,” that is a song that’s extremely personal to me that I’ve been singing for years. It’s a song that has helped me through a lot of difficult transitions in my life and that number ended up being sort of saying goodbye to him, but also looking back at the moments where he has made himself present through his music. His message made itself clear that no matter what transitions happen, you’re still you and you can be you at any point in time. It was really nice to say goodbye to him that way. 

Moving on to your fabulous L’Etage residency, I just have to know–where did you come up with the name Glitter & Garbage from? The trash pick up didn’t come and I saw that there was all this glitter and confetti in our garbage that we hadn’t put there. I didn’t even know where it came from, it wasn’t a holiday, it was very strange. So, I came inside and looked at my roommate and I said-‘There’ all this glitter in the garbage.’ Then it clicked, and I thought, ‘that would actually be an excellent name for a cabaret show.’  It happened during when I was still navigating my way through the scene in Philly, so I put a pin in the name and took it from there later on when I was planning everything out. It’s part of that whole John Waters aesthetic; Filth being just as important as glamour. You’ve got to spin your shit into gold!

That is absolutely true. Sometimes you have to trudge through the garbage to find your glitter Oh, yeah, It can be easy to get bogged down in things. For me, I’m partially paralyzed in my right arm after dealing with an illness several years ago. It took me a long time to recover and I still have paralysis. First I was like, “How am I gonna navigate a mic?” “How am I going to stand?” What am i gonna do?’ I really thought, I’m not going to do any of these things because of this. But you learn to face things head on and you just have to use what you have. It was something I felt could be a barrier but it’s definitely not! You have to break down those barriers and make things happen for yourself. Truly, nothing but good comes from it.