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.