Catching Up with Davis Mallory (The 2019 Edition)

Davis Mallory returns to Jake’s Take in this edition of “Catching Up.” (Photo property of Avery Cefre)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

It is a pleasure to welcome back DJ, singer, and songwriter Davis Mallory to Jake’s Take.

Since the last time he visited Jake’s Take, Davis released several new singles including “Sun & Moon,” “Pitter Patter,” and “Box It Up.”  In addition, Davis recorded numerous collaborations with DJs from Mars (“Dance 2 The Beat”), Luma (“Let Me Go in Peace”), and Paulo Ventura (“The Way That I See You”). Also, he has performed across the world at numerous events such as Denver’s Pepsi Center to various pride events.

I had the opportunity to catch up with Davis when he performed at the Bowery Electric in New York City.  Before he took the stage, Davis talked to me about several of his new tracks, dream collaborations, and a possible break from the music industry.

Jacob Elyachar: How have you grown as a performer since the last time we spoke in July 2017?

Davis Mallory: Since the last time we spoke, I have performed at multiple Pride events around the country and the world. I performed in across Europe including Europride, the continent’s biggest Pride Festival and traveled to Israel. I ended 2018 at the Denver Nuggets as the half time show performer.

Jacob Elyachar: Earlier this year, you teamed up with Alex Pizzuti and Adalwolf to revisit Eiffel 65’s legendary EDM track: “Blue.” Can you share with my readers how this collaboration came about?

Davis Mallory: Earlier this year, Alex and I were working on an original song. He asked me after if I would sing “Blue.” He wanted to remake the Eiffel 65 classic, and I said: “Yes.” I never thought in my whole career I would sing that song, but he did a new version of it, and I am happy that exists now.

Davis Mallory teamed up with Backclash for his new single: “Grown Up.” (Music video property of Davis Mallory)

acob Elyachar: On June 7, you dropped a collaboration with Backclash: “Grown Up.” What is “Grown Up’s” origin story?

Davis Mallory: “Grown Up’s” origin story started when Buzzfeed Magazine ranked me as one of sixteen men from The Real World, who had a glow-up, and when I first wrote “Grown Up,” it was called “Glow Up.” Through time, we just changed the title. I wrote it with two New York songwriters, Selda Sahin, and Derek Gregor, who were in Nashville for a songwriting trip. The three of us wanted to write a song to sing at pride events that had to do with the struggle of being a gay person. A lot of people are told that being gay is a sin by their family or friends. They struggled with that judgment throughout their lives. Part of the song’s story involves coming out and overcoming that issue. The other part is just my journey. I was on The Real World, and that story for me was a story of coming out in a Christian home and as a child of divorce. I worked on myself throughout my life to heal from the divorce, but I was so disconnected from my family that I felt like they were not even around to see the change. The chorus says everyone else has said that I have grown-up, but you are not here to see it.

Jacob Elyachar: It’s a great song. Speaking of The Real World, a lot of the show’s alumni have competed on a certain show called The Challenge, which found new popularity with Final Reckoning and War of the Worlds. Did you ever compete on The Challenge? If you did, would you want to return to the show? Why or why not?

Davis Mallory: I did. Right after The Real World, I did three seasons of The Challenge. I did Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Inferno 3, Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Duel II, and The Challenge: Rivals, and I made a personal goal not to do anymore because I really wanted to focus on other creative pursuits and not to be labeled as a Real World or Challenge alumni forever.

Jacob Elyachar: Like Johnny Bananas and Wes Bergmann, who are fixtures on The Challenge.

Davis Mallory: Exactly. I would not say “No” to doing one, but I just do not want to keep doing them constantly.

Jacob Elyachar: Just to clarify both Johnny Bananas and Wes have gone on to great careers because of The Challenge. We are not bashing them!

Davis Mallory: Not at all.

Jacob Elyachar: Let’s talk about another original track: “Shirtless.” What is the story behind this song?

Davis Mallory: I wrote “Shirtless” in Stockholm, Sweden last summer. I was singing at Europride, which was in Sweden that year. I opened for Netta, who won the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. Then, I stayed in Sweden for an additional week to write. I wrote five songs, including “Shirtless.” I worked with several women in Nashville that do radio promotion, and they asked me: “What posts do the best on your Instagram?” and I told them that shirtless photos of myself get the best reaction. They told me: “Davis, you should write a song about being shirtless.” However, the song is not about me (points to himself) though. It is a story about seeing other men shirtless and being nervous. It talks about me being in high school and seeing those buff guys and feeling insecure. Even as an adult, whenever you see that sexy guy shirtless, you get nervous. That’s the message.

Jacob Elyachar: What have been some of the professional challenges that you faced in your career since your last visit? How did you overcome those obstacles? 

Davis Mallory: I have been going at this career since 2013, so we are bordering on six years now. I had found when I sought out to be a musician; I wanted to write music that impacted other people. I wrote essential songs: “Not That Far Away,” “Lost,” “Love Overcomes,” and “Somebody’s Watching.” These songs are sort of like my messages about God and spirituality. People will contact me and say that they resonate with these songs. But I also feel like I want to do more than just music. I am feeling at this point in my life of me; I want to do something more impactful than just music to help other people. But I’m also feeling a little bit of a burn out just doing it for so long and maybe feeling like after this year I might take a little bit of a break.

Jacob Elyachar: Not a lot of artists have the ability like Adam Lambert, Adele, Beyonce, and Taylor Swift to take a break for several years and release new music without fearing any repercussions to their careers. Are you worried about that?

Davis Mallory: I have written so much music, and so much of my music is not released. We are talking hundreds of songs are not published. It is quality music, so I feel like, throughout my whole career, they will keep coming out. A lot of them are going to be coming with DJs, some of them I will self-release. It is just a matter of I have built it, and now it is just how to manage to release it successfully through time, cause you have to make music videos and a lot of money goes behind every single song. It is just I am not writing as much as I used to; I still write about two songs a week in Nashville.

Jacob Elyachar: Who are your dream collaborators (singers, songwriters, and producers) that you want to work with in the future?

Davis Mallory: I would love to do something with female electro-pop artists such as Robyn, Britney Spears, and Ellie Goulding. I would also love to collaborate with country music artists such as Kacey Musgraves and Maren Morris. From a DJ perspective, I would like to be a featured vocalist on both Calvin Harris and Disclosure’s tracks.

Jacob Elyachar: If you had the opportunities to meet with young performers that want to get into the music industry, what advice would share with them?

Davis Mallory: I am working with an artist right now in Nashville that I am mentoring. She is a black country singer named Unique. One of the things I am encouraging her to do is to take part in a lot of songwriting sessions with other people to learn from others. Also, working on your branding, by getting professional photos taken, developing who you are. That is something that has been even told to me a lot is to work on who I am and my visual image. They also need to know that this career as an artist it is not a sprint; it is a lifetime. Don’t expect things to happen overnight, sometimes it happens for people but a lot of people it doesn’t. You keep releasing and growing and building your fan base, and  focus on the fans and not just the music industry. Find your fans.

For more information about Davis Mallory, visit his website!

You can also connect with Davis on his social media channels. Visit his Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube channels.

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Copyright 2019 Jacob Elyachar