Music has always played an important part in the life of Arizona native Daisy Mallory. She began writing songs and playing the guitar at age twelve. Now, almost a decade later, that talent is starting to receive some attention – and it makes for a most unlikely story.
Mallory was recently hand-picked by CMA Award winning duo Thompson Square for the "Voices Worth Hearing" campaign, a partnership with Luden's that is designed to focus the spotlight on new and talented artists. Mallory tells Billboard it has completely been a blur.
"It has been absolutely crazy," she admits. "The whole thing was a complete shock to me. I've been telling my friends and family that it's like winning a sweepstakes that I didn't enter. It kind of came out of nowhere, but I'm extremely humbled and grateful for it."
She had uploaded a video of herself performing the duo's "If I Didn't Have You" a couple of years ago – even Tweeting the duo a link to the performance, but had no idea what was going to happen next.
"I was actually contacted by a film crew / production company out of New York. They contacted me through Facebook, and at first I didn't respond. I thought it was a scam. They didn't tell me that Thompson Square was involved. They said they were coming to Nashville to shoot a documentary on artists and how they use social media for their fans. They emailed me, and I did a phone interview with them, and they ended up coming to Nashville. That's when I got the big surprise of Thompson Square walking into the room. I didn't see it coming at all."
What makes the story even more extraordinary is the fact that Mallory hasn't posted that many videos on YouTube. "I had only put up about a dozen songs – actually not that many, and they were spread out over a couple of years." She said the song, a chart-topper on the Billboard Country Airplay chart from 2012, spoke to her. "I loved the song and the meaning. I just posted the video and sent it to my family. They were in Arizona selling our home, and I was in Tennessee. I didn't expect it to get many views, I just wanted to put it on the Internet, and then Thompson Square and Luden's found it, so it's just crazy how things work out."
|Daisy's Version + the Original|
She says that she is very grateful for the opportunity that Luden's has afforded her to develop a relationship with one of country's most dynamic young talents. "It has been a great opportunity. So many of my friends in the business have heard about it. I got that chance I've been looking for. This business is so tough. Sometimes, it feels like you're on a treadmill, and you're working so hard – but you're not getting anywhere. Things like this don't happen everyday. I'm just so grateful for it, and it's the boost that I need. They've reassured me my voice is worth hearing."
That's a sentiment that Thompson Square's Kiefer and Shawna Thompson readily agree with. "She really blew us away," he stated to Billboard. "Shawna was actually the first one to see and hear her on YouTube. She just had something we both really liked, and we felt we could get involved with."
After covering other people's songs in clubs for years, going online in search of a performance of a Thompson Square hit was a unique feeling, admits Shawna. "Going on YouTube and seeing people sing our songs was really crazy. To me, that's like the ultimate compliment that they like our songs well enough to sit down and take the time to make a video of something that we wrote."
Keifer said that working with Luden's on the initiative has been exciting. "It's a really cool opportunity. I think in this day and age, with social media and everything else, you have to take advantage of every single opportunity for exposure. What a great way for Luden's to give back and give some artists hope for a chance to be heard. They're very focused, and have been nothing but great to us and Daisy."
And, if you've ever sent a tweet to an artist, take heart: They do sometimes actually see them, as Shawna says. "A year and a half ago, Daisy had actually tweeted us to watch her video on YouTube. We watched it, and I sent her a tweet back, and said 'great job. Thanks for picking our song.' That's when Luden's approached us, and we started searching YouTube for people doing our song. We chose her video not remembering that she had tweeted us earlier, so I really believe it was fate that we hooked up again!"