My Diem Story:
I was first introduced to Diem Brown over email in 2006 a?week after I finished my MTV debut The Real World Denver?and Diem had just finished filming her debut Fresh Meat. My mother’s childhood best friend Kim Hartwick’s daughter Carly Hartwick was in Diem’s sorority at FSU?and remained one of Diem’s close friends through her?exuberant?career as a host?interviewing?the?likes of Oprah, Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Zac?Efron and countless others.
When Diem and I first conversed over email I was leaving in less than a month for my very first Challenge The Inferno 3 in South Africa. Diem coached me over email to prep for the show.?I had a million questions for her about Challenge Life, not having done one before, and she was full of guidance and stories for me. Her wisest advice was to make sure I didn’t say anything too cocky during my interviews because MTV just loves to include an excerpt of you saying you’re the best – right after you look your worst. For those who saw the show I was gloriously punched in?the eye by Diem’s longtime love C.T. No hard feelings though, he later?apologized.
I first met Diem in person in the winter of 2007 when we were booked together on a speech in Long Island. My speech was about my story of coming out in 1995 to my very?Christian Southern Baptist family and my years of ex-gay therapy?and finally coming out to my peers in 2005 (a decade in the closet). Diem spoke about achieving your dreams. Her dream was to be Katie Couric, who later spoke at Diem’s funeral.?Diem advised the?crowd that ?if you have a dream for your life, go find someone who has accomplished that dream, find out how they got there, and go do it yourself! She definitely inspired me to go after my dreams. I dreamed of being of Amy Grant, an artist my uncle?managed throughout 2 decades of her career.That night after our speech Diem and I took a train into NYC from Long Island and went out dancing at Marquee. We were introduced to the actor Chase Crawford that evening by my friend and artist manager Eric Podwall (JC Chasez, Brody Jenner). At the time Diem and I had no clue who he was as Gossip Girl had yet to air. The three of us were sitting together and I remember when the music hit hard, Diem got up and started dancing, flipping that gorgeous hair of hers. I was surprised by her moves. She was so fun and so carefree. A cheerleader at heart.
In 2008 we co-starred on MTV’s Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Dual II in New Zealand. I was thrilled to have Diem there and found her to be such pleasant company amidst a chaotic show. That was the last time I saw Diem.
When I found out on Friday, November 14th that Diem lost her battle to cancer, I was numb, I don’t think I felt anything really. I never expected that to happen. She had recovered so many times, so I assumed this was going to be just?like the others. The second day after passing was the hardest. I began to feel a pain and a loss, a sadness unbeknownst to myself, a sadness that this world has lost one of the most friendly, fun, beautiful, loving people I had personally ever met. I tell people if she was in the room she’d be lighting it up.
I told my mom on Nov 22nd that I wanted to write a song with the lyrics “Beautiful Girls Aren’t Supposed to Die Young” inspired by Diem, and on Monday Dec 1st?I had lined up a team of songwriters (the aforementioned Ben Goldsmith & Tori Tullier) at Nashville’s BMG writing studios to get to work.
I shared with my cowriters my stories and memories of Diem and we built the song?”Beautiful Girls (Diem’s Song), produced by Belmont student & Mixing Engineer Jared Conrad, and Kenny Chesney’s bass guitarist/producer Jordan Hester.
I next took the time to find highlights from Diem’s life and career that synced with the lyrics to make a tribute video. The songwriters and I?decided to dedicate a portion of the proceeds to Diem’s charity MedGift (a crowdfunding site setup to raise money for people with critical illness). We began a partnership with the organization, now spearheaded by Diem’s sister Megan Brown and co-founder Mark Edelstein.
At present moment the?Radio Edit?and?Video Version?of “Beautiful Girls (Diem’s Song)” are for sale on CD Baby and Loudr respectively. The track will be on iTunes, Spotify, Pandora and Google Play soon after.
I grew up in Marietta, GA singing in an the cappella group Ensemble?at my church Johnson Ferry Baptist Church. One of my co-singers is Dove Award-winning artist Kristian Stanfill. My uncle Chaz Corzine has been the long time manager of artists?Amy Grant, The Civil War’s Joy Williams and Christian recording artists Michael W. Smith, Point of Grace, Bebo Norman. Chaz?is also accredited with?discovering?Jordin Sparks and encouraging her to go on American Idol. My uncle John Mallory is a songwriter who has penned tracks for Sixpence None the Richer and Wynona Judd. My uncle Lindsey Jamieson is the former drummer of Ben Folds Five and host of the YouTube series Find the Beauty?and my father Jim Mallory is the director of the Nashville music venue Rocketown.
My main reasons for going on The Real World was that I longed to be part of and on the influential music network MTV.?Jim Johnston, the producer of The Real World: Denver and I had a conversation?after the show wrapped, and I asked him “What should aim for now that the show is over?” ?His response: “Whatever it was you wanted to do before.” Sage advice.
After the Real World, I appeared on subsequent MTV shows The Inferno III, Duel II and Rivals, but in between shows I continued to pursue my love of music.?I became a host/music?correspondent?for LOGO’s NewNowNext.com from 2009-2011 interviewing Janelle Monae, Ellie Goulding, NERVO, Diamond Rings, Graffiti Six and recapping music news, reviewing shows/festivals and promoting up-and-coming artists.
I spent 2011 – 2013 working at EMI/UMG’s Astralwerks Records as the Marketing Coordinator/”Right Hand Man” to Glenn Mendlinger -?Rolling Stone Magazine’s Top 50 Most Important People in EDM,?actioning the marketing campaigns for artists Swedish House Mafia, David Guetta, ?Empire of the Sun, Kylie Minogue, Kraftwerk, The Chemical Brothers, Pet Shop Boys, The B-52’s, The Kooks, Eric Prydz, NERVO, Diamond Rings, Goldfields, Morning Parade, Bat For Lashes, Sebastian Ingrosso, Mat Zo, Tensnake, Parade of Lights, Claire, and many more.
I began songwriting with artist Parson James, who shares management with Lorde. Together we wrote a series of 7 songs titled?The Parson and Davis Sessions?with LA producers Felix Snow, Johnny Whatt & Anthony Vasquez?in August 2013 in LA.?I moved to?Nashville in September 2013 to?pursue songwriting and I have since been sharpening my songwriting/singing skills writing?regularly with the legendary BMI Songwriter of the Decade & Nashville’s Songwriter Hall of Famer Roger Murrah on tracks:?Red Guitar & B.A.B.Y.
I continue to work and write more music. Due to my southern roots,growing up in Georgia, I would call my style a blend of Country, Pop and R&B.
Some past career highlights include:
My interview for MTV with artist Ellie Goulding for the release of her sophomore album Halcyon.
My TEDTalk in Aug 2013 about following my dream to pursue music.