Dan + Shay
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Sometimes success does come easy — when you find the perfect partner to make sweet, sweet music with.
By Lorena O'Neil
When Shay Mooney went to a keg party in Nashville, Tennessee, in December 2012, he was unaware that he’d be launching a successful music career. He met Dan Smyers, who was singing and playing the guitar in a tent fashioned from sheets, a makeshift method for trapping heat in the room since Smyers and his roommates couldn’t afford to heat the whole house.
A week later, Mooney, 22, and Smyers, 26, had written multiple songs together, including their breakthrough tune, 19 You + Me, which they wrote with songwriter Danny Orton. The song was released in October 2013, less than a year after the duo met. It made it on to the Billboard Top 100 and did very well on country music radio stations.
The twosome makes songwriting sound easy.
Mooney and Smyers were so excited to hear their song on the radio, they would call different stations and use fake voices to request the song. Adorbs.
Their debut album, Where It All Began, was even more impressive. Released on April 1, 2014, the album debuted at number one on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, making them the first duo to debut an album at the top spot. The last few months have been full of firsts for the singers: they made their Grand Ole Opry debut in February and were nominated for the Academy of Country Music Awards’ Vocal Duo of the Year.
Mooney grew up on a farm in Natural Dam, Arkansas, and moved out of the small town after high school. He had a solo artist deal with T-Pain’s Nappy Boy Entertainment. Smyers is from Wexford, Pennsylvania, and his music past includes being part of a Christian rock group called Transition and a duo called Bonaventure.
The twosome makes songwriting sound easy. The first song the guys wrote together was put on hold by Rascal Flatts, so the band could potentially record it. And Dan + Shay’s song “Stop Drop + Roll,” from their new album, was written while they were watching a movie together. Mooney explains they were watching The Mist and saw a guy catch on fire. They joked he should just stop, drop and roll and then realized that would make a good song title. Voilà — a new single emerged.
The song isn’t actually about someone catching on fire, it’s a light, upbeat pop country song about a boy inviting a girl to take a ride in his Mustang. ”Got a blue sky, got a fast ride, got all the time in the world so come on little girl / Whoa, all we gotta do is stop, let the top drop and roll.”
Check out one of their catchy tunes in the video below. Meanwhile if you want to see the two songbirds perform live, they are currently opening for Hunter Hayes and will be opening for Blake Shelton starting in June. Whew. This duo is on fire.