Songwriting Helps Shay Mooney Find Validation
Shay Mooney has a career in country music as one-half of Dan + Shay, but he's also found success as a songwriter. In addition to co-writing much of his duo's material with Dan Smyers, Mooney also writes for other artists, including Rascal Flatts. The country trio's newest album, 2014's Rewind, features two songs co-written by Mooney, including the No. 1 "I Like the Sound of That," and the singer-songwriter says that having a band like the Flatts record his songs was a dream come true.
"I think anyone will tell you, it’s always cooler whenever you get a No. 1 on someone else as a writer -- I wouldn’t say cooler, but it’s different," Mooney recently told The Boot and other reporters. "There’s one thing about writing your own songs, and you can record those, because we have a pretty good say in the songs that we cut ... In my head, it’s just cooler when someone else validates that, I guess. When you’re a songwriter, it’s a really cool feeling to get that on someone else. It’s different; it feels good."
Still, balancing his role as a songwriter with his role as an artist presents its own set of challenges.
"It is very -- not only time consuming, but it’s very mentally draining, and the last thing sometimes you want to do when you get off the road after being away from everybody is to go and write a song. That took some adjustment to get my creative juices flowing," Mooney reveals. "There’s nothing worse than overdoing it as a songwriter.
"I feel like it’s not quantity over quality; I feel like it has to be quality over quantity," he continues. "If you write seven really great songs, there’s a better chance of them getting cut than if you write 30 average [or] terrible songs. You always have to write the best song you possibly can, and to do that, you have to make sure your brain that day is in working order, which, sometimes, my brain is not in working order, and that’s probably my fault ... It is a challenge, and it’s hard sometimes."
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