Dan + Shay Felt ‘Magic’ From the Moment They Met
Dan + Shay barely knew each other at all when they started writing and performing together, but now Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney can't imagine anything but being a duo.
Smyers and Mooney met at a party at Smyers' house in Nashville; in fact, Smyers recalls exactly that it was Dec. 7, 2012.
"I was living in a terrible house; it was the worst house of all time. I found it on Craigslist for $100 a month when I first moved to town. No locks on the door, no heat, no AC. It was rough," Smyers tells The Boot. "Shay came over with a buddy. We started singing together, singing cover songs and making stuff up on the spot ... It was about four in the morning, and we were like, ‘We should write together.’
"A couple hours later, we woke up and wrote a song," Smyers continues. "The first song we wrote got put on hold."
Pretty much from that first moment, things just "clicked;" Smyers recalls, "It was like, 'This is how it's supposed to be, and this is meant to be."
"It was cool to finally have that moment where, when we met and started writing, it was finally the country music we had tried to be writing separately," Mooney adds. "It was the magic in the room."
Although Dan + Shay hit the ground running as songwriters, it took them a while to realize their potential as artists as well.
"At first, we were just two writers trying to get a publishing deal, to do whatever we had to do in this town," Smyers admits. "We didn’t have any intention of getting a record deal. Nobody said, ‘You guys should be a duo.’"
It wasn't until others began noticing their potential that the guys realized that they could be artists as well as songwriters.
"They were like, 'You guys sound awesome together,' and the word started spreading," Smyers remembers. "Before you know it, we were singing for labels and doing all this stuff."
Although both Smyers and Mooney had dabbled in other styles of music while pursuing solo careers, together, they agree that there isn't another genre better suited for them than country music.
"We fell in love with country music because of the stories, the storytelling country music does, and the way that it makes you feel, the emotions that can be put into a song like that. That’s what we wanted to do," Smyers notes, with Mooney adding, "Country music is such a cool thing, and it’s always evolving, especially now."
Dan + Shay's debut single from their sophomore album, "From the Ground Up," is in the Top 25 and climbing; it is available for download on iTunes. The full record, Obsessed, is set for release on June 3.