Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney weren’t married when they started Dan + Shay but getting married – Smyers to Abby and Mooney to Hannah – changed their writing and the course of their careers.
Their hit “From the Ground Up” started the trend, then the men’s weddings inspired them to write their hit “Speechless,” which became a multi-week No. 1 hit.
Dan + Shay recently joined Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 to talk about how they became country music’s unofficial wedding singers.
“We always say for our song to be a part of somebody’s wedding, that’s arguably the biggest day of somebody’s life, the biggest moment of somebody’s life,” Smyers said. “For all the great songs that exist in the universe, for them to choose our song, that’s the most surreal thing.”
Mooney agreed: “That’s a very important day in their life,” the singer added. “Arguably the most important day, and to be able to represent that and to be forever linked in that person’s life is really crazy, but it’s appropriate. We write all these songs, and we’re inspired because we have incredible wives, and we get to write songs and write about what we know, and we’re both married, and we know what it is to love.”
The duo’s current album “Good Things” is home to “You,” which the men said is also getting a huge response from their loved-up audience.
“It’s a song that always felt great to us, but we’ve seen more of a connection to this song in the love space than we’ve seen,” Smyers said. “We’ve had big wedding songs ’From the Ground Up’ and ’Speechless’ and songs like that. But this one, our DM’s, every weekend, it’s so crazy. We see so many people saying this was our first dance, or this was this song in our wedding. And it’s that feeling there.”
The men have even performed their songs at a couple of celebrity weddings – Joe Jonas and fellow “10,000 Hours” collaborator Justin Bieber, to name a couple.
But right now, Dan + Shay are focused on playing stadiums with Kenny Chesney.
“I think I can speak for both of us,” Mooney said. “This is the most fun that we’ve ever had touring. I mean, we had obviously finished our headlining tour back in the fall, and that was incredible. But like you said, it was a big breath of fresh air because all the pressure is on you on your headlining tour, and we don’t have to worry about that. So, if nobody shows up, it’s Kenny’s fault. We didn’t do it. But Dan and I are up there, he has a platform in the middle of the stadium right behind front of house, and Dan and I are up there every Saturday night, man, just cracking a cold beer and just having the time of our lives. It’s unreal.”
“This is the most chill summer ever,” Smyers added. “We’re on the road with Kenny on weekends, and then we’re home. We’re making new music during the weeks, and it’s fantastic. We’re such fans.”
The duo also said they’re also writing and reconnecting after being separated during much of the pandemic.
“We’ve been really focusing on our relationship, getting back to the roots and doing what we love, and that’s sitting down with an acoustic guitar and writing songs,” Mooney said. “It’s been the best, one of my favorite times that we’ve ever had together. It’s a really, really good time. So, we’re just focusing on that right now and focusing on the music and just open to see what’s next.”