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article imageInterview with Dan + Shay: '19 You + Me' Special

By Markos Papadatos     Apr 5, 2014 in Music
Country duo Dan + Shay is signed to Warner Music Nashville. It is made up of Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney. They are known for their breakthrough single "19 You + Me."
Dan took some time from his schedule to chat about their new album, single, Academy of Country Music (ACM) nomination and their future endeavors.
On their current single "19 You + Me," he remarked, "Shay and I wrote it with our buddy Danny Orton. I grew up going to Myrtle Beach, since that was a destination vacation spot for most people in Pennsylvania. Danny had gone there with his wife for their honeymoon and we all wanted to write that summer. We wanted to give a little shout out to Myrtle Beach since it is a great place and it is a great family destination. Myrtle Beach has been great to us throughout the life of this single. We got together and we wrote the whole song but didn't have a title for it. Shay brought up this idea which he thought was crazy at the time. He said 'how about 19 You + Me,' 'but we thought it was brilliant and we used it. We recorded the demo and that turned into the album version, as well as the version that is on the radio today. It was a great process and it was really cool and we feel really passionate about the song. We excited that this was the first single that we were able to get out to the world."
Yesterday, marked the one year anniversary that they wrote their song "19 You + Me," and they celebrated it with a live performance on the "Ellen" daytime talk show. "That was crazy," he said in disbelief. "It was funny to see that it was exactly a year ago. It was a pretty surreal moment to realize that all this happened in 365 days."
"19 You + Me" sits at No. 12 on the Billboard Hot Country Airplay charts, with the potential to climb a lot higher. "It has been great. Our team is working really hard to promote it. We are having a great time. It's doing better than we would have ever expected, so it's awesome," he said.
He admitted that the song selection process for the new CD Where It All Began was quite difficult since they had to narrow it down from 80 to 90 songs they had written. "We wanted to make an album that people can listen to from start to finish and maintain their attention throughout. There is something for everybody on there," he said.
Dan shared that he was inspired musically by the acclaimed country trio Rascal Rascals. "We grew up listening to them. When we grew up listening to country music, we liked Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw. There was something about Rascal Flatts that was so much different. We loved their harmonies, the songwriting and the concepts that they were singing about. We remember trying to get tickets and front row seats to their shows, they are incredible and they still are. Rascal Flatts have been really cool to us and they reached out to us, and Shay actually wrote two songs on their brand new album, which is really cool and a dream come true for him. We love those guys," he said.
Dan + Shay are nominated for a Academy of Country Music (ACM) award for "Top Vocal Duo of the Year." "That was a dream come true," he said. "We didn't even know that was going to happen. That was awesome and a huge honor to be in the company of all those great artists."
The country duo will be opening for country star Hunter Hayes as part of his "We're Not Invisible Tour," and they will be sharing the stage with Big Machine recording country artist and The Voice winner Danielle Bradbery. "Opening for Hunter Hayes is absolutely incredible. He is a great performer and it is inspiring to watch him play. He and his whole band and crew have been really accommodating to us," he said. "We are super thankful that Hunter reached out and offered to take us on tour. Danielle Bradbery is an awesome artist too and she is a sweetheart. We are glad to be on tour with them. For our first tour, it has been a great experience."
On May 3, they will be playing at Mohegan Sun Arena, along with Hayes and Bradbery. "That is going to be a blast. I am from the North East so it's great to be back there. I am looking forward to it," he said. "We try to keep things interesting for our fans, so they will never know what we will do after our shows. We love meeting our fans and we love taking pictures with them. I remember going to concerts as a kid and it would change my world when I would meet an artist that I liked and we want to be able to give that back to our fans."
Dan shared that they are motivated each day from the "response and the energy from the fans." "It is really great to see their response and how they react to them. That is really cool and a big motivator," he said.
He listed Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood as his dream female duet artists in country music and he praised label-mate Ashley Monroe. "There are a lot of great females on country radio right now," he said. "Ashley Monroe is awesome. I love her album and she is super talented and a great songwriter."
For Dan + Shay, success is defined as "being able to do what they love to do." "Playing music as a career, working hard, travelling around and following our dreams. We are so lucky and blessed to be able to do that every day, so that's success for us," he said.
For more information on country duo Dan + Shay, visit their official website.
More about dan shay, country duo, 19 you me, Warner Music Nashville, ACM
 
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