Dan + Shay‘s latest No. 1 “From the Ground Up” is special to the duo for many reasons – not the least of which is the fact that it’s taken them out of one-hit wonder danger.
“We’re definitely out of that situation,” says Dan + Shay’s Dan Smyers of their follow-up hit to “Nothin’ Like You.” “That’s a big thing,” he jokes. “I don’t want to show up on some VH1 show 30 years from now as a one-hit wonder.”
But clearly, “From the Ground Up,” penned by Smyers and partner Shay Mooney, along with co-writer Chris DeStefano, has much more meaning beyond the duo’s one-hit wonder status.
“‘From the Ground Up’ is definitely the most special song that we’ve ever written,” Smyers, 29, says.
And the most emotional too. Smyers was inspired by his grandfather’s passing and his grandparents’ love story.
“It kind of happened by accident,” he says. “I was driving back from Ohio, from my grandfather’s funeral, and I got back to Nashville that night and I went to meet up with Shay and our friend Chris DeStefano, who we had written our last single with. We were just going to record vocals for another song that night at Chris’ place, and we just got to talking.
“We were sharing stories and talking about our grandparents. I’d just driven back and had visited my grandfather’s house after the funeral and the whole deal. Just talking about our grandparents and the love that they shared. My grandparents were married for over 65 years, which is just unbelievable. It’s incredible, such an inspiration.”
He continues: “An hour and a half later, we had this little acoustic version of the song and we were like, ‘Wow, there’s something there.’ Never in our wildest dreams did we think it would be a No. 1 radio hit, but we knew it was special and we knew it was a personal song, so we started playing it for people.”
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And life does seem to be imitating art for the duo. Mooney got engaged to girlfriend Hannah Billingsley earlier this month, and Smyers, who’s in a committed relationship with longtime girlfriend Abby Law, says an engagement might just be on his mind as well.
Asked if he’s feeling the pressure to pop the question, he says, “Absolutely!” And adds, “I’ll get on it soon enough.”
For now though, Dan + Shay are just thrilled with fan reaction to the song and are embracing its status as the current go-to wedding song for couples.
“So many fans started coming to meet and greets and saying, ‘Hey, we’re getting married to your song.’ It’s awesome to see that a song that started as just a conversation got into people’s lives and it’s going to stick with them forever. That’s a big moment in somebody’s life – their wedding and their first dance – and for our song to be a part of it, that’s really rewarding. It’s a big moment in our career.”
The success of the song also has fans hoping the duo will moonlight as wedding singers.
“It’s insane – our direct-message inbox and our Facebook inbox now is 90 percent people asking if we could sing at their wedding!”