Dan + Shay: 5 Things to Know About Country's Hot New Duo
They've only been working together for 16 months, but the country cuties are already climbing the charts
Dan + Shay are on a roll, to say the least.
The newest faces on the country scene – the super-talented (and really easy on the eyes) Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney – met and started writing songs together just 16 months ago. You wouldn’t know it from their already impressive catalog, though: the prolific pair has written more than 90 songs, and one, “19 You + Me,” is already a bonafide hit single. Meanwhile, Dan + Shay’s debut album, Where It All Began, hit stores this week, and the pair might just take home the ACM award for vocal duo of the year this Sunday. Whew!
If that isn’t crazy enough, there’s more: the tall, dark and handsome guys are joining Blake Shelton’s summer tour, Ten Times Crazier, in June.
Still don’t have your fill? Not a problem: we’ve compiled five things you need to know about Dan + Shay – including where it all began:
1. They met in a tent.
Well, sort of. In December 2012, Shay attended a house party at Dan’s abode, and was surprised to find a giant tent in the living room. The reason for the odd décor? “I had no money to pay for heat, so I went to the thrift store and bought a bunch of sheets,” Dan told Taste of Country. “[We] tented out the whole living room, and we retained all the heat in there.” The ambience was apparently inspirational; said Dan, “Shay and I were jamming that night, and we’ve been writing three songs a day ever since.”
2. Shay is a little more country.
Dan grew up in Wexford, Pa., and moved to Nashville in 2010. But Shay was born and raised on a farm in Natural Dam, Ark., where he woke up each morning at 4 a.m. to milk cows. So how did he feel about the farm life? “As soon as I graduated high school, I was out of there,” he told USA Today.
3. They have really interesting résumés.
Before forming Dan + Shay, Dan was in a group called Bonaventure, plus the rock band Transition. Shay, meanwhile, was a solo artist on – wait for it – rapper T-Pain’s label, Nappy Boy Entertainment. Other artists on the label: Young Cash, Field Mob and Travie McCoy.
4. They’re not afraid of a little self-promotion.
After releasing “19 You + Me,” the duo hit the phone lines, using fake voices to request their own tune. “We were so excited our song was on the radio, we were calling different stations and Tweeting from fake Twitter accounts with, like, three followers,” Dan told USA Today.
5. Their hit single will be a part of them forever. Literally.
That “19” tattoo you see on Dan’s arm in the song’s video is real, and Shay has one, too. “We got it in Salt Lake City,” Dan told 107.7 WGNA radio. “It was like the second week our song went for adds at radio, and all these 19s were popping up. I told Shay when I saw this tattoo shop, ‘I swear I’ll get a tattoo today.’ So we walked into the tattoo shop, and 20 minutes later, I had my first tattoo.”
Catch Dan + Shay on Ellen this Friday, April 4. And get an exclusive look at their single “Stop Drop + Roll” below!