Inside the Writer’s Room with Dan + Shay

“We’ve Always Got to Push Ourselves,” Dan Smyers Says

Dan + Shay had just released their debut single “19 You and Me” when Shay Mooney caught lightning in a bottle with Meghan Trainor and hitmaker Jesse Frasure. Together over two songwriting appointments, Mooney, Trainor and Frasure co-wrote what would become two Rascal Flatts songs “DJ Tonight” and “I Like the Sound of That,” the latter of which became the band’s 16th No. 1.

“Meghan was just a writer in Nashville,” Mooney recalls. “She’s a super talented girl. I think it was probably three weeks after we wrote [“I Like the Sound of That”], we found out Rascal Flatts cut it, she got a record deal, and it was just crazy. She’s killing it now.”

Dan + Shay are more than happy to share their material and consider it an honor when other acts record their music. Making a living as songwriters was what brought them to Nashville in the first place.

“We didn’t know we were going to be a duo,” Smyers says. “If we’re afraid that we’re not going to write any more great songs, then we probably aren’t. We’ve always got to push ourselves. But whenever somebody wants to record your song, that’s the biggest compliment you could receive.”

Dan + Shay felt like they owed it to their fans to elevate their songwriting with their sophomore collection, Obsessed, featuring the lead single “From the Ground Up.” The duo co-wrote the soaring love ballad with hitmaker Chris DeStefano in honor of the legacy of their respective grandparents.

“I think we got a little more vulnerable with our lyrics on this record,” Smyers says. “There’s more emotional stuff. Putting out the first single ‘From the Ground Up’ is kind of nerve-wracking because it’s so personal. It’s a tribute to our grandparents and it talks about the love they shared for 65 years. If people don’t like it, it’s going to hurt. But luckily the fans have been incredible.”

Obsessed lands June 3, the same day they start Darius Rucker’s Good for a Good Time tour in Tampa, Florida, with Michael Ray.

Lauren Tingle is a Tennessean and storyteller who eats music for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When she’s not writing or rocking out, she enjoys yoga and getting lost in the great outdoors.