Dan + Shay, the duo made up of Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney, wrote all of the songs on their freshman Where It All Began album, and all but two tracks on their sophomore Obsessed record. But in addition to writing for themselves, the guys have also penned songs for other writers, with Mooney co-writing Rascal Flatts' No. 1 hit, "I Like the Sound of That," and the guys each writing a song for the trio's recent Back to Us album.
Since both Smyers and Mooney enjoy writing as much as singing, they admit picking songs they are going to keep for themselves can be a challenge.
"It's really difficult," Smyers shared with PopCulture.com at a recent media event. "Sometimes you just know if it's right for Dan + Shay or if it's not. Obviously, we love getting cuts on other records, but our own artist career is our priority. If we write a song and it feels super right for Dan + Shay, we usually know it pretty quickly, right off the bat. And if it doesn't, it might have a home with somebody else. It doesn't mean it's not a great song, or it wasn't good enough for us, it's just we have a specific thing we're trying to do, a specific direction, and we can usually feel it in the room."
Dan + Shay's debut single, "Tequila," is from their upcoming third studio album. But the singers still haven't revealed many other details from their latest set of tunes, including how many songs they've written for the project.
"It gets a little hairy coming down the stretch," Smyers admits. "It's like, should we keep this or should we pitch this? We usually have a feeling, a gut feeling. Music is subjective. It's tough to make those decisions. We surround ourselves with the best team of friends, and I think our wives are the best thing for our records. We play them the stuff, and if they love something right off the bat, we usually keep it. If they're like, 'That's amazing. That's a Dan + Shay song. You guys need to sing that,' we're like, "We're gonna keep that one."1comments
Download "Tequila" on iTunes.
Photo Credit: Facebook/Dan + Shay