Dan + Shay Say Family, Career Are Biggest Blessings of 2017

Dan + Shay can undoubtedly afford to buy whatever they want for themselves this year, but nothing will top Shay Mooney's favorite present he ever received, when he was just a kid.

"Getting a Nintendo 64 was my best gift of all time," Mooney recalls. "My parents told me it was sold out, and I think his parents did the same. They were like, ‘Guys, I’m really sorry, but the Nintendo 64s were all gone. We tried to get them.' And then lo and behold, they were like, ‘There’s one more gift, if you could go in the next room and grab it. And there it was, the Nintendo64. I’ll never forget it."

Asher, who was born to Mooney and his now-wife, Hannah, in January, will get plenty of gifts to open this year, even if they aren't things a baby necessarily wants.

"All of my family members are ready and excited to buy him new clothes that he doesn’t really want," says Mooney. "I’m excited as a dad to be able to play with toys again. That’s probably the most exciting thing about this, is I can play with light sabers, and people won’t look at me like I’m strange."

Sharing the holiday with a wife and child for the first time this year has made Mooney realize how quickly time passes, and how valuable each moment with his family is.

"Those things teach you a lot," Mooney says. "I’ve learned that life goes by really, really fast. I remember this time last year, Hannah was pregnant, and now we have this beautiful baby that’s there and crawling around. It just goes by so fast, and you really have to take every moment, moment by moment, and just really savor that and enjoy it. We’ve always told each other that we have to do that, and remind each other that this thing that we get to do, music for a living, is an incredible thing. There’s a lot of people out there that don’t get to do something that they love for a living, and we just try not to take any of that for granted, and try to take every day as it comes to us. To be able to do that, and really enjoy your life as it comes to you – I’ve definitely learned to slow things down a little bit."


Dan Smyers, who also wed his wife, Abbey, this year, adds that their life on the road makes life events, big and small, sometimes blur together.

"It’s crazy when you’re out on the road, you’re in this time warp of a tour bus, and time does go fast," shares Smyers. "We talked to artists when we were first getting this thing going, when we first signed our record deal. To quote Kenny Chesney, ‘Don’t blink.’ It does go so fast. We’re already working on our third album. I remember when we were in our buddy’s basement, cutting demos that became our first album. Like Shay said, we’re blessed, and we’re lucky that we get to do this."