Pop Shop Podcast: Dan + Shay Play the Late-Night Omarion Cover That Brought Them Together

Pop Shop Podcast featuring: Dan + Shay
Robby Klein

Pop Shop Podcast featuring: Dan + Shay

Welcome to the Pop Shop Podcast’s Headliner Interview, Billboard's weekly long-form talk with a compelling, inspirational voice in the world of music.

Whether it’s Florida Georgia Line recording with the Backstreet Boys or Sam Hunt basically being Country Drake, it’s no secret that country stars are getting on guest lists outside of Music Row. Nashville serenaders Dan + Shay are an amalgam of country, gospel, and Warped Tour punk and hardcore, so naturally they were brought together by… a 4 a.m. Omarion cover. 

Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney stopped by Billboard’s New York office to chat about their pertinent projects and subsequently, play Mooney's legendary voice memo off Smyers’ phone, recorded at a Nashville house party the night they met through mutual friends. “When I heard him open his mouth for the first time, I was like, ‘This is the greatest singer of all-time,” Smyers remembers. "'We gotta make some music together.'” 

The duo sure did. 2013 brought their debut album Where It All Began, led by the single that would become their first top 10 Hot Country Songs hit (the hook-filled “19 You + Me”). Last year’s sophomore effort Obsessed featured their highest peak on the chart yet (with the ballad “From the Ground Up”), and was quickly followed up with “When I Pray For You,” a non-album single leading the track list for the soundtrack to the brand new faith-based drama The Shack

Dan + Shay were in New York to walk the red carpet for the film’s premiere (it hits U.S. theaters Friday, March 3), and they stopped by the Billboard offices to chat with host Chris Payne about their musical DNA: bridging into Christian music with “When I Pray For You" and pulling from punk bands like Thursday and New Found Glory, and how their story so far ties it all together. Also, you’ll get to hear that glamorous recording of Shay singing Omarion’s “O”.

Click here to subscribe/rate the Pop Shop Podcast on iTunes. The Headliner Interview runs every Thursday; previous episodes include Brandy Clark, Jimmy Eat World and Dawn Richard

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