Dan + Shay Open Up About No. 1 Singles “From The Ground Up” and “How Not To” – Exclusive

Dan + Shay are hands down one of our top five favorite duos in country music. The feeling when we listen to their music is indescribable; we can’t help but have a rush of emotions as each song goes on while relating Dan and Shay’s lyrics to our own personal life. ARE WE RIGHT?

Two of their smash hits — “From The Ground Up” and “How Not To” — went number one earlier this year and they celebrated these milestones in the best way possible — a PARTY!

Hosted by the duo’s ASCAP family at the publishing company’s Nashville headquarters right in the heart of Music Row, Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney were joined by songwriters Paul DiGiovanni, Chris DeStefano, Kevin Bard, and Adam Hambrick as well as friends, family, and music executives for an afternoon of recognizing good music while sipping on even better drinks.

Photo Credit: Ed Rode

“I’m a stats nerd. I look at all our numbers every day — like every thirty seconds — and everyone on our team knows that and hates me for it,” Dan Smyers told us in an interview before the party. “We’ve had a few hits on our first record, but it wasn’t until ‘From The Ground Up’ came out — that song just broke barriers for us. We would get out in front of big festival crowds of about 50,000 people and they would know all of the words. It took us to the next level.”

Inspired by both Dan and Shay’s grandparents, “From The Ground Up” was co-written by the guys along with the very talented Chris DeStefano.

“I was driving back from my grandfather’s funeral in Ohio and I went to meet up with Shay at DeStefano’s studio to record vocals on another song we had written previously. We got a verse in and then got derailed so we started talking about our grandparents and how they were both married for sixty-five years. Shay had a guitar, picked it up, and literally the song wrote itself in about forty-five minutes,” Dan continued.

After putting together the demo, Smyers played it for his now wife Abby and she cried while listening to it. From that moment, he knew that the song was special and that it had to be released as a single. It wound up changing people around the world’s lives and even became many couple’s first dance song at their weddings!

“Every time a fan tweets us and says that ‘From The Ground Up’ really impacted them or is their wedding song is the coolest thing ever,” Shay Mooney shared. “They also tell us that ‘How Not To’ helped them through tough times. It’s weird how break up songs can do that. We’re always thankful when we get to hear stories from our fans about how they are affected by our music.”

Even though “How Not To” wasn’t written by Dan + Shay, the guys had a special connection with the track and decided to cut it. We’re so happy they did, as the country ballad is one that we truly can’t enough of.

“When Dan and I heard [“How Not To”], it just seemed like a Dan + Shay song. We don’t have an ego when it comes to songwriting; we feel like we put out songs that are really special to us, regardless of who they are written by. ‘How Not To’ is a fantastic song and we thought we owed it to our fans. When we heard it for the first time, we knew it was going to be a hit, so we say let the best song win. That song was one of the best that we have on Obsessed, so we put it out and it worked,” Shay said.

Congrats, Dan + Shay on two (amazing) number one singles! The guys are currently in the studio working on new music while promoting their latest single “Tequila” before hitting the road with Rascal Flatts in May.

Written by Juliet Schroder

Juliet is the founder and executive producer/host of Celeb Secrets and Celeb Secrets Country. When not reporting on the latest news in pop culture and country music, she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and exploring the latest fashion trends.

Juliet holds a B.S. in marketing from St. John's University.