Dan + Shay are up for seven trophies at next week’s Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, including nominations for the all-genre Top Duo/Group honor and the Billboard Chart Achievement Award.
But even though “Tequila” crossed over to the pop chart, Dan Smyers says the duo wasn’t necessarily looking for success outside of country music with their self-titled third album.
“No, our music is a blend of our influences,” he tells Billboard. “We listen to country, pop, hip-hop, R&B.”
“We pushed ourselves to really dig deep on this album’s production, but we didn’t compromise our sound. It’s true to us,” he adds.
Instead, Dan believes that pop music just happens to be more open to elements from the country world these days.
“Pop is in a cool place where songs with stories are working,” he explains. “That has been a big door-opener for ‘Tequila’ to cross over to top 40.”
“People are hungry for that nostalgic feeling country music evokes,” Dan adds, “and pop artists and producers are respecting what’s happening in our world.”
But with the huge success of their 2018 album, Shay Mooney admits the stakes are higher for their next effort.
“There is a little bit of pressure on us, but it’s good pressure,” Shay maintains. “Our fan base has grown exponentially. Our mindset is to continue to do our thing and try to elevate ourselves.”
“We’ve been having more fun than we’ve ever had making music,” he closes.
Dan + Shay are also set to perform on the BBMAs. You can tune in to watch Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
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