Artist Interviews / CMTT Exclusives / Dan + Shay / New Music

Dan and Shay Release Nostalgia-Filled Power Ballad “Tequila”

When songwriter Jordan Reynolds brought up the idea for a song called “Tequila,” fellow songwriter Dan Smyers of Dan + Shay immediately thought of being on stage and late nights of partying with friends. But they decided to see if they could spin the song in a different direction, playing on the nostalgia people experience with different senses, like smell and taste.

The original work tape for “Tequila” just featured a piano and vocal, so they played with the production to see how they could make it more dramatic. But, while touring in Europe, Dan overheard Shay practicing the song on a piano and knew how magical the song it would be.

“It’s got that Bluebird moment… it’s that thing where it doesn’t necessarily need all the tricks and gimmicks… When you can strip it down and just play it on an acoustic guitar or piano and it still translates, there’s something special to that,” said Dan.

The result is a soaring ballad that highlights Dan + Shay’s signature harmonies and knack for storytelling.

“It takes what we do best – narrative, telling a story, invoking some nostalgia in people with the lyrics – I think we stepped it up to the next level.”

So what kind of nostalgia does it bring for the guys? Shay recalls a particularly fun night in Dallas, Texas, the year that the ACM Awards were held there. Blake Shelton had invited them onto his bus, along with Luke Bryan and Cole Swindell. Shay’s now-wife Hannah was along for the ride that night and Blake took full advantage of the situation to embarrass Shay.

“He goes ‘So…what all have you guys done? You guys been hanging out?’ …like asking if we’ve kissed and stuff. It was really embarrassing. And they had to play that night. And they’re getting hammered… I don’t know how they did it!“

When Dan + Shay are on the road, Shay has a special toast with the band and crew:

“There’s small ships, big ships, metal ships, and wooden ships, but the best ships are friendships.”

You’ll be able to hear the new song live this summer when they tour with Rascal Flatts, who have been long-time influences on the duo.

“They’re like grandfathers to us!” Dan joked.  Shay added, “We love those guys, we’re so excited… there’s probably going to be some surprises on that tour, for us too.”

Head to to hear “Tequila” and get updates about when they’ll be headed to your town.

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