Dan + Shay Talk Emotional ‘When I Pray For You’ at ‘The Shack’ Premiere

Dan + Shay’s new single, “When I Pray for You,” is providing the duo with a couple of career firsts — their first soundtrack and first movie premiere. Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney were looking sharp on the red carpet as they attended the premiere of The Shack at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art on Feb. 28. Starring Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer and Tim McGraw, the film hit theaters across the country over the weekend.

“This is a cool opportunity for us. We’ve never been a part of a soundtrack. We’ve never even been to a film premiere so I’m kind of nervous a little bit,” Smyers told Sounds Like Nashville on the red carpet at the premiere.

The duo penned “When I Pray for You” with friends Jon Nite and Justin Ebach after seeing an early screening of the film, and the song is featured on The Shack: Music From and Inspired by the Original Motion Picture.

“Shay was about to have his first kid, Asher James, a few weeks out from that and we got in the room with a couple of buddies of ours who also screened the movie and just recently has kids as well,” says Smyers. “There were a lot of emotions, manly emotions going around the room and we stirred up some ideas and boom it worked out. Getting a song in a movie like this is such a one in a million chance, but we’re so thankful for Lionsgate and Atlantic Records for letting us be a part of it. It’s going to be cool to see the movie tonight and we’ll probably get emotional once again.”

Mooney admits that fatherhood made the movie have an even stronger impact on him. “Having a kid, obviously, seeing that movie became a little more emotional because when you know what it’s like having a kid and then losing a child would just be absolutely devastating,” he shared. “This movie really was sad, but there was so much hope and the way that they told the story was just absolutely incredible. It was very touching. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place whenever we watched it the first time.”

“It was such an honor for us to be able to write this song I know that it’s going to touch people’s lives,” he continues. “Music is so powerful and movies are so powerful. When you combine those two, it’s really such a special combination that touches people’s lives, so it’s going to be cool to kind of make a difference through music. That’s going to be an amazing thing to do.”

The Shack: Music From and Inspired by the Original Motion Picture also features songs from Kelly Clarkson & Aloe Blacc, Lady Antebellum, Dierks Bentley, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, for KING & COUNTRY, Brett Eldredge, Hillsong United, Skillet, NEEDTOBREATHE (featuring Lauren Daigle) and Christian rapper Lecrae.

Dan + Shay are looking forward to sharing “When I Pray for You” this spring during their live shows. “We are on the Obsessed Tour right now, our headlining tour, and it’s been so much fun,” says Smyers. “We are traveling the country. We just played in Nashville at the Ryman for the first time, so that was very special and we were just reminiscing. The last time we played in New York we got to play Madison Square Garden for the first time which was really, really cool. We are just going to be touring a lot this year and doing some festivals. Check out our website danandshay.com and check out some dates and come see us. We’ll be playing ‘When I Pray For You’ live.”

Fans can pick up their copy of The Shack: Music From and Inspired by the Original Motion Picture on iTunes now. The Shack is currently in theaters nationwide.