Of the 11 songs RaeLynn co-wrote on her full-length debut album, WildHorse, which dropped on March 24, the track “Say” was the one that had her turning to her “best friends in the industry,” Dan+Shay, for their vocals on the tune.
“Say,” written by RaeLynn, Barry Dean and Jimmy Robbins, is about knowing your significant other’s feelings without them having to say it—by their kiss, their smile or a look in their eyes.
“You don’t have to say that you want me / With anything but your eyes / I can tell that you need me / By the quiet in your smile / And the way that you wait / To kiss me goodnight / I hear everything, everything you can’t say,” RaeLynn sings in the chorus.
As RaeLynn was adding the special song to her album, she remembered sharing it with her friends Dan + Shay. But with the two on tour, recording it in the studio together was not a viable option.
“The funny thing is [Dan + Shay] were actually on tour. It was kind of thrown together,” says RaeLynn. “When I ended up going to Warner Brothers and putting the song on my record, I called Dan and Shay and I said, ‘Listen, I know y’all are on the road but’— they tracked all the vocals for their second record on the road. I said, ‘Is there any way y’all could track vocals for ‘Say,’ and sing on my record? It would be an honor to me and I’ve known y’all for so long. Y’all are my best friends in this industry and it would just mean the world to me.’ They said, ‘Done.’ I sent them this song and they recorded Shay and Dan’s vocals. It was just awesome, and they completely took the song to another level for me.
“I’ve known them for a really long time. I met them before they were signed to Warner and I’ll never forget it. We were at my apartment, and there were a bunch of us there and we were just playing music and were just dreaming. I was 19 at the time—the time they had ’19 You and Me.’ They hadn’t put it out yet, but they were like, ‘Oh my God, we love this song we just wrote.’ I was like, ‘Did y’all write this about me and my blonde hair swinging?’ I remember I would always joke with them. I played them ‘Say’ forever ago and they were like, ‘Oh my gosh, wouldn’t it be so cool if we sang this together.’”
The three friends are not the only ones that enjoy singing together. RaeLynn’s husband, Joshua Davis, who recently enlisted in the United States Armed Forces, is also a big fan of singing along.
“It’s just really cool because I wrote this song about meeting my husband. There’s all these things that he didn’t say, but I knew that he loved me. Shay and Josh are like the best of friends, so it’s like super. Joshua tries to sing [Shay’s] parts, but he never can. It’s hilarious but it’s super cute. He like loves to lip sync”
RaeLynn is currently on tour as part of Blake Shelton’s Doing It to Country Songs Tour and will kick off her own headlining RaVe Tour on April 20 in Columbus, Ohio.