This story about Mat and Savanna Shaw is part of KSL NewsRadio’s ongoing Heart of Utah program to highlight good news around the state that airs Wednesdays.
KAYSVILLE, Utah — Mat and Savanna Shaw, a daddy-daughter singing duo from Kaysville are coming up on one year since their first video went viral, and they are showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.
The Shaws have become incredibly popular during the pandemic because they say they are sharing hope through their music. They have another release coming up this weekend, and a second album out soon.
But it all started with a happy accident.
Savanna Shaw was 15 years old last year at the beginning of the pandemic and needed to record a video for her choir. She dragged in her dad Mat from working in the yard to sing “The Prayer” with her so she wasn’t alone.
“That explains his family reunion shirt and his BYU hat,” laughed Savanna. “It was honestly like the most casual video.”
She put it on a new Instagram account as her first social media post, and her dad shared it with family on Facebook. That video now has 8.2 million views.
“I remember him sending me a screenshot when it was at 3,000 views. He’s like you’ll never believe this. People are actually watching it!” said Savanna.
“This is like a complete accident, but it was the best accident we’ve ever made.”
They recorded “A Million Dreams” next, and that duet also got millions of views.
“It was just kind of our feelings on what was happening. And that also went viral, and then at that point we’re like, oh my goodness, let’s keep on going,” said Mat.
Mat sang growing up in musical theater in high school and college. He even had a vocal performance scholarship. But life got busy with time in the Army National Guard, starting a business and starting a family with his wife, Brooke.
“You know, life gets real,” he said. “I started a real estate business, I have 4 kids. And so singing, I set aside a little bit,” he said. “Savanna pulled me in from doing yard work to sing that song with her, and it really reignited that passion of music and allowed me to express myself musically again where I haven’t been able to do that for so long.”
Savanna took voice lessons when she was younger, and also harp lessons. But she was very shy, and it was hard for her to share her voice.
“Luckily, I’ve been able to really work on that this year and I feel like a whole different person. I’ve been able to gain so much confidence,” she said.
They choose songs that have meaning to them, like their most recent cover of “Try” by Colbie Caillat and “Remember Me” from the movie Coco. They also like Broadway, musicals, big band, and songs from the 50s and 60s. They explain what the songs mean to them in their social media posts.
As their popularity grew, the Shaws released an album and sang in concerts. Their next song is coming on Valentine’s Day, and their second album is coming this spring.
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“Our mission is to spread hope and shared joy through our music,” said Savanna. “I think to just have a platform and able to lift heavy hearts through something that we love to do is just a really great thing.”
Mat says they are grateful and honored to be given this platform. They don’t know how long it will last, but they will keep going as long as they can.
“We didn’t intend for it, but we are trying to use music to share hope and spread joy. We take that responsibility seriously. But we also love it,” he said.
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