Mat and Savanna Shaw from Kaysville, Utah, quickly became overnight sensations. It all started when schools closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Being a member of a new youth choir led by choir director Kelly DeHaan at the Hale Center Theatre, 15-year-old Savanna wanted a way to be able to stay in touch with her friends, as well as hone her singing skills while at home.
She created an Instagram account, which would be her introduction to the world of social media. For her first post, she was going to sing a song made popular by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli called “The Prayer” but she did not want to sing it alone. So, she asked her dad, Mat Shaw, if he would sing with her.
The duo recorded and posted their rendition of “The Prayer” on Facebook in late February 2020. A few days after the video was posted, Mat sent a screenshot to Savanna, with the number of views – 2,700 – circled. He told her, “You’re not going to believe this. Sixty people have shared the video!” As the days went by, the numbers kept rising.
They decided to keep recording songs and making music videos and created a YouTube channel, with “The Prayer” being the first music video on the channel. They posted the video on 6 March 2020, and it has since gone viral with over seven million views on YouTube alone as of late July 2020. Their YouTube channel now has more than 489K subscribers.
Since the release of their daddy-daughter duet of “The Prayer,” Mat and Savanna have recorded 15 other cover songs together. A handful of the duets have been viewed more than 1 million times. Their rapid success gives a personal meaning to the song “A Million Dreams,” which they also recorded as a duet and released on their YouTube channel on 8 March 2020. That video has garnered more than 5.6 million views.
Their latest release is a cover of timeless song, “Let It Be,” written by Paul McCartney of the renowned Beatles. The music video was posted on their YouTube channel on Sunday, 26 July 2020, and has already been viewed more than 127,000 times. The duo has also recorded and released several solo covers like Savanna singing “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” from The Phantom of the Opera, and Mat singing Evermore by Josh Groban.
Mat and Savanna Shaw have also caught national attention from outlets like Good Morning America, The Kelly Clarkson Show, and Inside Edition. Their names even appear in Google searches and they were recently interviewed on a morning news show in Japan. Their music is also available now on iTunes, and they have even caught the attention of a prominent Broadway manager. They both refer to their unexpected rise to fame as “an amazing, wild ride.” Matt said, “The one thing more contagious than a virus is hope and so we’re just doing our small part in the world to spread some hope.”
So, what has the daddy-daughter singing duo been up to lately? In a recent Q&A video in which the entire family appeared, Mat and Savanna announced that they have been busy in a professional recording studio working on their debut album. A release date has not been given yet. However, they did reveal that many of the song selections have come from fan recommendations and there is an original tune in the works.
Mat and Savanna also mentioned that they may branch into jazz music and possibly sing a John Denver tune down the road. Once the pandemic subsides and things start to return to normal, the duo are also considering doing live concerts. Mat said, “What we love about our music is just to be able to connect and to uplift and to inspire and encourage. The best way to do that is to do that live, and I would love to be able to go perform.”
Savanna who considers herself to be “a very shy person,” said during the Q&A video, “It’s kind of hard for me to put myself out there. What I’ve learned from this whole thing is how important it is to just be brave and just take that little leap and do something that’s really scary, because you really never know what could happen and how many lives you could be affecting.”
A question that is frequently asked by their fans is if they would ever consider auditioning for America’s Got Talent. Savanna answered by saying, “We will ride the wave and we’ll see where it takes us.”