It’s been almost two years since Mat and Savanna Shaw went viral.
Two years since Savanna Shaw, then 15, longed to keep in touch with her choir friends as a pandemic that shut down all activities began to run its course.
Two years since the teenager and her father from Kaysville, Utah, sat at their kitchen table and belted out a rendition of “The Prayer” that she posted to social media for her friends to see. Two years since that performance reached a much wider audience than the Shaws could ever have anticipated.
On YouTube alone, their rendition of “The Prayer” has more than 9 million views.
“I really genuinely only thought that my friends and my family were going to see it,” Savanna Shaw told the Deseret News not long after going viral. “And I think if I would’ve known how big it would get, I probably would’ve been a lot more nervous. I’m kind of glad I didn’t know that.”
The father-daughter duo has come a long way in two years time. The Shaws have released four albums, gone on tour in the U.S. and performed at large venues. As they reach their two-year milestone, here are two big projects in the works.
Providing financial assistance to Ukraine
Amid the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, the Shaws are using their global platform to provide financial assistance.
Mat Shaw recently recorded a rendition of the “Les Miserables” classic “Bring Him Home,” with all of the proceeds from the song’s purchase going to families in Ukraine via the organization International Rescue Committee.
“My heart hurts for the people of Ukraine,” he recently wrote on Facebook. “For those saying goodbye to their loved ones as they face an uncertain future, for the children and families desperate for the safe return of their fathers and brothers, and for the loss and pain so many will suffer from this senseless war. Our prayer is for peace, our prayer is for strength, and our prayer is for kindness. ‘God on high, hear my prayer. In my need, You have always been there.’ Bring them home safe.”
Mat Shaw’s performance, recently posted to YouTube, already has 275,000 views.
Earlier this week, the LoveLoud Festival announced its return after a two-year pause due to the pandemic, the Deseret News reported. The daylong festival “is designed to ignite the vital conversation about what it means to unconditionally love, understand, accept, and support LGBTQ+ youth in our communities,” according to a news release.
The Shaws are part of a big-name lineup for the festival that includes Imagine Dragons founder and frontman Dan Reynolds, and Neon Trees.
“We’ve always used our music to share hope and spread joy, and this is no different,” Mat Shaw said in a Facebook post. “I feel like the world, especially now, needs more compassion, it needs more understanding and kindness, and it needs more love. And so we are so excited to be able to be a part of this and to share the love with you.”
Tickets are now on sale for the festival, which takes place at Salt Lake City’s Vivint Arena on May 14.
‘Share hope and spread joy’
Mat and Savanna Shaw never expected to go viral, and they still have a hard time wrapping their heads around it. But they plan to keep riding the wave of their unexpected success and performing for their fans.
“We’ll just kind of see where it goes,” Mat Shaw previously told the Deseret News. “But we feel the responsibility of using this platform to share hope and spread joy. That’s meaningful and fulfilling and rewarding work to be involved in.
“And for us, if we lost all our fans tomorrow we’d still sing, because we love it,” he added. “We’d love it just the same.”