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Why Utah’s viral daddy-daughter singing duo has been quiet the last few weeks

While the Shaws didn’t give a release date for the upcoming album in the works, they said they’ve been spending a lot of time in a professional recording studio — a step up from their makeshift studio in a closet at home.

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Mat and Savanna Shaw practice a cover of the song “Shallow” in their family home’s loft while the iPad they use to record their duets charges on Thursday, May 14, 2020. The Shaws are now getting ready for their second big performance at the Eccles Theater.

Mat and Savanna Shaw practice a cover of the song “Shallow” in their family home’s loft while the iPad they use to record their duets charges on Thursday, May 14, 2020. The father-daughter duets went viral on YouTube as they shared their passion for music amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “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,” Mat Shaw said.

Ivy Ceballo, Deseret News

Utah’s viral daddy-daughter singing duo is working on an album. 

For months, Mat and Savanna Shaw have consistently posted duets on YouTube, sharing their passion for music amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

What began as a quarantined 15-year-old missing choir rehearsals and wanting to share music with her close friends evolved into an effort millions of people around the world have seen.

Since releasing their version of “The Prayer” in late February, the Shaws have been on “Good Morning America,” “The Kelly Clarkson Show” and “Inside Edition.” They’re on iTunes now. And they’ve even caught the eye of at least one prominent Broadway manager.

But lately, Mat and Savanna Shaw have been quiet. They posted their last duet, “Come What May” from “Moulin Rouge,” three weeks ago.

On Sunday, the Shaws broke the silence, teasing the new album that’s consumed their time and cut into their regular performances.

In the 40-minute YouTube livestream, Mat and Savanna Shaw first talked about their unexpected rise to fame, calling it “an amazing, wild ride.” 

Mat Shaw said he had put his music dreams on the back burner years ago so he could focus on a career and his growing family. And Savanna Shaw said she considers herself “a very shy person.” 

“It’s kind of hard for me to put myself out there,” she told fans on the YouTube stream. “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.” 

Then they talked about the album. While the Shaws didn’t give a release date, they said they’ve been spending a lot of time in a professional recording studio — a step up from their makeshift studio in a closet at home, where a little mic, propped up by a pair of pajama pants, plugs into an iPad. Many of the song selections have come from fan recommendations, and Mat Shaw also said an original tune is in the works. 

“It’s taken us a little bit of time to start working on the album, and now we’re hoping to get back to doing our more regular releases,” he said. 

As the Shaws return to posting videos on YouTube, they said they may branch into jazz music and sing a John Denver tune down the road. The pair also said they’ve considered doing live concerts once the pandemic subsides. 

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Mat Shaw listens to Savanna Shaw recording her part of their cover of the song “Shallow” inside a closet in their family’s home on Thursday, May 14, 2020. The father-daughter duets went viral on YouTube as they shared their passion for music amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “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,” Mat Shaw said.

Ivy Ceballo, Deseret News

“What we love about our music is just to be able to connect and to uplift and to inspire and encourage,” Mat Shaw said. “The best way to do that is to do that live, and I would love to be able to go perform.” 

In the video, the Shaws also introduced fans to their entire family, talked about being recognized in public, and shared why they are “intentionally vague” when it comes to religion and politics.

“I mean my goodness, we’re getting close to an election and things just get so politicized and so divisive,” Mat Shaw said. “We want people to come to our music and have it be a safe place where you can feel what you want to feel without us pushing our beliefs or agenda.” 

Before signing off, Mat and Savanna Shaw gave an impromptu performance of “Beauty and the Beast.” Then, they addressed a frequently asked question from fans: Would they ever consider auditioning for “America’s Got Talent?”

“We will ride the wave and we’ll see where it takes us,” Savanna Shaw said.