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Dan + Shay’s Pizza-Testing Days

One-half of the breakout duo had some awfully odd jobs.

photo courtesy WMG

Before Dan + Shay were making music as one of country music's hottest duos, they did what they had to in order to make ends meet.

After leaving Pittsburgh and arriving in Nashville, Dan Smyers signed himself up for various research groups where he was paid to test out anything and everything. All so he could pay his bills.

"I was doing it in order to make a few bucks to pay my rent, which was very low rent," Dan tells Country Weekly with a laugh. "I think [that job is] the new-musician thing. There was always guys in pleather jackets sitting there trying to make it."

Some of the tasks at the research groups were better than others, and some helped Dan survive by having food to eat. "You’d get paid like $35 to test Domino’s or Papa John’s pizza," he recalls. "It’s like, ‘Take a small bite of this crust and chase it with a saltine to cleanse your palate.’ I’d be eating the whole piece of pizza and taking home the leftovers because I wanted to eat it for the next couple of days."

One of his other memorable jobs included trying on new clothing. "I did one where I had to try on T-shirts and they would be like, ‘How do you feel when you wear this T-shirt?’ I’d be like, ‘$20 richer?’" says Dan, laughing. "You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do!"

Look for more from our interview with Dan + Shay, whose single “19 You + Me” is climbing the charts, in the Feb. 17 issue of Country Weekly, on stands Feb. 10.

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