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 choral friends as a pandemic took hold that halted all activity.
Two years since the teen and her father, from Kaysville, Utah, sat at their kitchen table belting out a rendition of “The Prayer,” which she posted to social media for her friends to see. Two years since that performance reached a much wider audience than the Shaws ever anticipated.
Her rendition of “The Prayer” has more than 9 million views on YouTube alone.
“I really just thought my friends and family would see it,” Savanna Shaw told the Deseret News shortly after it went viral. “And I think if I had known how big it was going to be I probably would have been a lot more nervous. I’m kinda glad I didn’t know that.”
The father-daughter duo has come a long way in two years. The Shaws have released four albums, toured the United States and performed at major venues. As they reach their two-year milestone, there are two major projects in the works here.
Providing financial support to Ukraine
Amid the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, the Shaws use their global platform to provide financial support.
Mat Shaw recently recorded a rendition of the Les Miserables classic Bring Him Home, with all proceeds from purchases of the song going to families in Ukraine through the organization International Rescue Committee.
“My heart aches for the people of Ukraine,” he recently wrote on Facebook. “For those who say goodbye to loved ones as they face an uncertain future, for the children and families who desperately hope for the safe return of their fathers and brothers, and for the loss and pain felt by so many at this senseless war will suffer. 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 were always there.’ Bring her home safely.”
Mat Shaw’s performance, which was recently posted on YouTube, already has 275,000 views.
Earlier this week, LoveLoud Festival announced its return after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Deseret News reported. The day-long festival “is designed to spark the important conversation about what it means to unconditionally love, understand, accept and support LGBTQ+ youth in our communities,” according to a press release.
The Shaws are part of a notable line-up 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 that’s why we’re so excited to be a part of it and to share the love with you.”
Tickets for the festival, which takes place on May 14th at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, are on sale now.
“Share hope and spread joy”
Mat and Savanna Shaw never expected to go viral and they still have a hard time caring. But they plan to keep riding the wave of their unexpected success and performing for their fans.
“We’ll just see where it goes,” Mat Shaw previously told the Deseret News. “But we are committed to using this platform to share hope and spread joy. This is meaningful, fulfilling, and rewarding work to be involved in.
“And if we lost all our fans tomorrow, we’d still be singing because we love it,” he added. “We would love it just as much.”