‘Tequila’ Co-writer Jordan Reynolds Admits He Never Expected the Song to Have Such Success
"Tequila" by Dan + Shay was one of the hottest songs of 2018: It's surreptitiously catchy and sing-along-able, and you probably couldn't have ignored its impact if you tried. The duo's Dan Smyers co-wrote the song with Jordan Reynolds and Nicolle Galyon, and during the 2019 Nashville Grammy Awards nominees party, Reynolds shared the excitement he felt when he learned about the two nominations the song received, for Best Country Song and Best Country Duo / Group Performance.
"I was at the gym with my brother. My mom called [him] instead of calling me. I guess she assumed that I already knew," Reynolds recalls. "She was, like, ‘Hey, Jordan just got nominated for a Grammy.' [My brother] Jeremy’s sitting in the gym, [and] he totally played it cool ... and he’s like, ‘Just so you know, you just got nominated for a Grammy.’ It was just crazy."
"Tequila" was born during one of the collaborators' first writing sessions together. It naturally came together once they sat down to write.
"It was about three years ago, almost to the day. I had this title, "When I Taste Tequila," in my phone I had acquired over winter break. Somebody said it in passing," Reynolds shares. "[I] put it in my phone [and] said it to those guys. It was like the second write of the year, and it just took off."
Reynolds admits, though, that he and his co-writers didn't know "Tequila" would be such a huge hit: "We knew that we loved the song, but there’s a lot of songs that I love that no one will ever hear," he says.
"We never expected it to do what it has done, so that’s been kind of a cool thing," Reynolds adds. "To see people respond to something that you love as a songwriter, that’s the biggest win."
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Dan + Shay's music video for "Tequila" came out in February of 2018, long before it had found any success on country radio. The clip was, in a way, a pledge to fans to show how much the duo loved the song.
"I love that they went all out [for the video]," Reynolds shares. "Honestly, when they did the music video shoot, it hadn’t done much in country radio. so they kind of were really taking a risk, like, we’re gonna put all our money behind this song and really go for it. I think it just kind of proved to fans that we’re serious about this song."
Reynolds thinks the secret to the song's success is its nostalgia factor. From karaoke to the car, it's relatable.
"I could write nostalgic songs every day of my life and be happy," Reynolds says. "My publisher would probably hate me, but I love writing nostalgic songs. I am happily married, but I love that feeling. Everybody loves that feeling of missing someone. Everybody can relate to that; even if you’ve never broken up with anybody, you just kind of know that feeling of missing someone.
"So I think that’s a big part of [the song's success]," he adds. "I think, melodically, it just came together where, it’s pretty easy to pick up, just feels like a familiar melody."
The 2019 Grammy Awards will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif., on Feb. 10. The televised ceremony will begin at 8PM ET on CBS; the pre-telecast Premiere Ceremony will be available to stream online earlier in the evening.
The Boot will be staying up late covering the most buzzed-about country winners, fashion and moments at the 2019 Grammy Awards. Readers can watch along with us by checking back to TheBoot.com for the latest Grammys headlines, liking The Boot on Facebook and following The Boot on Twitter.
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