Grammy, Oscar, Tony winning songwriters take inspiration from Utah

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

OREM, Utah - Pasek and Paul are a songwriting duo who may someday be spoken of in the same terms as Lerner and Lowe or Rodgers and Hammerstein.

They have a long way to go to get there, but if their current trajectory is any indication, it's entirely possible.

Benj Pasek and Justin Paul stopped at Utah Valley University on their way to the Academy Awards, where they're nominated for best song for "This is Me" from The Greatest Showman. They won the award in the same category in 2017 for "City of Stars," from La La Land.

So why the stop in Utah? One simple answer: it's on the way from New York to LA and they were invited, but the reasons go deeper.

Turns out Pasek and Paul have developed an affinity for the Beehive State, stemming from a visit to speak to middle and high schoolers years ago.

"It was at UVU and we remember feeling like we had stumbled upon this insane musical theater haven that we had no idea existed," said Paul.

Paul said Utah represents something of an emotional fueling station on the way to a stressful awards program.

"If things don't work out on Sunday, we'll just hold on to the love we feel tonight," Paul said.

In the story above, hear what else they had to say about their Utah influence, including a band with local ties they drew from for "The Greatest Showman."