July 27th 2016, The Chainsmokers’ single “Closer” was released, featuring Andrew Taggart’s vocals. This is usually uncommon for electronic music artists to sing their own songs as the typical approach would be to leave this element to an outside songwriter or vocalist. However Alex Pall (second member of the Chainsmokers) has spoken out about how he wants to create a more intimate sound by adding Taggart and his voice into the mix. He wanted to rise above being an ordinary DJ with only a mainstream, homogeneous sound. Pall actually began his music artistry as a side hustle but it was an entertaining aspect of his life that soon became his passion. After Taggart and Pall met, Pall mentioned that he came to a realization that electronic music was what he wanted to pursue full time. Shortly after, both Pall and Taggart became a symphonic duo.
“We got together every day and worked on music and creating our identity as artists”, Pall expressed to journalist, Mathias Rosenzweig. From an outsider looking within, it would seem as though Pall’s journey to becoming a dynamic DJ created a methodical environment of work obligations. In the beginning stages of developing their content, this was actually the case as Pall and Taggart music career had propelled forward with a lot to learn. The Chainsmokers wanted to have a unparalleled sound that was a soul exploration, which would create a deep connection for their fans. Standing out from various artists and having a distinctive edge was one goal but building a sound and making memorable performances that resonated with people was the ultimate catch.
What’s impressive is that the Chainsmokers perform live for their audiences around the world. For many music artists, it’s common to play a pre-recorded audio at a show. In addition, the average age demographic of their listeners range from ages 15 to over 30. To Taggart and Pall, the idea is to connect with people by pushing new boundaries and transcending a unique sound in order to represent their musical identity.
When an album or single sells for over one million units it is awarded platinum certification. This comes in the form of a platinum-plated LP. Every time it sells a million copies this happens. So whenever a song or album goes double or triple platinum that means it has sold two to three million units. So what happens when a single goes ten times platinum? Just ask the Chainsmokers.
Fans of both the Chainsmokers and Halsey got a real Instagram treat last month when the artists posted some exciting news via photo. The artists collaborate smash hit “Closer”, which was released back in 2016, hasgained diamond certification. Diamond certification is what the RIAA calls ten times platinum. It is a huge accomplishment and a testament to the popularity of what was by far their biggest hit of 2016.
“Closer” tells the story of two ex-lovers finding each other again by chance. It is the story of a unexpected hook up that bears no promise of going anywhere. The story is just as ambiguous as the lyrics that tell it. Underscored by a catchy beat, the song is definitely the kind that will crawl into your brain and stay there. It is done in typical Chainsmokers fashion. The lyrics tell a relatable story, pulled from their actual lives, and feature Andrew Taggart on lead vocals.
Although these are known mainstays today, back in 2016 they were still relatively new. As was Halsey. The singer was still a fresh face to the music industry in 2016. “Closer” was the hit that made her career and served as her first breakout. It also made Pall and Taggart recognized artists. The duo had formed back in 2012, and had been trying to seperate themselves from the EDM flock since their breakout in 2014. 2014 was the year of their breakout single, “#Selfie“. The duo quickly rose to fame but began changing their style. Taggart began taking lead vocals which most EDM artists never do. Now in the wake of a very active 2018 all three artists have had a decent blast from the past. Diamond certification is a much sought after achievement.
Once confined to illegal raves and underground clubs,Electronic Dance Music (EDM) is now the largest segment of modern dance grooves. In 2012, two EDM DJs, Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart transformed Top 40s culture with their stylized beats. The Chainsmokers have achieved unprecedented popularity and commercial success. In an interview with the original initiator of the twosome, Alex Pall, he spoke about uncovering his hidden talent for producing EDM. Before Andrew, Alex had another partner who decided to pursue another path. It left him searching for a replacement. What he found was more than a replacement, anotherDJ who possessed his identical passion for the genre.
Alex Pall isn’t a household name, at least not yet. But, that doesn’t take anything away from the popular status the duo have achieved in just six short years. With the release of their 2016 hit, “Closer,” the Chainsmokers were launched in a solo category as excavators of good dance music. Contrary to what others might think, the genre requires more than standing in a DJ booth, playing sets. The EDM culture has never been dead, but it was slightly lethargic, because there weren’t enough standout DJs.
Enter Alex Pall andThe Chainsmokersand their charged percussion laced beats and amplified lyrics. And what you have is something that Alex says happened, quite by accident. “I quit my job and that’s where it all started.” He was always heavily involved in producing EDM tracks. Initially, Alex Pall was working as an intern for Interscope Records in New York City. Back then he was only dabbling in the music scene, thinking about leaving his Syracuse college and relocating to Los Angeles. As club DJs, EDM follows a format. Alex Pall created a divergent path for the Chainsmokers, one which allows them to express who they are as individuals. This personalization has lead them away from being stereotyped as “typical” EDM DJs. The one defining moment came with the track, Closer and its pure electronic dance beats; this coupled with Halsey and Alex Pall singing, elevated the Chainsmokers into a breakout success.