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.
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, another DJ 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 and The Chainsmokers and 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.