The Chainsmokers’s rise to success is not a Cinderella story. No magical fairy appeared to grant them instant success. The DJ duo of Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart toiled for two years before their breakthrough hit “#Selfie” went mainstream in 2014. It has seemed like a Cinderella since then. The Chainsmokers went from rags to riches pretty fast, charting hit after hit in the ensuing years, and gaining a particularly large following. But the Chainsmokers story is not akin to countless recording artists, beginning in anonymity and then rising to celebrity. Their story is one of self-discovery, innovation, and the quest to become legitimate artists.
“We’ve been around the world once,’ Pall stated in a 2016 interview, “Probably two or three times.” The New York based DJ admitted that he and Taggart figured out early on they did not want to make dance music. “We keep pushing ourselves,” Pall stated, “Everyday it is all about self-discovery.” Both he and cohort Andrew Taggart admit that they are still trying to catch up to their success.
The duo’s 2016 interview with the Interview Magazine came at the heels of revolutionary single “Closer”. “Closer” was the first legitimate step the duo took to separate their music. It features Andrew Taggart on lead vocals. An element not present in most EDM music. The genre is filled with remixes of similar source material, where artist paint soundscapes on another artist’s pre-existing canvas. Pall and Taggart wanted to push boundaries, so Taggart picked up a mike. They also began involving themselves in the creation of their own music.
“We do not want to produce typical EDM albums,” Pall said, “Filled with 10 or 12 songs that have no relation.” Pall and Taggart want to create a unified work that tells who they are. They have been focused on bridging connection since they decided to include their real lives in their music. According to Taggart they were listening to Dashboard Confessional at the time.