Every genre falls victim to artists who sound alike. EDM is notorious because it contains artist who develop remixes of other people’s work. The DJ duo of Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart, who make up hit group the Chainsmokers, decided early on they did not just want to make dance music. This is why their music continues to separate itself and find its own definition. Hitting the mainstream in 2014, the group quickly found loyal followers. Over the course of four years they have churned out hit after hit, each one single step towards finding their identity. “What we’ve become is much bigger than we imagined” Pall said, “So its constantly a journey of self-discovery”. In 2016 the group released “Closer” a hit single featuring Halsey and Andrew Taggart on lead vocals. As most DJs in the EDM sphere do not provide their own vocals, the decision was unconventional to say the least. For Pall and Taggart it was about trying something new. “You have to try new things,” Pall said, “In order to stay engaged”. In an industry where countless artists compete to stand out, the Chainsmokers have managed to forge their own niche. But they are not about to stop.
Success in the music mainstream is also about relevance. Staying fresh and up to date with one’s audience. According to Pall and Taggart they get together every day to find their identity. It may be a quest with no ending. Many great artists have changed their styles over the years, and the Chainsmokers are no different. In many ways the quest for relevance never ends. Society keeps changing, tastes keep changing, people mature, evolve, so it makes since for music to do so as well.
Their most recent evolution came out with the 2018 release of “Sick Boy”. Once again featuring Andrew Taggart, the song carries a darker tone in its vibrant beat. It is the first of a series focused on social trends, carrying deeper messages for listeners. It is also a deviation from their normal music, a step both men agree is necessary.