The recent release of the Chainsmokers’ 2018 single “Sick Boy” has many people talking. It is unlike anything they have released before. Although it sounds like a traditional dance song, sporting a catchy back beat overlaid with masterful electronic soundscapes, the single contains a sobering message about today’s society. The Chainsmokers have never been a traditional EDM group. The DJ duo of Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart have pushed the boundaries of their chosen genre numerous times. Both artists are heavily involved in the songwriting, and Andrew Taggart even goes as far as to sing lead vocals. “Sick Boy” is their latest attempt to remain relevant, establish themselves as true artists, and better connect with their listeners.
Since the release of 2016 hit “Closer” the Chainsmokers have tried to insert themselves as the human element within their music. For most DJ’s that element is provided by other artists in collaboration, but as Taggart continues to provide lead vocals, that element has become the duo themselves. According to Alex Pall it stems from a choice to wrap an identity around their work. “We want our songs to be a cohesive body of work that illustrates who we are” Pall said. In a recent interview the duo alluded that at one point they decided they did not want to make regular dance music anymore. They looked around, saw that most EDM groups did not use their own vocals, and said why not. The decision has paid off considerably as the Chainsmokers are more popular than ever.
“Sick Boy” is a continuation of Pall’s desire to stay away from typical DJ format. A few singles, a collection of good songs, some dance records, and an interlude shoved in their somewhere. For him relevance is found in identity and a song like “Sick Boy” provides that identity. The song alludes to the frustration of celebrity in the thrall of overexposure on social media, and also touches on the loss of identity social media generates.
Electro Pop duo The Chainsmokers recently commemorated the late Swedish DJ, Avicii— who passed away in April 2018 due to an act of suicide related to depression. As the duo presented the top 100 Song award to Luis Fonsi for “Despacito” they proceeded to remember Avicii; mentioning how he was one of their inspirations and a Dj who was also beloved by the EDM community.
Later in the event, The Chainsmokers went back on stage to receive the award of Top Dance/Electronic Artist and Andrew Taggart, member of the band proceeded to dedicate the award to Avicii. Taggart mentioned how Avicii was a big influence on him and one of the reasons he believed he could succeed in this career.
Singer and songwriter Hasley also had some thoughts. She commented on how she was fortunate to have worked with Avicii and shared that he was a great person to be around. She went on to encourage people to be loving and supportive of friends and family who may be suffering from mental issues.
About The Chainsmokers
The electropop duo began in 2012 in New York City with members Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart. Pall was originally part of a different duo including DJ Rhett Bixler. Andrew Taggart soon learned that Bixler had left the group and decided to relocate from Maine to New York to fill the missing spot; they became The Chainsmokers.
In its early days, the duo began by doing remixes of bands such as The Killers, Chromeo, and Phoenix. One of their first notable hits was the song “Erase”, released in 2012 and which included vocals by actress and singer Priyanka Chopra.
The group broke into mainstream success when they released a free download of their new single #Selfie in 2013. Soon after, they scored a deal with Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak Records and the single was re-released. The band soon hit a peak on the dance music charts while receiving international recognition.
The Chainsmokers have since blown up and received several other awards. Amongst those include a Grammy for best dance recording, two AMA awards, and five iHeartRadio awards.
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