Arguably New York’s most famous DJ twosome, the Chainsmokers, are in the news once again thanks to the unending popularity of their music. Along with pop icon Hasley, Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart have been awarded diamond certification for their single “Closer” by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) after having sold 10 million units over the last two years.
“Closer” was released late in the summer of 2016, and upon its debut it was situated at the top spot of Billboard’s Hot 100. No other single seemed able to challenge its popularity for a long while. It was also an instant hit with the Dance and Electronic chart, where it remained untouched until a few months ago. These records, a dozen times at the top of the charts, made “Closer” the fourth longest running #1 single in history.
The endurance of this single brought the Chainsmokers to a new stage in their music careers. The Chainsmokers weren’t just going to fold back into a crowd of EDM acts that premiere to middling applause then disappear. This was a duo that had mainstream appeal, able to move across genre charts and top them all. “Closer” also showcased Hasley’s talent as a pop star, and was the breakthrough single that popularized her.
Though “Stressed Out” by Twenty One Pilots has since replaced it on the Hot 100 and “The Middle” is currently at the top of Dance and Electronic, “Closer” absolutely dominated the last two years through sales and streams. The song even got Hasley and the Chainsmokers Grammy nominations in 2017.
Ultimately the success of “Closer” came from the fans who just couldn’t stop listening, so it was only fitting that they got the news first. Both Chainsmokers and Hasley made the announcement about diamond certification on their Instagram accounts, glowing with pride with their official plaques.
Prior to diamond certification, the last time “Closer” was in the news was when the RIAA was honoring the single for going platinum for the seventh time last March. Now that the plaques are in the hands of the recording artists, the last thing needed to make diamond certification part of history is for the RIAA to update their website.
Anyone familiar with the production of electronic music understands that the names behind the radio bangers are more often than not associated with just the beats. They hire songwriters to create content and engage the services of vocalists and this blend comes up with hits that go on to top the music charts. However, as one of the Chainsmokers duo, Alex Pall would put it, there is always some level of disconnect between these hitmakers and their listeners.
Unlike other music genres where music lovers can associate their favorite music with a particular artist or band, electronic music has for long been faceless. Electronic music listeners have no more than beats to associate their favorite hits with. They have no faces or personas to associate with these beats. And as Alex Pall would put it, this kills any personal connection that they may try to create with their favorite music and musicians. The Chainsmokers duo has, however, set out on a mission towards changing this ideology and providing a face and personal connection to electronic music.
How to achieve this?
Alex Pal and his partner Andrew Taggart hope to achieve this by playing a bigger role not just in the production but also the delivery of their music. For instance, instead of just stringing beats, the duo will contribute to the entire process of creating their music. This involves writing their own music or guiding the content generation process as well as using their own vocals. Most importantly, they will feature in their video songs.
According to Pall, providing a face to their music will also involve allowing their fans into their lives. And it all started with sharing their life stories with their fans through their songs. The first of the series of giving fans a sneak peek into their lives started with their hit song, Closer, and this level of personalization is expected to continue with every other new song the two produce. Most recently, the team also started releasing the behind scenes footage videos of what goes on in their studios during the production and shot of some of their most popular hits.