According to Alex Pall, one half of the hit EDM duo the Chainsmokers, what makes them better artists is that they strive to become better artists. Pall, a New York based DJ, formed the Chainsmokers with Andrew Taggart back in 2012. Despite their mainstream success the group is still fairly new, their breakout single “#Selfie” debuting back in 2014. In the four years since the group has charted many songs, and has also pushed the boundaries of EDM. Where most DJ’s are content to stay behind a booth, and mix synthscapes out of other artists’ work, the Chainsmokers like to create their own. Both Pall and Taggart are very active in the songwriting of their music, contributing in part or in whole to most of their songs. Taggart also began providing lead vocals for their songs with the release of “Closer”, which charted in 2016. An EDM DJ singing to their music like a concert is hitherto unheard of, but for the Chainsmokers it is about discovering their identity.
According to Pall the music communicates deeply to their listeners, and the group’s main goal is to increase that communication. They want their music to make a statement, to stay interesting, and to keep their audience engaged. Pall calls it a constant discussion about identity, preference, and where they are going. Neither Pall nor Taggart every expected to get as big as they are, and their quest for relevance sees them trying new things. They definitely do not want to be that group whose music sounds like another groups, or worse become considered a rip off of themselves. To avoid that the duo constantly works, constantly pushes, gets together every day, and strives to find their identity. It is this hard work that Pall believes makes them better artists.
The duo’s latest single “Sick Boy” is already making waves, with many commenting on how it is darker than all their other work. The song is the first of a series that explores the darker side of culture. For Pall and Taggart is another step on the road to identity.