The Chainsmokers are an American DJ duo consisting of Andrew "Drew" Taggart and Alex Pall.
The duo achieved a breakthrough with their 2014 song "#Selfie", which was a top twenty single in several countries. Their debut EP, Bouquet was released in October 2015 and featured the single "Roses", which reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Don't Let Me Down" became their first top 5 single and won the Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording at the 59th Grammy Awards, while "Closer", featuring vocals from Halsey, became their first number-one single on the chart.
The duo's second EP Collage was released in November 2016, consisting of several previously released singles. Their debut studio album Memories...Do Not Open is set to be released on April 7, 2017.
Andrew "Drew" Taggart (born: December 31, 1989) is of Scottish descent and was raised in Freeport, Maine. His mother is a teacher and his father sold prosthetics. He was turned onto to EDM at the age of 15 while abroad in Argentina, where he was introduced to the music of David Guetta, Daft Punk and Trentemøller. Drew also contributes vocals in a variety of their tracks.
Alexander "Alex" Pall (born: May 16, 1985) is of French descent and grew up in Westchester County, New York. His mother is a housewife and his father is an art dealer.
Taggart has described the duo's music as "blur[ring] the lines between indie, pop music, dance music, and hip-hop." The pair have cited Pharrell Williams and Deadmau5 as musical influences.
The Chainsmokers, though their acclaim and popularity in the mainstream, has also infamously been due to a lot of criticism, both musically and politically. Music wise, they're known to be repetitive, more so since they're breakthrough, with one of their hits, particularly "Something Just Like This", seemingly to be ripped off from one of their own songs, "Roses". "Closer," featuring Haley has particularly recieved a lot of backlash, though being the Chainsmokers' first number one hit single, its purposefully anti-climactic hook became massive in its own way, with many theorizing the only reason it became as big as it was, was due to the prominence in lyrics which other mainstream songs seemed to be lacking in that point in time. Nonetheless, "Closer" was made fun of due to its oddly specific and in a way "dorky" lyrics.
Drew, who often provides vocals in some of the tracks, has also been critisiced for his lack of vocal talent, more specifically live, and his inibility to sing higher notes.
Their album, "Memories...Do Not Open" was also bombed by critics. An article by Pitchfork described it as "a lifeless, anodyne pop record that wallows in basic feelings of regret and narcissism", with many of the tracks sounding very similar to each other. The group seems to rely on the feelings of nostalgia to push their songs though, as the theme of the entire album and various tracks and singles after, such as "Young".
The duo have also been disliked by the public for their poorly thought-through, or otherwise "cringy" public statements, and general cockyness (thinking they're "the real deal", better than LMFAO, etc.).
The Chainsmokers were initially made up of Pall and former DJ Rhett Bixler. The Chainsmokers were formed as an EDM DJ duo in 2012 under the management of Adam Alpert in New York City. Pall, who had grown up DJing, was introduced to Taggart by Alpert, and had been working at an art gallery in Chelsea, Manhattan at the time. Pall attended New York University for art history and music business. Taggart had been attending Syracuse University and was interning at Interscope Records before the two met. He had taken an interest in DJing and released some original songs on the website SoundCloud. Taggart was informed by someone working for Alpert that a duo that was being managed by him had an open spot after Bixler left, which prompted Taggart to leave Maine in order to go to New York City. They started out by making remixes of indie bands. In 2012, they collaborated with Indian actress and recording artist Priyanka Chopra on the single "Erase" which was followed by "The Rookie" in early 2013.
2013-2014: First live performance and breakthrough
The duo's first live performance was opening for Timeflies at Terminal 5 in September 2014. Their single "#Selfie", released for free in December 2013, was picked up by Dim Mak Records who re-released it in January 2014 and eventually streamed it to Republic Records. The duo achieved breakthrough success as the single charted internationally and peaked on the Dance/Electronic Songs chart. Pall has described the song as "life-changing" for the pair. On August 5, 2014, The Chainsmokers released "Kanye" featuring sirenXX, the follow-up to "#Selfie". Seven months later, they released "Let You Go", featuring the American synthpop group, Great Good Fine Ok. They signed with Disruptor Records, a joint venture label with Sony Music Entertainment by their manager Adam Alpert, in April 2015.
2015-2016: Bouquet and Collage
The Chainsmokers released their first EP titled Bouquet, featuring "New York City", "Until You Were Gone", "Waterbed", "Good Intentions", and "Roses". Their follow-up single "Don't Let Me Down", was released on February 5, 2016, featuring the singer Daya. Two months later, they released the single, "Inside Out", featuring the Swedish singer Charlee.
On March 19, 2016, the group played at Ultra Music Festival, where they publicly denounced presidential candidate Donald Trump. On July 29, 2016, they released "Closer" featuring singer Halsey, which peaked at number one in the United States and United Kingdom, in addition to charts in eleven other countries. The track was also performed at the 2016 MTV VMAs. The performance was met with mostly negative reception. Multiple publications including The New York Times, Rolling Stone and Us Weekly referred to the performance as the worst of the night. Taggart himself stated in an interview with Billboard that "It sounded like shit." "All We Know" featuring Phoebe Ryan was released on September 29, 2016. In October 2016, The Chainsmokers were ranked 18th in DJ Magazine's annual list of the "Top 100 DJs" after debuting on the list at 97th in 2014. The two have stated that they have no plans to release a debut studio album.
They released their second extended play Collage on November 4, 2016.
2017–present: Memories...Do Not Open and Las Vegas XS residency
The duo released "Paris" as their next international single on January 13, 2017. On January 30, the song was certified gold in Canada. On the same day, despite previous statements, the duo announced that they were working on their debut studio album, scheduled for release in April. "Memories: Do Not Open" tour was also announced on the same day, it features 40 North American cities beginning in April alongside support from Kiiara and Emily Warren. Their debut album title is presumed to be the same as the tour name since it is a normalcy for artists to name their tour after their albums and The Chainsmokers' album is expected to be released before the tour in April.
On January 3, 2016, they announced an exclusive three-year residency deal with Wynn Nightlife. Per the agreement, they will only perform in Wynn-owned nightclubs XS Las Vegas and Encore Beach Club until the year 2019. Pall described the deal to be the "best of what Las Vegas has to offer", saying they were "thrilled" with the agreement.
On February 14, 2017, the duo announced during an on-screen Grammy red carpet interview that their debut upcoming album would be titled Memories...Do Not Open and would be released on April 7, 2017, via Disruptor/Sony.
The Chainsmokers' collaborative single with Coldplay "Something Just Like This" was released in February 2017. It features the duo's debut studio album, Memories: Do Not Open. On February 22, 2017, Chris Martin of Coldplay performed the song with The Chainsmokers on stage at The Brit Awards 2017 at The O2 Arena in London, England.
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