After earning three top 10 hits last year – including “Closer,” which spent a whopping 12 weeks at Number One – the Chainsmokers landed a nomination for Best New Artist at the 2017 Grammy Awards. Here’s five things you didn’t know about these heavy-handed electronic hit-makers.
They’re talent scouts.
The Chainsmokers asked Daya to contribute vocals to “Don’t Let Me Down” months before her own single “Hideaway” started to pick up traction at pop radio. On “All We Know,” they worked with Phoebe Ryan, who’s mainly known as a behind-the-scenes presence, with songwriting credits for Britney Spears and Melanie Martinez. Since that release, Ryan has been bubbling on Pandora’s Next Big Sound chart, which predicts artists that are about to break through based on “activity across all major social music sites,” for 17 weeks.
This duo’s chart-topping prowess may come in second to their knack for insobriety. “We rage every night,” Andrew Taggart told Billboard. But, Alex Pall added, “You’ll never see us getting carried out of a club. We’re way too good at drinking.”
They aspire to make “personal” music.
The direct, unambiguous work of rock bands like Dashboard Confessional, Taking Back Sunday and Blink-182 inspired the Chainsmokers when they made “Closer.” In an interview with Vogue, Pall praised these groups for saying “exactly what they were feeling, instead of using metaphors about wings spreading and making weird analogies.”
They’re not on the best terms with Mark Ronson.
When Ronson heard that the Chainsmokers didn’t like Lady Gaga’s “Perfect Illusion” – which Ronson helped produce – he hopped on Twitter to call the duo “charisma-bypassed champions of 2 bar Ableton loops.” “Smash it while it lasts, fellas!” he added. TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek echoed Ronson’s words, tweeting in response, “that applies to so many of these fools!”
They have fans in surprising places.
Jazz saxophonist Donny McCaslin, known to rock listeners for his contributions to David Bowie’s Black Star, covered a Chainsmokers’ song as a bonus track on his recent Beyond Now album. Bono is also a supporter. He “rolled up to our studio, all by himself, and played us some new U2 music,” Taggart told Rolling Stone. “We played him some of our new stuff, and with this one song, he was like, ‘That’s great – will you send that to me?’ Which was so sick.”