On July 24, 2018, The Grammy Award-winning duo The Chainsmokers performed their interpretation of some of the world’s favorite songs. This performance was part of the Pepsi Generations Summer Music Campaign and was streamed live through Pepsi’s Twitter account. In usual Chainsmokers style, special guest performances were anticipated, and the boys didn’t disappoint, bringing out Kehlani and MAX during their show.
— Pepsi™ (@pepsi) June 25, 2018
“We’re kind of nervous,” Alex Pall said leading up to the performance. “But lucky for us, they have an endless amount of songs that are extremely popular that people love to hear. We just have to figure out how to mix everything in. I think it’ll be a cool experience for us. We don’t get to play a lot of Ray Charles at our shows.” After this interview, tickets to the performance began to sell immediately.
Who are The Chainsmokers: EDM/Pop Heavyweights Alex Pall & Drew Taggart
The Chainsmokers met by chance but shared a strong bond from the beginning. Alex was already DJing in NYC while working part-time as a receptionist. Drew was about to graduate from Syracuse University in upstate NY. Alex Pall’s manager set up an introduction, and the two hit it off instantly after the meeting.
“We met after Drew graduated college and I was working in an art gallery and our manager put us together. He was working with us individually and thought we would complement each other really well. I was more of a DJ and Drew came from more of a producer background. Obviously, we didn’t know each other at all and it was like, ‘You guys meet and see if you hit it off and share the same vision.’ The next day he moved to New York and I quit my job and we went full steam ahead.” – Alex Pall, Larry King Now
Although they tour the world and play arena gigs today, their first shows were at modest clubs. Through hard work and a keen musical instinct, The Chainsmokers have one of the hottest brands in pop music right now. They even secured a three-year residency at the Wynn resort in Las Vegas.
Alex and Drew both enjoy a broad range of music outside of EDM. This diversity allows them to produce truly unique music that draws from many components in a lot of genres.
“Well, we always really loved indie music… If you look back at where we started a couple years ago, and you look at the songs we were remixing, we were finding these no-name bands that were up-and-coming… We didn’t want to just take pop songs and make them EDM, that was not interesting to us, it didn’t come naturally to us. We liked picking indie songs, adding this cool dance side to it that also felt organic and natural with the song, so that’s kind of where our interests have always been rooted.” – Alex Pall, Harper’s Bazaar
The Pepsi Generations Summer Music Campaign
The campaign was created to honor decades of music icons by placing their images on Pepsi cans as part of this year’s global creative campaign – Pepsi Generations. This campaign celebrates Pepsi’s presence in music history.
By featuring the music of Pepsi musicians, past and present, the brand hopes to excite fans with a focus on entertainment and music programming, limited edition cans, a seasonal release of Pepsi merchandise, and technologically advanced digital content.
Exploring The Chainsmokers’ Musical Growth
As Alex Pall and Drew Taggart started coming into their own as songwriters, they decided they needed to make things more personal. To do that, they started writing songs about their own experiences and agreed that Drew would start singing regularly.
“We began writing songs about ourselves and it only seemed right that if we were writing songs about ourselves that we (or in this case, Drew) sing them…Drew sang on “Closer,” so he wrote, produced, and did all the vocals. Not a lot of artists can say the same, but it’s those sorts of risks that can lead to an entirely new area for us.” – Alex Pall, Teen Vogue
Having Drew as the voice of The Chainsmokers gives them greater creative control while still allowing them to create collaborations that helped make them famous.
“Most of the massive stars in the world are at the mercy of getting a good song and have to wait for someone to write them the perfect thing, and we’re not really into that kind of variable; we’re all about proving ourselves as much as possible…we got the opportunity to write with lots of really great people and have also gained the confidence in writing ourselves…. We start with a guitar or a piano with a vocal, and honestly wait for a moment of inspiration for the production – always trying to use a sound that hasn’t been heard before. We are ultimately about writing great songs using our favorite elements from the EDM world.” – Andrew Taggart, Headliner Magazine
Since the duo made the choice to explore their musicality, their success keeps on mounting. They’re at a place in their careers where it makes perfect sense to take on legendary songs in a live performance.
What’s Next for The Chainsmokers?
The Chainsmokers recently released their latest single, “Save Yourself,” a new song in collaboration with NGHTMRE. The song calls back to their EDM roots – a bit of a divergence from their other poppier 2018 releases. “Side Effects” featuring Emily Warren was the duo’s most recent release prior to “Save Yourself.”
In addition, rumors are circulating that The Chainsmokers are in the running to play the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show. Will they? Only time will tell.