How Alex Pall Went From a Hobby DJ to Chainsmokers Success

Since 2015, The Chainsmokers, an EDM-crossover pop duo, have been a mainstay on the top music charts. They’ve had 12 singles chart on Billboard’s Hot 100, with their song “Closer” snagging the top spot for twelve weeks. The Chainsmokers are currently in the midst of a three-year residency at the Wynn Nightlife’s Las Vegas nightclubs until 2019. A large part of The Chainsmokers’ success can be ascribed to the duo’s ability to humanize electronic dance music, a genre often devoid of emotion and associated with faceless artists. Even though The Chainsmokers are now one of the biggest EDM/pop acts in the world, member Alex Pall’s career began humbly as hobby DJ around New York City.

Pall was a regular DJ at New York art gallery when he met music manager Adam Alpert. Through Alpert, Pall connected with The Chainsmokers’ other member Andrew Taggart. Pall knew he would be able to work with Taggart after initial conversations. When discussing their first meetings, Pall said, “When we talked, it was mostly about what we liked musically and what we were into growing up. Then it became a chat about how driven and ambitious we were and how badly we wanted this.”

When asked about The Chainsmokers unique decision to sing on their own tracks (a rarity in EDM), Pall explained that even though the duo uses songwriters, they’re always in sessions and always giving input. When describing their songs, Pall said, “They’re about us.” This personal connection to the lyrical content sets the duo apart from their EDM peers, who often enlist the help of today’s top pop stars to add lyrics and sing on tracks. By personalizing EDM music, The Chainsmokers have been able to expand their fan following into an audience of diverse individuals. When asked about whom their audience is, Pall said, “From what I see on social media, it’s becoming more international.” Pall remarked that he’s even caught his mom humming the duo’s single “Roses” around the house.

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