先週、ザ・チェインスモーカーズ(The Chainsmokers)のデビューアルバム: "Memories...Do Not Open (2017) "がチャートで1位を獲得した。このEDMデュオはこの快挙を喜んでいるはずでしょう。彼らもTwitterで喜びを爆発させていましたが、しかし周りからは、この成功はほとんど保証されていたも同然という見方をしていた。過去18カ月でThe Chainmokersは新鋭のヒットメーカーから大ヒットメーカーへ変換をしてきました。2016年、彼らのシングル"Closer"がBillboard Hot 100で12週連続1位を獲得。またこれ以外にトップ10を入りを果たした。“Roses,” “Don’t Let Me Down,” “Paris,” そしてColdplayと共演を果たした“Something Just Like This.”です。
Last week, The Chainsmokers hit No. 1 with their debut album Memories…Do Not Open. The EDM duo was ecstatic about the success—which they took to Twitter to freak out about—but to most outside observers, that success was all but guaranteed. The last 18 months saw the Chainsmokers transform from novelty hit-makers into the devil princes of pop music. Last year, their single “Closer” with post-everything singer Halsey sat at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 12 weeks, and they also found Top 10 records with “Roses,” “Don’t Let Me Down,” “Paris,” and the Coldplay collaboration “Something Just Like This.”
Success, even despite the album’s brutal critical reception and a still mocked Billboard cover story, was always going to be in the cards. No matter the reception of the album, The Chainsmokers aren’t about to go anywhere, and while their music is omnipresent, there is no simple switch one hits to conquer the pop world. Their success wasn’t a fluke, nor just a few lucky singles, so we decided to dive into the duo’s career to see how far and wide one must go to reign over the contemporary pop world.
The Chainsmokers first found success with “#Selfie,” a song mocking women who take pics of themselves that was clearly angled to game Google/YouTube search results. The brazen play at media manipulation worked, racking up nearly 500 million plays on YouTube. Crassness was at the core of The Chainsmokers from the beginning, and they attempted to follow that same line of search engine trickery with the song “Kanye,” but the lightning didn’t strike twice.
Insteadthe duo signed on to host a radio show on Sirius XM and started their own podcast Nice Hair With The Chainsmokers connected with that show. Many acts struggle to find clear direction after an initial success, but The Chainsmokers adeptly positioned themselves to exist beyond their novelty crossovers. That move gave credence to the 360 view of their career that Andrew Taggart spoke to in their Billboard interview. “We know every metric about our music,“ he said. "About our shows. We read every tweet. Every comment on Instagram and Facebook. We see everything.”
SEO「Search Engine Optimization」=検索エンジン最適化で検索上位を狙うことをしていて、オリジナリティーは二の次という感じでしたが、2015年の“Roses”で彼らのキャリアは変わった。この曲は注目されてBillboard Hot100で第6位まで上り詰めるのに数ヵ月を要した。しかしこの曲は彼らのキャリアの大きな重要な変換点となった -つまり作詞を誰かに譲るということ。例えばEDM作曲家であるdeadmau5などに。これについて昨年2016年に彼らがゴーストライターを使っていると非難されたことがあるが、彼らは曲のクレジットに対してはオープンである。例えば2016年のヒット曲である“Don’t Let Me Down,”では作詞をEmily Warrenとしている。彼女はこの曲以来、彼らの作詞を手伝っている。メガヒット曲である “Closer,”
Still SEO first and originality second, the New York duo’s career shift happened in 2015 with the song “Roses” featuring the singer (wait for it)
Rozes. The song took a few months to find a wide audience before peaking at No. 6 on the Hot 100, but it marked a key shift in the duo’s career—they ceded songwriting duties. deadmau5, a perpetual EDM whistle-blower, accused the duo last year of using ghostwriters, but their song credits are fairly open about such collaborations. “Don’t Let Me Down,” their first major 2016 hit was co-written by the songwriter Emily Warren, who since helped pen a number of songs for the duo. Then, on their mega-hit “Closer,” Louis The Child’s Who The F*** Is CC? added an unmistakable future bass touch to the track. Whatever Deadmau5 might’ve said, pop stars using songwriters is not unbecoming—ask Drake, Katy Perry, Rihanna—The Chainsmokers straddled the line of EDM and pop and choose the best parts of both for their career.
The Chainsmokers went full pop last year, but also never neglected their original EDM fan base. One way they achieved this was by making sure their music was put on the most popular EDM YouTube Channels. Their song “Paris” premiered on Proximity, which boasts over four
millionsfollowers, and if one venturesto Trap Nation with over 13 million followers, there’s an almost endless supply of Chainsmokers remixes on the site, including Illenium’sremix of “Don’t Let Me Down” with 200 million plays. The Chainsmokers started to get radio play,but understood that their fan base didn’t know them through radio and made sure not to lose them on streaming platforms—or neglect their own channel, ChainsmokersVEVO, which sits with over eight million subscribers and four billion views. They nailed the formula of debuting lyric videos, watching those findsuccess, then setting up the official video as the song starts to make an impact at radio. Even for their debut album, Memories…Do Not Open, the duo uploaded each track to YouTube and their massive subscriber base, understanding that there’s no reason to halt the flow of music to fans.
For The Chainsmokers, Memories…Do Not Open wasn’t so much of an artistic statement, but instead functioned to offer a narrative thrust for this new stage of their career. After the duo’s huge success in 2016, they faced questions about when exactly their debut album was coming out. This is an unusual inquiry in the world of EDM, where artists—the Chainsmokers included—can survive off singles and remixes. However, their pop achievements put them in a different category, and they had to deliver a fully-formed project for the first time. They announced their debut album in January with a small
The framework of their album promotion aided The Chainsmokers' Saturday Night Live performance; they took the stage with a product to push beyond Spotify streams and retroactively added heft to their previous VMA performance last year. All of this ended up with the album selling an impressive 221,000 number of copies in its first week. Right now the duo is on that national arena tour, but earlier this year they signed a deal for a
three yearLas Vegas residency at XS Nightclub and Encore Beach Club. It’s a choice that’s normal for EDM stars, but usually not for pop stars in their prime that save Vegas for post-touring career revenue. Except to their credit, over the last few years, The Chainsmokers have excelled at best optimizing both ends of those musical axes.