Why The Chainsmokers are no longer considered to be DJs


The Chainsmokers just released their first single of 2018. Titled ‘Sick Boy’, the track hasn’t quite made the kind of waves their previous music has, yet.

But there’s a lot more to it. For starters I think 2018 is the year we stop considering The Chainsmokers to be DJs. Now before you shut the tab on me, hear me out and if you feel I’m wrong, feel free to rant in the comments.

Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart broke onto the EDM scene in 2014 with their extremely catchy and popular tune #Selfie.

Since then, the duo has moved on from their original electro house style to produce some of the best tunes of the past 2 years. However, with their evolution in music and live shows, can we really consider them to be DJs anymore?

Pop all the way

The Chainsmokers’ music has gone pop all the way. It’s still electronic music, but it’s nowhere close to what you’d hear in an Armin or Hardwell set (remixes excluded). If their debut album didn’t give you enough of a hint their latest release, ‘Sick Boy’ should. The duo have figured out the perfect blend of EDM and pop and have the following and resources to dish out catchy and quality tunes to the masses. There isn’t any need for them to produce your standard 128 BPM hits cos let’s face it, the younger fans are beginning to move on to other genres. In fact, an average track released by The Chainsmokers is somewhere in the range of 90-105 BPM. It’s much slower, much more ‘chill’ in a certain sense and features vocals. (Secret formula to making your EDM track popular on the radio? – Vocals!)

So why club them up to be DJs? Is it cos they’re still headlining the biggest festivals across the world? We could just call them an EDM-Pop group?

Live Shows

the chainsmokers

Last year, The Chainsmokers announced that they would start touring as a band (atleast for some of their shows). The duo hasn’t officially become a trio, since the addition of Aussie drummer Matt McGuire was only thought to be a one off for the tour, but could it? If you saw the ‘Sick Boy’ video you notice Matt’s in it. And I’m not trying to spread rumours here, but The Chainsmokers are looking more like a band than a DJ duo nowadays. They’ve completely changed the way they perform as a band vs when they’re just behind a pair of CDJs. And I guess that should be the case considering Andrew’s vocals are on most of them.

Here is their performance at Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball last month:

They do a pretty decent job on tracks with other vocals too –

So here’s the question? Should The Chainsmokers concentrate on DJing or doing Live shows then? We know they can hold their own behind the decks but wouldn’t it be better to see them go without the decks at all times? Either way, with the evolution in their music and the potential to perform as a band, there’s some basis for my argument.

Khushrav Bhada
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Khushrav Bhada

DJ, podcast host and team partner at T.H.E, Khushrav is a music enthusiast whose interests spread across all genres from electronic to hip-hop to classical opera.
Khushrav Bhada
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