It’s been an insane year for Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall, a/k/a The Chainsmokers. Their novelty track “#Selfie” exploded from the clubs to become a massive crossover pop hit around the word and has led to an insane tour schedule and a last minute fill-in slot on the main stage of Ultra Music Festival. To think that this is all because of a track that they did as a joke and that is unlike anything else they’ve produced. I caught up with the duo in Nashville, Tennessee, for a quick chat before they performed at Anthem (the first of 6 gigs in four cities that they did over the course of 48 hours). That’s what you call an insane tour schedule…
Interview conducted April 2014. Produced in conjunction with Fusion TV..
Originally recorded by Bonnie Raitt, “I Can’t Make You Love Me” is a classic song that has been revisited quite a few times. Often sung on vocal competition shows, both Kimberley Locke’s game-changing soulful take on American Idol and Angela Hacker’s brilliant bluesy country interpretation on Nashville Star immediately come to mind. As for a dance version, it’s been tried- but for some reason they never get released. A Mark Picchiotti remix of Kimberley Locke’s take (similar in style to Fedde Le Grand vs Ida Corr’s “Let Me Think About It”) was commissioned, but unfortunately never released. Ester Dean’s soulful EDM take can be heard online and was set for promotion with club mixes, but for some reason was scrapped at the last minute.
Here comes Miss World/Bollywood princess Priyanka Chopra to rectify the situation. She is no stranger to clubland with her collaborations – a pre-#Selfie banger with The Chainsmokers “Erase,” the will.i.am featuring “In My City,” and Top 15 Billboart club chart hit “Exotic” with Pitbull. Starting slow with a plaintive cry of the title, the track starts slow and builds into a full-on stadium house electronic anthem. Priyanka sounds great, and the production is perfect, not a surprise as Manuel Reuter did it, who you probably know as DJ Manian of Cascada (whose new single “Blink” is beginning to buzz as well”). The video is what you would expect from a superstar pop video (including the obligatory Beats headphones placement for Interscope), which makes you wonder – just why isn’t Priyanka as big in the US and Europe as she is India, where this song nearly topped the iTunes chart immediately upon release. Could this be the song that breaks her internationally? A round of sick remixes would definitely help – so here’s hoping they will surface quite soon, as I can already hear in my head what the R3hab mix would sound like.
Judging by their name and bio, it’s obvious that the The Chainsmokers don’t take themselves too seriously. Just some fun-loving guys, they make hard electro tracks with a pop vibe as if they were the offspring of R3hab (with the Chainsaw sound) and Jump Smokers (sharing a surname and jokey vibe). “Erase” is an aggressive, if not grating electro track, not dissimilar to R3hab’s chainsaw sound buoyed by Swedish House Mafia-esque synths in the breakdown. Seductive vocals by Bollywood superstar/Miss World Priyanka Chopra soften the track a bit, making it a tad more accessible while maintaining a properly aggressive feel. If hard electro isn’t your thing, check out the more AC-vibe rock mix by Samantha Ronson. The merging of NYC hipster models and a RedOne protege – this is definitely a track to expect some big things from.