How do you follow up the notorious electro track #Selfie? With another meme record of course. Kanye West is notorious for his aspirations to build a life on his own terms and vigorously defending it, despite what other people think. If that sounds like an overly kind description of someone who seems to consider themselves an untouchable deity, maybe it is. But the thought to make an uplifting vocal dance track about dreaming to be more like Kanye, or even turn Kanye into adjective sounds absurd, as if Kanye paid the hottest electro producers to satiate his ego with a press-baiting dance track. Then when you remember these are the same guys who took a low-rent forgettable electro track and turned it into an international zeitgeist by throwing a vacuous spoken vocal about taking a #Selfie on top. Production-wise, “Kanye” is lightyears ahead of #Selfie, blending indiehouse (or is it future house) with commercial electro, lush vocals from the gorgeous female duo Siren, and a surprisingly pretty piano intro. The lyrics are a bit simple, but what do you expect? The Chainsmokers have shown they can remix a track, see Tove Lo “Habits” and even their earlier work with Priyanka Chopra, but you have to wonder if their original productions are going to be one novelty record after another. Will Kanye become as big as #Selfie? Doubtful. Will it get people to keep talking about and dancing to The Chainsmokers? Judging by the chatter in the blogosphere, they answer is yes.
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..
I am not always the best at predicting memes (remember, I am the one who mistakenly thought Filly’s “Hung Like a Donkey” was going to blow up). Around Christmas, a friend sent me a link to watch this fan-made video of The Chainsmokers “#Selfie.” I had heard about The Chainsmokers and had been playing their mixes of Cash Cash, The Wanted, and Icona Pop so when I saw #Selfie, I just started laughing. Its an energetic and bouncy electro jam made special by the spoken vocal of THAT vapid club chick. You know, the pretty one with no self esteem who is talking shade and desperately posting self portraits. As a satire it is quite brilliant and reminiscent of tracks like Eddie Amador’s “Psycho X-Girlfriend” and even Katalina’s “DJ Girl.” The first unofficial fan video featured guys in drag bouncing around and is quite hilarious, I think I received it over 30 times from different people over the past month. This week, the official version featuring pretty girls lip-synching and selfies from superstar DJs dropped, and it could easily become a viral hit. Let’s see if the Dim Mak crew can recreate the success of the “Harlem Shake.” Though they needn’t worry about becoming a one hit wonder with a novelty record, remember that their brothers (in name) the Jump Smokers got their start with a song dissing Chris Brown and look at how successful they’ve become.
Image courtesy of Dim Mak.
SONG OF THE DAY (SUNDAY FUNDAY): The Chainsmokers – “#Selfie”