“#Selfie” may be the Chainsmokers‘ first major-label single, but Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall are no strangers to the dance music scene. Since they joined forces in 2012, the New York-based producing partners have been churning out buzzed-about remixes around town. When the two casually spent an hour putting together their soon-to-be monster hit, they had no idea how “#Selfie” would change the course of their careers.
Quickly climbing up the Billboard, iTunes and Spotify charts, the track has also raked in tens of millions of views on YouTube. With a whole song’s worth of quotable dialogue, “#Selfie” has quickly become much more than a track on a club playlist — it’s a cultural phenomenon and anthem for the generation that invented the word.
So what does it all mean? “There was really not a message. It was either a stupid idea or a smart idea,” Alex explained to MTV News. “I think it’s funny. People are like, ‘What are the consequences that selfies are having on society?’ It’s like, ‘I don’t know!’ We made the song in an hour — give us a break!”
The Chainsmokers encourage taking the song at face value. “The song is just a satire — it’s funny, it’s entertainment, and I think that’s why it did so well,” Alex said.
In a post-”#Selfie” world, the Chainsmokers plan to produce music with a little more “integrity, in terms of who we are and what we’ve been doing,” Andrew explained. They’re gaining traction as MTV’s Artist to Watch and already have the support of huge dance artists like Tiësto and Steve Aoki.
Aoki has been a longtime supporter, advising them on more than just the art of spraying champagne. “[He] was very helpful when this was all happening, about how to stay cool and work hard and focus on things you think are interesting and important, and not get bogged down in the stuff everyone else says is,” Andrew told MTV News.
For now, Alex and Andrew are focusing on what’s next. “We’d like to do something that’s just as relatable but that’s not as much of a joke, to us at least.”
What do you think of the Chainsmokers track?