The Chainsmokers are looking down at a plethora of DJs from the top floor and this success didn’t come overnight. It was a result of working together with people who have worked tirelessly to accentuate this new side of the duo that have made it possible for them to achieve these new heights.
One of the main reasons behind their newfound stardom is Adam Alpert. Disruptor Records CEO and the brains behind their pop-dance music crossover. He got everything started by introducing Alex Pall to Drew Taggart in 2012.
“People started to care more about who they were going to see perform than where they were going,” he recalls of his decision to get into music. “They’d rather go see Skrillex in a warehouse than go stare at celebrities in a bottle-service club.”
2 years later he launched a joint venture with Sony, Disrupt Records and his own management and brought on Alex and Drew. Rest is history but as long as we’re counting his label sold 15 million copies last year.
They won a grammy, are set to release their debut LP and it’s go time for their 40 city tour which kicks off April 7th. Right after the album release. Billboard sat down with Adam Alpert. Excerpts;
What are the most significant trends you’re noticing in the pop space?
The blending of genres, which is a product of the way people consume and of artists being open to experimenting with new sounds. Also, people care much more about the meaning of lyrics. The pop songs that seem to break through with real staying power are the ones with connectable lyrical content, like “Closer” or “Stressed Out” by Twenty One Pilots.
How do The Chainsmokers write?
“Paris” is a great example. Drew had a rough lyrical idea — “We go down together” — and on a tour stop last October in Stockholm, I had invited a few writers to the show, including Kristoffer Eriksson, Fredrik Häggstam, Alesso and Sebastian Ingrosso, and a lot of our Stockholm friends came. There were so many writers and creative people in the greenroom after the show that Drew and Alex were like, “Does anyone have a studio we can go to?” Meanwhile, it’s two in the morning and everyone’s half-drunk. Drew, Kristoffer and Fredrik went to the studio, and the next day I got sent “Paris.” It just shows that a lot of it is about timing and being out of your comfort zone.
Some have criticised The Chainsmokers for propagating the “bro” stereotype. What is your take?
They’ve been misrepresented many times in the press. That’s all I’m going to say.
What’s the wisdom behind your monthly release strategy?
Everybody knows music is consumed song-by-song now due to streaming. We’ve also realized that people want instant gratification. So we decided to deliver a song every four weeks to our core fan base. The strategy works very well for streaming services, because they are getting regular content, and playlist editors can help you narrate that story month to month. And they know how this artist is performing, where they’d best be placed and how to market them through their other channels. Apple Music and Spotify have been very supportive of that strategy. We’ve found that the monthly releases are causing the artist to go more viral, too. If we didn’t do that, people would forget about us during that time because there’s so much noise. I tell all my artists: If they’re not listening to you, they’re listening to somebody else.