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Lessons Learned From The Chainsmokers (seriously)


Regardless of your personal views on The Chainsmokers, there is no doubting that they are el fuego right now! The duo’s new album just topped #1 on the Billboard 200, and they're just the third duo or group ever with three simultaneous top 10s on the Billboard 100. They’ve collaborated with the likes of Coldplay, Halsey and Florida Georgia Line. Basically, everything they put out is mainstream gold! They’ve come a long way from producing one of the most pathetic songs of all time, just a few years ago.

Their music is catchy, but I wouldn’t call myself a fan. Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall seem like glorified frat stars, (no offense if you are one) and their music appears to be created in a magic box where you just press a button to receive the keys to yet another hit record.

However, they sit in an EDM genre where artists rely heavily on mind-blowing production to supplement the mundane visual of someone standing behind a table and a deck and occasionally throwing their hands in the air.

The Chainsmokers decided to flip the script and go an entirely different route for their 40-stop US arena tour that kicked off in Florida last week. They crafted their new live show in a way that truly embodies the digital age.

They started by listening to their audience. Not just reading and interacting with their social posts, but truly watching and listening to their music.

Musicians from all over the world have created some incredible covers of The Chainsmokers, and the guys actually watch them. They even feature some of the best on their own social channels.

They decided to take this to the next level by creating a live, crowdsourced band for their tour, because, why not? On drums, meet Matt McGuire. An insanely talented guy from Australia who’s amassed a huge online following for his covers. Here is one of the videos that got Matt discovered by The Chainsmokers.

On keyboard is Tony Ann, a student at Berklee College of Music and a native of Canada. Like Matt, Tony’s skills are world class and he shares his talent through online content. Here's an amazing mashup of Chainsmokers melodies that he uploaded last month.

The tour is only a few stops deep, but the reception seems to be positive.

Maybe some view this approach as just a gimmick, but I love it. It’s an inspiring example of the power of UGC and an amazing demonstration of what can happen when you put fans inside your brand…or band in this case.

Good on you, Chainsmokers.