Tag Archives: the Chainsmokers

Best New Artist 2017

With this year’s nominations for Best New Artist I was pleasantly surprised with Kelsea Ballerini’s nomination and the Chainsmokers, but was rather disappointed that Cam didn’t get nominated.  I find the Chainsmoker’s nomination rather intriguing because they never actually released a full-length album…

Anyway, the nominees are:

  • Kelsea Ballerini
  • The Chainsmokers
  • Chance the Rapper
  • Maren Morris
  • Anderson .Paak

Who Should Win: The Chainsmokers

The Chainsmokers have come a long way since “#Selfie” with hit songs “Don’t Let Me Down (feat. Daya)” and “Closer (feat. Halsey).”  Their work has been rather refreshing and 2016 was really their year, so I’d say they deserve the Grammy.

Who Will Win: I have no idea

I really don’t know who could win, they seem so even.  If I had to choose, I’d guess the Chainsmokers, but for some reason I have a gut feeling Anderson .Paak may win…I’m not really good at guessing this category.

2017 Record of the Year Nominations Prediction

The 2017 Grammy nominations announcement is just a few weeks away – December 14th – so here are yet more of my predictions, this time for Record of the Year:

  • “Hello” – Adele
  • “7 Years” – Lukas Graham
  • “Can’t Stop the Feeling” – Justin Timberlake
  • “Cheap Thrills” – Sia featuring Sean Paul
  • “Closer” – The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey

Acoustic Ghost

You might know Halsey from her feature on the current number one hit “Closer” by the Chainsmokers.  I discovered her music a few months ago (or perhaps it’s now a year? Hmm…time flies) when I somehow stumbled onto Badlands, her debut studio album (which is an incredible album).  The album features her song “Ghost,” which apparently was the song that gained her a following and eventually a record deal.

I’m not entirely sure how true the story is, but apparently she released a version of the song a few years ago independently – which I read was more of an acoustic version (again, not sure how true that is) – before she got signed and they reworked it into the electronic song it is now.  I was trying to find the original, demo version, and I found the audio to the following video that someone had stripped and said was the original – upon more research I realized it wasn’t the original but a performance she did for SiriusXM Radio presumably after she was signed.  Regardless, it’s intriguing to listen to the acoustic performance and compare it to the album version – it’s interesting how many different incarnations a song can take.

Halsey’s Next Step.

I’ve recently become rather obsessed with Badlands, the debut studio album by Halsey, after seeing her live in concert a few weeks ago.  Sure, I was a fan of a couple of songs, but seeing her bring them alive made me delve deeper into the album and pretty much fall in love with most of the songs (or, rather, all).  While Badlands has become one of my favorite albums this summer, Halsey has only had moderate success with it.  Yes, it debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 – an incredible feat for a new artist – but none of her singles as lead artist charted except “New Americana,” which only managed to hit number sixty on the Billboard Hot 100.  Not bad, but she’s not in the stratosphere that someone like Meghan Trainor entered with her first album.  It’s not that I think success is determined by chart performance or album sales, but I’m such a fan of Halsey’s that I wish other people knew about her.

Currently, Halsey is sitting on top of the Billboard Hot 100 at number one with the Chainsmokers with their song “Closer.”  When I heard the news, I was excited that this was a perfect opportunity to help Halsey get more exposure.  Certainly she’ll see some units of Badlands move. It’s kind of like the Chainsmoker’s last hit song “Don’t Let Me Down (feat. Daya),” it helped get Daya’s name out there more.  But, being me, I like to pretend what I would do if I was the manager in this case.

My fist instinct is that Halsey should release her first single from her next album relatively soon, to follow up “Closer.”  If it’s timed correctly, it could create a great launching pad so as to avoid the cursed sophomore slump.  However, I’m not sure Halsey is at the point where she’s ready to release a new album.  After all, Badlands is barely a year old, and she’s been on tour for almost three years…I believe an artist needs time to figure out their life and emotions to write and create great music; she shouldn’t rush into it.

My next thought was that she should release one more single from Badlands or perhaps rerelease a single.  “Hold Me Down” has been one of my favorite songs from Badlands since I first heard the album.  It’s got an incredibly catchy chorus, and it was certainly a fan favorite at the Badlands Tour – it was one of the songs that really got the crowd going.  I’ve always thought it had single potential.  And it charted to number seventy-eight in Australia, so there’s a definite market for it.

But when I was sitting in traffic this morning, blaring Badlands, I was wondering why a song like “Colors” (the third single) didn’t perform as well (it failed to chart in the US).  It has such a powerful chorus that really locks you in.  I’ve always had a problem with the verses of the song, especially the first verse.  It’s not really enough to grab you in and keep you to the chorus.  A true fan will listen to it in it’s entirety, but it couldn’t survive on radio.  So how can we make it radio accessible?  Then it hit me: remove the verses, and make it a feature song, kind of like what Taylor Swift did it with “Bad Blood” and Sia just did it with “Cheap Thrills” (both songs ended up at number one).  If they could find a rapper or some artist who perhaps had a bigger following add in their own verses, it could drive audiences in to want to hear more from Halsey.

Again, I do want to say that I don’t think an artist needs to have a number one song or album to be successful.  For me, if an artist writes/performs one song that song changes one life (for the good), then the artist is a success.  But I think Halsey has such great potential to grow her audience and fanbase, and with her talent, she really should take advantage of it.


For the past couple weeks I’ve been slightly obsessed with the song “Don’t Let Me Down” by the Chainsmokers featuring Daya.  It has such a great dance beat, and the synths/dubstep are perfect.  It’s the perfect song to blare and dance to (or, if you’re like me, bike to).

My favorite part is the bridge to the end of the song, particularly when Daya hits that note around 2:55.  The way she sings that part of the song has this heart-wrenching vulnerability to it and it really defines the song.  There’s a sense of urgency, a pleading for this person not to let down or hurt the narrator.  It’s magnificent, particularly because this is an EDM song brought to you by the guys who created “But first, let me take a #selfie” (remember that song?).  It’s almost a complete 180, emotionally.

Because I was so impressed by Daya’s vocals, I decided to check out her other hit song “Hide Away.”  I remembered it made some waves on radio, but I never gave it a full chance.  So I listened to it, and it’s been on repeat.  Damn, she’s hooked me.

I wouldn’t say “Hide Away” lives up vocally to “Don’t Let Me Down,” but Daya does have this old soul quality in her voice.  It’s intriguing to listen to, plus the chorus is incredibly catchy.

While I would overall give this song a thumbs up, I felt it had some minor problems structurally with it.  I actually ended up making my own edit of the song (for my own personal listening) to improve it as much as I could.  The main thing I did was I got rid of the bridge.  The drum beats were great, but I thought on the whole it was a bit awkward.  They could’ve gotten a way with doing some sort of instrumental with the drums and synths and then worked back into the chorus.  It would’ve flowed better.  They also should’ve left the outro out…I mean, it doesn’t really hurt the song, it’s just not really necessary.   But as I said, it’s great as it is…could’ve been better.

So keep your ears out for Daya, she seems to be making quite an impression and it appears her new single “Sit Still, Look Pretty” is starting it’s climb up the charts.

Biking/Work Out Playlist

I may have mentioned a couple times this past summer, like every summer, that I’ve been biking a lot.  There’s a great bike path right down the street from me, so it’s great to blare the music and peddle my problems away.  Usually I create a playlist each year, and then add or remove songs throughout the year.

I created a Spotify Playlist of some of the music I listen to while biking/working out in case you’re looking for some new beats or a song to change up your playlist.

NOTE: There’s no particular order because I just hit “shuffle” before I start biking.


Here’s other songs that I usually listen to, but couldn’t find on Spotify:

But First, Let Me Take a #Selfie

This is perhaps one of the dumbest songs ever, but I have to name “#Selfie” by the Chainsmokers as #PhillipsSongOfTheDay for the sheer fact it brightened my day and made me laugh/smile for like an hour.

For the past week, I’ve been reading tweets from people complaining about this song, how stupid it is, and how people can’t believe it’s being played on radio (I believe more than one person commented that they “couldn’t believe what the world was coming to” from the fact that “that selfie song is on the radio”).  Today, I noticed “#Selfie” was number six on iTunes top singles, and decided to take a listen to the preview.  The electronic/dubstep/club music was kind of predicable and redundant, although electronic/club music like that is supposed to be structured that way (I took a music industry course in school that focused on each genre of music and it’s construction…so believe me, I know…).  But then it got into the girl talking:

“Can you guys help me pick a filter?
I don’t know if I should go with XX Pro or Valencia
I wanna look tan
What should my caption be?
I want it to be clever
How about ‘Livin’ with my bitches, #LIVE’
I only got ten likes in the last five minutes
Do you think I should take it down?

This casually got me to want to hear the whole song, so I strolled over to youtube to watch/listen to the music video:

Right off the bat, I would agree with the tweets and reviews on iTunes that this is a pretty darn stupid song.  But, you have to hand it to the Chainsmokers, it’s actually a pretty clever song too.  I kind of think this song captures an aspect of my generation quite well.  I believe this song is a form of satire making fun of today’s youth for being shallow, scattered, and obsessed with taking selfies.  Consider lines like:

“Sooo… like what do you think?
Did you think that girl was pretty?
How did that girl even get in here?
Did you see her?
She’s so short and that dress is so tacky
Who wears cheetah?
It’s not even summer, why does the DJ keep on playing Summertime Sadness?
After we go to the bathroom, can we go smoke a cigarette?
I really need one
But first, 


“Oh my god, Jason just texted me
Should I go home with him?
I guess I took a good selfie”

This narrator cares nothing more than her looks, being considered cool, and getting approval from “Jason.”  And this is not the only outlet mocking this aspect of my generation.  Twitter accounts like Tweet Like A Girl (@TweetLikeAGirl), Common White Girl (@commonwhitegirl), and Anti-Joke Apple (@antijokeapple) have been popping up, tweeting in the same spirit of “#Selfie,” overall pointing out the flaws of our generation.  For example, Anti-Joke Apple made this tweet:


I personally have witnessed a conversation like the above tweet between two girls. This and the song “#Selfie” makes one just roll their eyes and think “how stupid,” but it’s also a signal to consider why these comments are being made.  This would suggest that perhaps these tweets and this song are meant as a warning to force us to start reconsidering our priorities.  Are we going to be a “common white girl” and only care about our selfies, or are we going to do something worth our while in the world?  People cast this song off as a stupid song with no meaning, but on the contrary, there is a deeper meaning behind the rubbish.  I’m not suggesting this song is Grammy worthy (although, you never know…I mean, “Get Lucky” won so many Grammys that it did not deserve, so who am I to judge), but I am saying this song does come with a message worth noting.  If not, it’s worth a listen to get you laughing…the line, “I guess I took a good selfie” at the end always makes me smirk.