The song “Somebody” by the Chainsmokers is representative of their unique genre-bending style. Influence from Taylor Swift, the Weeknd, and Bruno Mars is layered throughout the song in an interwoven mashup. The Electronic Dance Music (EDM) transcends anyone’s preference into a common ground. How do they do that?
The first layer of the track was on a modular synthesizer. Andrew Taggart used a modular synth that contained a keyboard and a series of module knobs. He laid the base sound of the first layer, repeating a similar tune with variations.
The next layer was played on piano by Alex Pall. Still a baseline of sound, Alex played a series of chords to add a bit of complexity to the song. The piano chords are clear in the intro of the melody.
The baseline comes in subtly as the song progresses. Then Andrew sings into a voice recorder, “You know just know what I like.” The layers are patched together using a computer program and the pitch is changed. He explains in the short video that he raised it two steps. After adding the electronic keyboard, the soundtrack was complete. Only the vocals were missing.
Of course, there is more to their music than the technical stuff. After making music industry history as the first Dance Artist/DJ to rank number 1 on the Billboard Music Chart, it was back into the studio to create something new, then modify it into something new again. The background vocal was originally slower, and lower pitched.
It’s no wonder the art history and music business major would understand the entanglement of time. Partnered by a former intern for Interscope Records among the diverse musical culture, the duo was destined to redefine musical style, create something transcendent, and provide a soundtrack that we could live to.