As the Chainsmokers Reign, Other Renowned Artists Decline

The once discounted DJ’s have continued to strive with one of the biggest and most unexpected 2016 hits

Zack Hage, Entertainment Editor

In the past three months, The Chainsmokers’s Closer has set records for streaming, duo produced songs, and dance/electronic. However, even more remarkable is the fact that the songs continued to succeed, even with some of the heaviest competition in recent memory.

In fact, artists who haven’t made a presence in the public eye for years have now returned to match the EDM hit, but with little to no avail. For example, Lady Gaga’s return spent a mere week in the Top 40 even with intense promotion, and new Bruno Mars and Sia singles are failing to capture the immediate success their predecessors accomplished. A Number 1 hit is a less complicated to accomplish when you’ve already established prominence, but The Chainsmokers have suddenly built a commercial roadblock for acts of all sizes.

Devoted fans of pop music say this has lead to more confusion about it’s current prospects. Aaron, a moderator on one of the genre’s online communities,, said that this year was unpredictable in terms of what was successful, with Drake and Justin Bieber as the only exceptions. In fact, he offered a rather safe strategy if artists wanted to take the song down.

The only safe strategy I see taking down Closer before it starts naturally losing popularity is if some big name artists collaborated on a song that is both good and follows current trends (either EDM or topical house).” Aaron said.

Some pursuers of the genre have predicted that the busyness of the period won’t do well for anyone. One such host of a pop critique channel titled TheDoubleAgent, presented some examples of songs that have persevered through this period, although he believed some new arrivals such as Bruno Mars latest won’t achieve the same series of success.

“Uptown Funk was huge because Winter 2014 was a very boring time for the charts, with songs like All About That Bass and Shake It Off, two fine examples of what I call “mom music,” hogging the #1 spot. 24K Magic just doesn’t have that same… magic. It’s a very dry, open song. It’s basically Uptown Funk without all the stuff that made Uptown Funk catch on like it did.” he stated.

With all these high-profile flounders, it’s also possible people are listening to Closer because they don’t know what else they could listen to. In a poll conducted through the Teenagers subreddit, 57% of responses mentioned they were indifferent about the song. (For comparison, only 24% mentioned they liked the song.) Some such as Sam S, even referenced that Closer was evidence for how generic the genre’s become. Others, were even more belittling.

“I hate the new trend of guys with whiny voices in pop songs, and Closer represents that,” said Naomi H.

Pop fans infuriated with the song might have to wait a bit longer. Before Closer began its dominance, Sia’s “Cheap Thrills” took 23 weeks to catch the spot, going against the assumption that songs always have to be released at the right time. Slate writer and chart analyst, Chris Molanphy, summed it as one of 2016’s more intriguing surprises in pop, especially after One Dance’s prior 10 week rule.

Unfortunately, these analysts aren’t deeming personal reward. While most are fond of “Starboy” by The Weeknd (a high “Closer” competitor), other chart headers are seen in opposite respects. Ethan of The Double Agent had something to say about this.

“I’d say “Ain’t My Fault” by Zara Larsson might be pretty big, not because it’s a good song, but because it has a certain feel to it. When I listen to it, I think ‘this is definitely something one of Ryan Seacrest’s many clones would put on the air 10 times a day and everyone would pretend to like for two months.’”