The Chainsmokers' road to the Grammys

The Chainsmokers are the duo of 31-year-old Alex Pall (left) and 27-year-old Drew Taggart 

CBS News

If you’re going to call yourselves “The Chainsmokers,” you might as well light up the stage. If you’re a fan of the hottest match in music, well – it’s best to get some rest before the show. These guys keep it up until they fall down.

“It feels like I broke my ankle,” Drew Taggart said after a concert.
 
The Chainsmokers are the duo of 27-year-old Taggart and 31-year-old Alex Pall. Their sound is not quite dance and not exactly pop.
 
“How do you describe your musical style? What is it that you’re doing?” CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy asked.

“Right now? I don’t know. I really don’t,” Taggart said.
 
Whatever they’re doing, it’s working. In 2016 they had three songs in Billboard’s Top 10. The magazine nicknamed them “The Bros of Summer (And Fall too).” 
  
Their biggest hit, “Closer,” topped the charts for 12 weeks – the longest reign of the year.
 
“Did you ever imagine this level of success at this point?” Tracy asked.

“Long story short, no,” Pall said, laughing.

“When people have this much success relatively quickly, people start to think of them as an overnight success. And I wonder how does that feel for you?” Tracy asked.

“A lot of people try and make you feel that it is an accident and that you’re an imposter. And it sucks. And you have to remember that you’re not and you’re here for a reason,” Taggart said.

“I think we deserve to be where we are now because of the amount of effort we put into this. I think we still have a lot more to prove to ourselves,” Pall added.
 
They met less than five years ago as an arranged marriage by a manager. Their goal was to ride the electronic dance music wave as DJs.   
 
In 2014 they broke through with a song that went viral. They say they wrote “Selfie” as a joke and have now all but disowned it. They wanted their work to be taken seriously but neither of them were singers.
  
So they recruited some of the best new voices in music -- all women -- to front their recent hits.  
  
But when they started to write “Closer,” something changed for Taggart.  
 
“There was just something about the tone of the record, the message, and the way that my voice sounded,” Taggart said. “And we decided to stick with it. … I’m not trying to be Bruno Mars. We write songs that are meant to be sung the way that I am able to sing.”
  
They call “Closer” an “unsexy sex song.” The music video for their multi-platinum song has been viewed nearly 1 billion times on YouTube.

The Chainsmokers - Closer (Lyric) ft. Halsey by ChainsmokersVEVO on YouTube


 
“I know it breaks your heart / Moved to the city in a broke-down car / And four years, no calls / Now you’re looking pretty in a hotel bar,” Taggart sings. 

“How autobiographical is the song?” Tracy asked the duo.

“Well, the first line actually, ‘Hey I was doing just fine before I met you,’ I actually took from my current relationship. It was something my girlfriend said to me when she was really pissed at me,” Taggart said.
 
Now they’re nominated for three Grammy Awards including Best New Artist. Their girlfriends may also be upset because they aren’t going to the Grammys. These guys are taking their moms. 
 
“What would winning a Grammy mean to you?” Tracy asked.

“I remember sitting at home last year not being part of it at all and thinking like how sick would that be? You know if we like work even harder this year maybe we can you know be part of this conversation next year,” Pall said.