Artist Interview

Part 1:

Martin, Chris “The Chainsmokers on Ruling the Billboard Hot 100 & Owning the ‘Frat Bro’ Label.”  16 Sept. 2016. Web. 27 March. 2017

The Chainsmokers, interviewed by DJTV, New York City, 5 Feb. 2014.

The Chainsmokers are a duo of 20 somethings that have taken the pop music world by storm. With their hit song “Closer” running on the top of the charts for twelve weeks. They describe their music as dance house, but more of a personal experience with the vocals so that they interact with the audience. According to their interview with the song “Closer” was actually Drew Taggart singing about an ex of his, this is an extremely relate-able experience for many people which could lead to its popularity. The beat for the song, according to co-writer Shaun Frank, was made in 30 minutes in the studio which gives a very personal appeal because the beat is more authentic then one that has been tinkered with for months and months. Both of these elements have rocketed The Chainsmokers to international stardom.

Part 2:

Song: “Closer” by The Chainsmokers

  1. The Chainsmokers are two guys in their mid twenties who live in NYC. They take most of their inspiration from past experiences which enables them to relate to their audience
  2. I first heard this song on the radio on KROC on the way to school and within a couple of days it was everywhere and I had it memorized in a week. I had originally heard of The Chainsmokers with their song “New York City” which I really enjoyed. I liked The Chainsmokers before it was cool!!
  3. Their music, specifically this song, is about life and how experiences shape us and they use their music to communicate this. The Chainsmokers seem to write mostly about breakups or bad experiences with relationships. “Closer” describes how a lover realized he was better off without the other but continued to do nothing to change it. Their more recent song “Paris” talks about how one part of a couple “don’t think that we could work this out” but stays and goes on to say “If we go down, then we go down together.”
  4. This song appeals to so many people because it plays toward a universal concept of Love and how it’s messy and hard and isn’t always the best. This is something that will always be around and relatable to by a large part of the population.
  5. “Closer” can be made to tell a story as it describes a relationship, but also as just a commentary on love.

Part 3: 

  • Who do you credit as your biggest inspiration? Why?
  • When did you realize you had made a mega-hit song?
  • How has your life changed since your song became so big? Do you enjoy the change?
  • With all of these big names wanting to collaborate with you how do you keep your music your own?
  • What are your goals for music making in the future?



Ownership in the 21st Century

Van Thillo, Christian. “Using Copyright Laws to Protect Free Speech.” 23 March 2017. Web. 23 March 2017

Some of the issues of “ownership ” in the 21st century are original content, and how to insert yourself in the story without just taking someone else’s original content for your own. In the Ted Talk we watched Mark Ronson talked about how he viewed taking someones content and adapting it to put his own personality in the music. “So Miley Cyrus, who wasn’t even born yet when “La Di Da Di” was made, and neither were any of the co-writers on the song, has found this song that somehow etched its way into the collective consciousness of pop music, and now, with its timeless playfulness of the original, has kind of translated to a whole new generation who will probably co-opt it as their own.” Miley Cyrus has made her hit “Can’t Stop” using lyrics from a song that was made before she was born. She inserted herself into the narrative by using it but completly flipped it around and you almost can’t tell that it’s the same song. On the flip side in the article featuring, ironicly, Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars in their own copyright battle over Mars’ hit song “Uptown Funk” Mars and Ronson lost their lawsuit and had to pay the Gap Band royalties because of the similarities of the bass patern in the song. Ownership in the 21st century is difficult because of the large amount of digital media which is really easy to take from, and also from the fact that your experiences shape what you are so anything that you can create is based off of those experiences so is anything original anymore.

The Playlist

1) “Something Just Like This”-The Chainsmokers, Coldplay- 2017-pop

2)”Lord  Tullamore”-Carl Wittrock- 2001-classical

3)”Footloose”- Kenny Loggins-1984-80s rock

4)”Twentytwofourteen”-The Album Leaf-2004-edm

5)”Jupiter from The Planets”-Gustav Holst-2015-classical

6)”If You Could See Me Now”-The Script-2012-Alt rock

7)”Ophelia”-The Lumineers-2016-alternative

8)”Till I Collapse”-Eminem-2002-rap

9)”Monsters”-Imagine Dragons-2012-alr rock

10)”Centuries”-Fall Out Boy-2015-alternative

This music is representive of my listening. As an audience I receive pop, rock, alternative, alt rock, and classical music. My classical music taste is the most recent I started listening to it when I joined high school band, listening to recordings was a requirement and I found that I enjoyed the genre because it relaxed me. Alternative is a genre I like simply because it’s a deviation from the norm of pop music it surprises you with melodies and rhythms that you normally wouldn’t here and also concepts that are sung about are different from pop. I enjoy rock simply because I’m a drumme and the drums are always strong in rock music, plus it’s good pump up. Pop is just something I consume as part of the contemporary media.


Social Media Activism

Khan-Ibarra, Sabina. “The case for social media and hashtag activism.” Huffington Post. 13 Nov. 2014. Web. 10 March 2017.

Velasco, Hailey. “Six South Side Teens Spark Activism Using Social Media.” Medill Reports Chicago. 7 March 2017. Web. 11 March 2017.

In both of these cases the movement was started on social media, where their cause was posted and received thousands of likes/re-tweets in a very short period of time. Before social media neither of these causes, especially the second one, would have gotten very large. In the second article the teens created a daughter organization to BLM called Youth for Black Lives. They used Facebook and Twitter to reach a larger audience which in turn lent their cause greater credibility. In the era before social media if six teens wanted to be activists they wouldn’t be able to start a movement let alone be large players in one. The advent of social media has allowed anyone who has a cause to post about it and gain awareness. The big question is whether those likes/re-tweets turn into people at rallies or donations to the cause.

Media Log part 2

A Day Tracking My Media Usages

  1. This day for me media usage wise was slightly atypical just due to the fact that I had to log all of my media. This made me want to use it less then normal. I did my best to make it a typical Thursday, and since I have work there is a chunk of time where I do not have any media exposure (except for the music over the loudspeakers).
  2. The most prevalent source of media in my day was Snapchat with it occurring almost every hour.
  3. The time periods of high usage were my open hours (1,5,6) and after work where I was on it constantly.
  4. I never really had more than one source of media coming at me at one time, as I am not usually on my phone during class time.
  5. I am overwhelmingly an Audience more than I am a Speaker.
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Dominant American values

Mr.Clean: “Cleaner of your dreams”

Shows Nostalgia because Mr. Clean is an American icon from the days of black and white TV. Also it appeals to equality because it has the man cleaning which is not his stereotypical role, and the text says ” Get you a man who loves to clean.” The intended audience is anyone who needs to clean and is single. It successfully targets this audience with the above stated title text.

Proactive: Towel Drop

Material comfort, Appeals to the want to be acne free which is a material comfort. Also Science because the commercial states that proactive is scientifically proven to reduce breakouts. The intended audience is teenagers who have acne and want a clean face.

Wendy’s: Cold Storage

This ad shows Nostalgia with the old hit song “Cold as Ice” by Foreigner, which is widely recognized. Also the ad shows Material Comfort by claiming that Wendy’s only uses the fresh beef. This ad targets all who eat fast food, while also appealing to those who want a fresh meal.



Generation Z

Source 1

Williams, Alex. “Move over, Millennials, here comes Generation Z.” New York Times. 18 Sept. 2015. Web. 12 Feb 2017.

Gen Z’ers are similar to Millennials but are much less entitled and have much more cynicism toward politics. Credible source (NYT) big print and online media organization, renound for journalism

  • Gen Z is much more “eyes wide open” then Millennials
  • More concerned with privacy
  • Diversity isn’t considered a goal it’s a reality for Gen Z
  • Gen Z’s parents are Gen X a very jaded and cynical generation, this lends itself to a cynicism not seen in the Baby Boomers or their offspring Millennials.

Source 2

Scott, Ryan. “Get ready for Generation Z.” 28 Nov. 2016. Web. 12 Feb. 2017.

Generation Z has much in common with their parents Generation X, the cynicism of politics and the guardedness of insecure times. However they have much more technology and are much more diverse then previous generations.

  • Gen Z has never known a world without smartphones and technology, advertising has changed to appeal to the shortened attention span of Millennials and Gen Zers
  • Gen Z is less likely to post anything on their social media having seen and heard stories about how a posts have disqualified them from jobs.
  • Gen Z has grown up with an African American president and will continue to become less white.


Prefer privacy in social media to posting about every detail of their lives.

They have a much more financial savvy, due to seeing the housing bubble burst.

They are more culturally diverse, which leads to a greater exposure to different opinions


They don’t know a world without technology

They have very short attention spans

They are not as content with the status quo

Greatest Contributing Factors to the Identity of Generation Z

Barack Obama

The Housing Bubble bursting

The War on Terror