It’s such a ubiquitous, of-the-moment idea that it’s hard to believe no one thought of it before: The Chainsmokers’ song and video, “#Selfie,” perfectly captures people’s ongoing obsession of posting self-portraits of themselves onto social media. It’s no surprise that a song that simultaneously celebrates and lampoons our narcissism is having its day, even if it will very quickly be resigned to a pop culture footnote.
Here are 5 things you need to know about “#Selfie”:
1. The two men behind the sensation are Drew Taggart and Alex Pall, collectively known as The Chainsmokers. The DJs recorded a demo of the pulsing dance track, added in an intentionally comedic narcissistic woman totally obsessed with herself in the club discussing her every move, then posted the tune on SoundCloud, as well as shorter version on Vine and Instagram, and the song took off after being picked up by DJ Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak Records, according to Billboard. The viral video propelled it to the stratosphere: The YouTube clip is approaching 5 million views (but will undoubtedly have surpassed that by the time you click on the video... while we wrote this, it got 35,000 more views).
2. If it reminds you of last year’s No. 1 sensation, Baauer’s “Harlem Shake" (crossed with Moon Zappa's "Valley Girl") you’re not the only one. That’s become the go-to comparison for “#Selfies” rapid-fire viral success. Don’t think any of this is happening organically: TheAudience, a marketing firm that deals with social media, paired The Chainsmokers with Aoki and enlisted the help of its team of “influencers” to spread the video around, as well as helped put together the video.
*3. In addition to the fan-submitted selfies, the video features selfies from the Hof— David Hasselhoff— as well as selfies from DJ Steve Aoki and Snoop Dogg. We had you at Hof, right?
4. It looks like it will be the next “Harlem Shake” in another way: Radio won’t really touch in any meaningful way other than as a novelty, but its viral success and download sales will send it soaring up the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song debuted at No. 55 this week, having sold 92,000 copies. It is No. 6 and climbing on Billboard's Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart.
5. The “Go F*** Your #Selfie” t-shirt that The Chainsmokers wear in the video is for sale. Yes, you can buy one for yourself for the low price of $29.99. Don’t even pretend you’re surprised that it only comes in sizes S and XS.
The Chainsmokers are on the road, but we think we’ll wait for the package tour that pairs them with Baauer and Psy. We just made that tour up, but it’s inevitable, isn’t it?
What do you think about "#Selfie?" Love it or hate it?