The Chainsmokers‘ top-10 hit “Paris” wasn’t written in Paris, and the French city didn’t inspire it, either. As the duo explains in a track-by-track description of their new album posted on Facebook, it was actually inspired by a friend of theirs whose life was out of control.
The duo writes, “Paris was written in Stockholm (although we had just visited Paris days before) late one night after a show. It started with the lyrics, ‘we were staying in Paris’ and unfolded from there. The lyrics may seem vague at first, but their inspiration comes from a real place.”
Specifically, the song was inspired by a friend of Chainsmoker member Drew Taggart‘s who, they write, “had been struggling with a drug addiction for the past few years.”
“He was a childhood friend and their families were close, so his parents kept [Drew] informed on how he was doing,” they continue. “He and Drew would keep in touch on Facebook chat but would never speak about what he was going through, but meanwhile, Drew knew of all the craziness that surrounded his friend’s life.”
“We used Paris as a metaphor to convey that [the friend] felt like he was in a place where everything was fine, while being acutely aware of other people’s concern for him,” they explain, “[With] Paris always being this romantic idealized place, the song is about escaping your reality, a reality often void of excitement, and in your mind, being somewhere else with someone else.”