Music's DIY-namic Duo

By Ray Rahman
Updated August 02, 2013 at 04:00 AM EDT

Who needs a label? Not the ”Thrift Shop” guys, who’ve scored three consecutive top 20 hits — all without the support of a major record imprint. The secret to their success: their genre-bucking beats, wry lyricism, and the incredibly close collaboration between the charismatic frontman (real name: Ben Haggerty, 30) and the gifted producer (25). But enough from us, let’s let the pair tell you what makes their partnership pop.

Ryan Lewis On Macklemore ”Outside of being a great emcee, he was just born to be a performer. He’s that good. Which makes my job simpler and smaller. It’s cool.”

Macklemore On Ryan Lewis ”Ryan, from the jump, wanted to be a partner. ‘Let’s make records and music videos and photo shoots and let’s do this as a team.’ We’re cultivating art together.”