Our Artist of the Month for August is an artist who’s a household name now, and at any given time in the last couple of years, he’s definitely had one song in the music charts. Pardon his French he says, and we don’t mind, because it’s none other than DJ Snake.
Although from Paris, the romantic capital of the world, William Sami Etienne Grigahcine grew up in a rough part of the city. He was a graffiti artist in his youth, and earned the nickname ‘Snake’ by managing to consistently evade the police. He doesn’t particularly like his stage name, saying, “When I started DJing, everyone called me ‘Snake’ in my city first, I was like ‘DJ Snake, OK let’s go for it.’ The name sucks, but it’s too late now.”
At age 14 he was DJing regularly, and by the age of 19 he was producing his own music. Manager Steve Goncalves, whom he met in 2005, convinced him to produce more of his own music.
It was ‘Government Hooker’, a track he produced for Lady Gaga’s album in 2011, that caught everyone’s attention, and earned him a Grammy nomination.
Late 2013 saw the release of his collaboration with Lil Jon ‘Turn Down For What’, which made DJ Snake a superstar overnight.
The song dominated the dance music charts and received platinum certification in March 2014, just after the release of Snake’s follow up hit with Dillon Francis ‘Get Low’, which was also featured on the OST of Fast and Furious 7 along with ‘Turn Down For What’. ‘Get Low’ was also featured in commercials by Dodge and Taco Bell.
In December 2014, he released his remix of Aluna George’s ‘You Know You Like It’, which reached the top of Billboard’s Dance/Mix Show Airplay charts, and went to become one of the most streamed songs on Spotify as well. The video currently has 94 million views on YouTube.
The mother of all hits was released early last year though, where he collaborated with Diplo’s side project Major Lazer on ‘Lean On’. With half a billion Spotify plays and more than a billion YouTube views, the song was by far the widest played and biggest hit of 2015, and topped charts worldwide.
2015 also saw him and Tchami get involved in a serious accident, along with Tchami’s manager. They recovered soon after but had to skip a few shows on their tour.
DJ Snake has played at the biggest music festivals worldwide including Ultra and Tomorrowland, and has toured with Skrillex and Dillon Francis. He also always has black sunglasses on, and his signature pose is the welcome greeting where both palms are joined together and elbows are bent, similar to the ‘Namaste’ greeting in India and similar greetings in other parts of Asia.
He has also remixed artists like Kanye, Duck Sauce, Zedd and Calvin Harris. His upcoming album Encore releases in August 2016, and two singles from the album have been released.
‘Middle’ has been hugely successful, and the most recent track by DJ Snake, ‘Talk’ has also been received well.
We wish DJ Snake all the best for the release of his album!
Header image Credit: aLIVE Coverage for Insomniac