He is the DJ that brought down the house at Ultra SA about a week ago and we can STILL hear his electro beats blazing in our ears. William Sami Étienne Grigahcine, known to us as DJ Snake, is a French DJ, record producer from Paris (oh la-la) and truly knows how to make the dance floor shake. He spoke to us about his fave career moments.
Tell us about the time you realised you wanted to be a DJ?
I was always into music, but I used to go to parties and I was shyer than the other kids. I found it easier to be the one in the corner. I never used to dance, stand out – I used to be in the corner DJ’ing. I was obsessed with it. I’ve seen the vinyl culture since I was a boy, watching vinyl imports arrive at the record stores. It felt like it was a way people from all over the world were communicating, through music, through vinyl. That’s how you knew what was happening in Chicago and New York etc.
What is your pre-performance ritual?
I always have a football in my dressing room and I kick it around with the crew. I say hi to the promoter and the other artists and listen to some other music to chill down before I go on.
What do you love most about being on stage?
I guess everyone says this but it’s the connection with the crowd. Releasing music is great but when you see people who know your songs, some of which have only been out for a few hours, and that’s your work they’re singing. That’s hard to beat.
Which song is your fave to perform?
Well, I don’t really have a favourite, to be honest. I love Propaganda when the crowd is going nuts, Let Me Love You or Middle at the end of my set when I see people feeling emotional. Different songs bring different vibes and I love all of those layers to a show.
What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
Still being here. To become famous nowadays is easy. To stay here, to train your mind to be disciplined enough to keep being true to what you believe in, but still always appreciating that this is something you cannot take for granted. I’m grateful all the time for just being able to keep growing. Not everyone gets that chance.
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What is your best and worst trait?
I can be very late. Not to work but for planes, friends’ dinners. I mean I never mean to be but I am. My best trait? I mean I’m pretty humble so I don’t know… I try to help my friends and family out whenever I can, but you’d have to ask them!
Last person, you texted?
If you were not a DJ what would you be doing?
I have no idea. It’s all I focused on, there was never a plan B.
What’s the biggest misconception about the music industry?
I think people understand it’s hard work but I don’t think they know how hard. The traveling, your phone never stops, the different time zones, working with people on music. It’s harder than I think people understand. Owning your own music is now so important but that’s a whole other level of protecting yourself and understanding stuff you never needed to.
Tell us what your style essentials are?
Sneakers and loose clothing for travel. I have a few favourite fabrics that I get sent from all over the world, China, India, Thailand. Don’t be afraid to go loud on the colours. Oh, and I always wear a Hublot watch.
Who or what has been the biggest influence on your sound?
My mom. Growing up she would play so many different types of music. I heard Arabic records, Spanish records, funk records. Without the wide range of songs I heard I would never have been able to produce music in so many genres.
Most people do not know…
What I look like without my glasses on!
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My dream collaboration…
Dr Dre. Not maybe a record, just to be in the same room and work together. That’s next-level perfection to me. He is a legend.
Two things that make a great summer party great?
Sunshine and free water .
What are you currently working on at the moment?
New music and a bunch of fashion collabs I’m excited about. I’ll be dropping new music all year and stretching my creative vibes into new areas.
Did you attend Ultra SA 2020? Tweet us your fave part of the event @CosmopolitanSA.