William Sami Étienne Grigahcine, known professionally as DJ Snake, is a French DJ and record producer from Paris.
DJ Snake debuted into the international scene with singles “Bird Machine” and “Turn Down for What” in 2013. “Bird Machine” is a collaboration with fellow French musician Alesia.
In January 2016, Forbes named him one of their “30 Under 30 In Music” for the year.
In March 2018, Billboard named DJ Snake as number nine on their 2018 ranking of dance musicians titled Billboard Dance 100.
- Full name: William Sami Étienne Grigahcine
- Profession: French DJ and record producer
- Born: 13 June 1986 (age 33 years), Paris, France
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About DJ Snake
William Sami Étienne Grigahcine was born on 13 June 1986 in Paris, France. To a French father and an Algerian mother in Paris and grew up in Ermont, a banlieue district outside Paris, which he describes as a ghetto.
He cites a scene with Cut Killer in the French film La Haine as well as hip-hop artists KRS-One and Cypress Hill as early influences. In his youth, DJ Snake produced graffiti art, earning him the moniker “Snake” because he was able to consistently evade the police.
Of his name, DJ Snake says “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.” He started DJ-ing at age 14, and later producing at 19 years old.
In his early career, DJ Snake performed at clubs including Les Bains Douches in Paris. In 2005, he met his manager Steve Goncalves, who encouraged DJ Snake to begin creating his own music.
In 2011, DJ Snake produced for Lady Gaga’s album Born This Way. This earned him a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year in February 2012.
DJ Snake was co-producer for the song “Government Hooker”, which was voted best song by Lady Gaga fans after the release of the album.
This song was supposed to be released as a single before Interscope Records decided to stop the marketing of the album after its release.
He remixed Kanye West’s “New Slaves”, AlunaGeorge’s “You Know You Like It”, Duck Sauce’s “It’s You”, Major Lazer’s “Bubble Butt” and Junior Senior’s “Move Your Feet”.
In 2013, DJ Snake produced three songs with Paul “DJ White Shadow” Blair on Lady Gaga’s album ARTPOP including “Applause”, “Sexxx Dreams”, and “Do What U Want”.
The single was picked up by Mad Decent, a Los Angeles-based record label run by Diplo, and released in February 2013.
In June 2013, DJ Snake was invited by Diplo to do a live mix on his radio show, “Diplo & Friends”, which airs on BBC Radio 1.
DJ Snake and Dillon Francis were alternating supporting artists on the Mothership Tour 2014 with Skrillex.
DJ Snake was announced to be working on a collaboration with Diplo, originally slated to debut in 2014; it eventually released in 2015 as the single “Lean On” in collaboration with MØ and Diplo’s Major Lazer.
On 30 April 2014, DJ Snake was labeled as an “Artist to Watch” by FoxWeekly. He and Dillon Francis were announced as alternating supporting artists for the summer Mothership Tour 2014 with Skrillex.
He performed at the 2015 Coachella Music Festival with guest appearances by AlunaGeorge and MØ, who did vocals on “Lean On” with Major Lazer. “Lean On” and DJ Snake’s remix of AlunaGeorge’s “You Know You Like It” were both top 10 Shazamed songs from Coachella 2015.
In October 2015, DJ Snake and fellow electronic producer Tchami were injured in a car crash, causing them both to miss a scheduled stop at Toronto’s Monster Mash festival.