DJ Snake

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About DJ Snake

Compared to many of his chart-topping EDM peers, DJ Snake keeps a relatively low profile: He doesn’t do many interviews, and he’s rarely photographed without a pair of oversized black sunglasses. Instead, the French-Algerian producer (born William Grigahcine in 1986) lets his music do the talking. With a range that extends from earthshaking trap to lilting tropical house, DJ Snake doesn’t have an obvious stylistic signature; instead, his fingerprints are audible in details like precision-tooled snares, vividly tweaked vocal samples, and an almost three-dimensional approach to sound design. Raised in Paris, the former graffiti artist and hip-hop DJ first broke through by working on Lady Gaga’s “Government Hooker,” but it was his 2013 song “Turn Down for What”—a battering ram of a trap anthem made all the more antic by Lil Jon’s ranted, titular refrain—that kicked open the doors to the world stage. Two years later, teaming up with Major Lazer and MØ, he showed a more sensitive side on “Lean On,” which paired slo-mo house with crystalline finger-snaps and one of the year’s most infectious choruses. Since then, on his 2016 debut album, Encore, and elsewhere, he’s continued to expand the limits of his sound—giving Justin Bieber the world’s most opulent air mattress to fall into on the buoyant “Let Me Love You,” or unspooling slinky, acoustically tinged Afrobeats for Nigerian singer Niniola on “Maradona Riddim.” It’s an ironic title: Diego Maradona is one of the world’s most flamboyant figures in soccer, while DJ Snake, true to his namesake, is as stealthy as they come—you never know where he’s going to strike next.

Paris, France
June 13, 1986
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