William Sami Étienne Grigahcine, known professionally as DJ Snake, is a French music producer and DJ who gained international recognition in 2013 with his hit single "Turn Down for What" in collaboration with Lil Jon. Born on June 13, 1986, in Paris, France, to Algerian parents, DJ Snake's journey in the music industry has been marked by numerous achievements and collaborations.
DJ Snake was born in Paris and raised in Ermont, a banlieue district outside Paris. Despite describing his upbringing as being in a ghetto, it's noted that Ermont is not characterized by economic deprivation. Influenced by hip-hop artists like KRS-One and Cypress Hill, DJ Snake began his artistic endeavors early, producing graffiti art and earning the moniker "Snake" for his ability to evade the police. He started DJing at the age of 14 and began producing music at 19, eventually gaining recognition in the Parisian club scene.
In 2011, DJ Snake entered the mainstream music scene by producing for Lady Gaga's album Born This Way, earning him a Grammy nomination. He continued to collaborate with prominent artists, including remixes for Kanye West, AlunaGeorge, and Major Lazer. His breakthrough came with the release of "Turn Down for What," which topped charts worldwide and earned multiple award nominations, including MTV Video Music Awards.
Standalone singles (2013–2015)
Following the success of "Turn Down for What," DJ Snake released several standalone singles, including "Get Low" with Dillon Francis and remixes such as "You Know You Like It" by AlunaGeorge. However, it was his collaboration with Major Lazer and MØ on "Lean On" that solidified his status as a global music sensation. The song topped charts internationally and became one of the most streamed tracks on Spotify.
In 2015, DJ Snake released his debut studio album, Encore, featuring hit singles like "Middle" and "Let Me Love You" featuring Justin Bieber. The album received critical acclaim and further propelled DJ Snake into the spotlight as a leading figure in electronic dance music.
Carte Blanche (since 2018)
DJ Snake's second album, Carte Blanche, released in 2019, continued his streak of success with singles like "Magenta Riddim" and "Taki Taki" featuring Selena Gomez, Cardi B, and Ozuna. He also established his record label, Premiere Classe, showcasing emerging talent in the electronic music scene.
Beyond his solo career, DJ Snake is part of the Pardon My French team, a collective of French DJs including Tchami, Mercer, and Malaa. He's also known for his residency at Zouk Nightclub and AYU Dayclub in Las Vegas. In 2018, DJ Snake collaborated with Levi's for an exclusive line of apparel, blending his Pardon My French brand with the iconic denim label.
Premiere Classe Records
In 2018, DJ Snake launched Premiere Classe Records, his own record label aimed at promoting innovative and diverse electronic music. The label has released tracks from a range of artists, showcasing DJ Snake's commitment to nurturing talent and pushing boundaries within the genre.
DJ Snake's impact on the music industry extends beyond his chart-topping hits. As a producer, DJ, and entrepreneur, he continues to influence the electronic dance music scene globally, cementing his legacy as one of the most influential figures in contemporary music.