Who Is DJ Snake in Real Life?

DJ Snake has been having an impressive rise to fame for the better part of a decade now, and it all started when he was just a teenager. The DJ and producer has managed to work his way into the upper echelon of the music world and has had high-profile collaborations with some of the biggest names in the industry. Those partnerships show no signs of slowing down, so we can expect DJ Snake’s prestige and reach to continue growing. 

As this artist’s star is clearly on the rise, learning a little more about his background, goals, and style can provide insight into the way he approaches his work. 

DJ Snake was born in France

DJ Snake was born and raised near Paris, France. He recalls the area of his childhood as a rough urban space where he frequently dodged the police as a graffiti artist. In fact, that’s how the musician picked up his now-famous moniker. He started DJing when he was just 14 years old, and he needed a stage name.

His real name is William Sami Étienne Grigahcine, but his friends had called him “Snake” because of how well he was able to evade authorities when they were chasing him through the streets for making graffiti. DJ Snake admits that the name isn’t his favorite, but he’s stuck with it now. 

As Rolling Stone reports, DJ Snake knew where his passion was from a very young age, and he went all in. By 15, he had dropped out of school and spent his time working in a record store where he could pore over the catalogs of the artists who would come to inspire him.

This gutsy move likely wouldn’t have panned out so well for most teens, but DJ Snake was not most teens. By 19, he had turned to producing as well as serving as a DJ, and he earned his first Grammy nomination by 25 — that time for a collaboration with Lady Gaga.

DJ Snake’s high-powered collaborations define his work so far

DJ Snake’s ability to land high-powered collaborations with some of the biggest stars of the day has helped his meteoric rise to fame. The musician has worked with stars like Cardi B, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, and more.

If we’re judging just by plays alone, one of his most successful collaborations to date has to be his work with Lil Jon on the positively viral “Turn Down for What.”

These collaborations are not just about boosting DJ Snake’s visibility, however. The artist has made it clear that he has a penchant for mixing influences across cultures and bringing the world a style that is truly a unique and eclectic blend. Speaking to Rolling Stone’s Divyansha Dongre, DJ Snake explained:

“When I became a DJ, traveling was the most inspiring thing; You meet a lot of different people, you see the different types of vibes, and I’m like a sponge. I like to pay homage to different cultures and this is what I do, and this is what I’m trying to do– this is my thing and I’m having fun with it.”

Travel is a huge part of DJ Snake’s professional persona

When DJ Snake says that finding cultural influences from all over the world is important to him, he means it literally. The artist is definitely a globetrotter who has spent time hopping from country to country.

He has a huge fandom in India and had much respect for the fans that kept showing up to support him on social media when the pandemic made travel impossible. 

DJ Snake has spent the forced time away from his beloved travel to create. When asked about a potential upcoming album, he was coy but optimistic:

“I have a lot of songs, almost like 60 songs ready and I just keep working on it. Whenever the world’s gonna get back normal, something’s gonna happen, for sure. I’ll try releasing music and we’ll see.”

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