William Sami Etienne Grigahcine, known professionally as DJ Snake, is a French disc jockey, electronic music producer and rapper who mixes hip-hop and EDM. He was born on June 13, 1986 in a Banlieue district outside Paris. He cited 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. He used the name when he decided to start DJing. "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 once explained.
DJ Snake started DJing 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 collaborated with Lady GaGa, producing her album "Born This Way" which was later nominated for the coveted Album of the Year at the 2012 Grammy Awards. He later reached international success in 2013 after releasing the singles "Bird Machine" and "Turn Down for What".
"Bird Machine" is a collaboration with fellow French act Alesia. The single was picked up by Mad Decent, a Los Angeles-based record label run by Diplo, and was released in February 2013. In December 2013, "Turn Down for What" which was DJ Snake's collaboration with Lil Jon was released on Columbia Records. Upon its release, the song entered the top 5 on the Dance/Electronic chart and debuted No. 38 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song, which peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100, was certified gold in February 2014 and platinum in March 2014. It was nominated for MTV Video Music Awards for Best Direction, Best Art Direction, Best Visual Effects, and the MTV Clubland Award.
DJ Snake scored more hits in 2014 with his remix of AlunaGeorge's "You Know You Like It" and in 2015 with "Lean On" which was his collaborative project with Diplo's Major Lazer and Danish singer MO.
The latter track peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. In June, Time Magazine named it one of the Best Songs of 2015 So Far and was named Spotify's global song of the summer. In November 2015, the song surpassed 526 million Spotify plays, making it the service's most streamed song ever. DJ Snake returned to the top of the charts in 2016 with "Let Me Love You" featuring Justin Bieber.