Holi hangover for DJ Snake
The world-famous French DJ recalls his last trip to India, professes his fondness for South Indian food, and talks about what he wants to do when he is back
Two years ago at this time, French DJ Snake, aka William Sami Étienne Grigahcine, performed a Holi special gig in India. He loved it, even though he had to change his clothes five times during the event, which sounds as though he did Holi right!
“It was the craziest thing I have seen – the colours, the energy and the people. It was amazing and my favourite memory of India, a country I love,” says the multiple hit-maker who’s performed in India several times.
“My Indian fans have been really supportive via social media even during the pandemic. I can’t wait to be back and meet them,” he says, revealing that he’s also looking at collaborating with a few Indian artistes soon.
DJ Snake has an old connection with India, though – his best friend in Paris is an Indian. So he’s spent many meals at their place, requesting his friend’s mother to go easy on the chilies. “He’s from south India and the food is fiery, but one of my favourites. One thing I know is that you can’t go wrong with butter chicken. You walk into any Indian restaurant in the world and that’s the one dish no one can ruin.”
Heal the world
The Frenchman took his time to release Selfish Love feat. Selena Gomez (March 2021), a song he describes as either a throwback or a peek into a future in which you can hang out with friends, when it will be a new world.
“This period has been depressing and we’re all trying to stay positive while waiting for the world to be rid of Covid-19. That’s the hope that keeps me going. People need something real and organic and right now that’s been a bit difficult because what we need is good vibes and happy stuff. No one wants to cry right now,” he explains, adding that he can’t wait to collaborate with people in the same room as “that kind of working together is next level”.
DJ Snake loves brainstorming. “With collaborations, I follow my heart and gut. If I like someone’s music and I can visualise what our sound will be like together, I don’t hesitate to ask,” he smiles.
“Other than the big artistes (see box), I’d love to work with Justin Bieber again or young artistes from, let’s say Bangalore, or Korea, who knows? There are no boundaries or limits. Like, when we did Lean On, none of us were ‘stars’ then. And that song was HUGE,” he says.
He’s also trying to give back to the French music scene, keeping track of young upcoming producers. “They are really bringing in some fire. There were people who helped me when I was younger and a nobody. I’m trying to do the same,” he says.
Lockdown ups and downs
The first three months of the lockdown were very difficult for him because it was such a change from daily life. “I was taken aback by the whole thing of not being able to meet anyone, travel, play, nothing. I wasn’t productive and I was fighting depression,” he reveals.
And then he came across comments on social media from fans asking him to release some content as his work is usually feel-good. So he pushed himself to the studio, and that was that. “I realised if you can spread positive energy in just three minutes via a song, then I need to do that.”
Now he’s going to be dropping songs non-stop and also possibly, an album. “It’s always nice to give fans about 14 tracks and be like, ‘here’s your soundtrack for the summer’,” he says.
Any lockdown learnings? “I really cannot cook. I was all, okay, let’s learn some stuff. And I started by trying to bake a cake and it was the worst cake I’ve had. I had to rely on food delivery!” he laughs.
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From HT Brunch, March 28, 2021
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