DJ SNAKE- "I want to make the world dance!"
Kaisa Ansper and Simon Magwaza
On April 21st Guangzhou welcomed the world famous DJ Snake. This was DJ Snakes FIRST performance in China and his ONLY during his Asia Tour. It happened at Guangzhou’s‘ new place to be, ‘Wave Bar’, and had me dancing until 5am!
When I heard the famous DJ was coming to Guangzhou, I immediately knew I had to go to this party. I was hoping to get some good photos of DJ Snake to use in the magazine simply because I really respect him. Why? Because I respect the type of people in this world that do what they love and believe in.
You cannot imagine my excitement when, while talking to one of the organizers, I found out that I may have a small chance of interviewing DJ Snake. The guy rarely gives interviews. When my colleague Simon called me to tell me that, he had agreed to give one, I was overwhelmed and even overwrought, for what turned out to be, no reason at all!
DJ Snake may be a world famous DJ and music producer who has collaborated with Lady Gaga, Pitbull, T-Pain, Sean Paul and Akon but he is the most chilled out and friendliest person. Interviewing him seemed more like a friendly chat than an interview and it seemed that he would have gladly continued our conversation all night. However, he did have a show to perform and when Wave owners Danny and Superman came to tell him that it was time to make people dance, it was time for our conversation to end.
Here is what we talked about:
What brings you to Guangzhou?
Snake: The vibe. Everybody told me the vibe is good and that there is a new market so I had to be here.
You are a DJ and a music producer at the same time. What takes a bigger part of your time?
Snake: The studio. Every day and every night. Trying to create a new movement, a new sound. When I am not in the studio I am traveling and looking for inspiration. Like now in China. I want to listen to what locals listen to. I try to capture the vibe from all over the world- from South-America to China and then mix it up and bring it to the big artists in the USA like Lady Gaga.
How would you describe your music?
Snake: Good music!
You have produced music for Pitbull, Akon, Sean Paul and Lady Gaga but you are very young. How old are you exactly?
Snake: I am 26.
26????? How did you get so far in such a short time?
Snake: It’s not very hard. I started to produce when I was 17. Alone, no music school, no background. Music is all I know. It’s my life. My English is pretty f***** up.
Don’t worry, we will edit it.
Snake: Where are you guys from?
I am from Estonia and my colleague here is from South Africa
Snake: Oh yeah? I love South Africa. I have been there so many times.
Really? Where did you go?
Snake: To J-burg and Cape Town. That’s my s***. I was playing in Cape Town for the World Cup.
For the World Cup??? Impressive. What’s the most amazing place you have played at?
Snake: Maybe Brazil.
Snake: The women. Real talk. Rio.
What has been your most amazing show?
Snake: Back in the day I used to do the opening for Snoop Dog. Snoop Dog was on tour in Europe. I was 18 and they chose me to open his performance. That was a pretty big thing for a young dude like me.
Wait, when was that exactly?
6 years ago?
Snake: Yeah 6 years ago. I’m 26.
Wait, you were 18, right?
Snake: Oh yeah, 8 years ago.
(Laughter) What inspires you to create the music you do?
Snake: The world. When I’m traveling I listen to the music. I turned on the radio in Hong Kong to see what the people were listening to and what was in. The different vibes, styles and culture inspire me. It’s crazy! I listen to the opening DJs in my shows to find out what’s hot in Brazil, what’s hot in South Africa. I wake up every morning to make the world dance. Not just France and the rest of Europe which is in to regular house and electro music. I want to offer something special. One day I mix African music with an electro sound, the next day I play reggae s***. You know for me there are only 2 kinds of music- good music and bad music. I try to make good music.
Who has inspired you?
Snake: Wow… Maybe Jay-Z. Let’s say Jay-Z. He used to be the young dude in the hood. Now he is one of the biggest businessmen in the world just because of his vision of the world. He made pop music with something from the hood. That’s what I try to do with all kinds of music. I try to find a small movement, for example people listening to deep house in South Africa and make it big and show it to the world.
You mean bring people back to their roots.
You are famous not only for your music but also your style. What inspires you to dress like this?
Snake: What I’m doing behind the discs. I can play music from Elvis Presley to Bob Marley, from Nirvana to Jay-Z. Sometimes I play in a suit. Sometimes I’m very hood. Sometimes I’m very fancy. You know, when you wake up in the morning sometimes you are happy, sometimes mad, sometimes motivated and sometimes lazy. This is me. You can Google my party with Paris Hilton. I was wearing a tuxedo. That was killer. Part of me is like this. Sometimes I can be very simple. Right now I wanna do what I wanna do. Be my own boss. That’s why Jay-Z is my idol. Cause if he says I wanna do that he does it.
Describe a day in the life of DJ Snake.
Snake: Ohh, that’s very easy. Almost always the same. Wake up very early, check emails, go jogging, after that straight to the studio, then watch a game of soccer. My life is very simple from Monday to Friday. Friday I go on a tour, airport, sound check, sleeping in the hotel, party hard, get f***** up and then the next city. DJ life.
So you enjoy your life?
Snake: Of course. My life is crazy. I have the best life in the world.
What are your plans for the future?
Snake: I’m trying to find a new artist and make him a star. That’s my goal. So I’m looking forward to this young kid who has the magic.
Recently the mint company ‘Rio’, which is very popular here in China, offered to sponsor your tour. Do you feel that ‘Rio’ is the kind of company you’d like to work with and why?
Snake: ‘Rio’ has a positive image. Why not! I’m down. They are positive. I am positive. You know Superman (owner of ‘Wave Bar’)?
Yeah, he’s a good friend.
Snake: That dude is awesome. He is the one who arranged it and we have fun. I try to work with good people so I’m totally into working with Rio.
Do you have a website where girls who are crazy about you can follow you?
Snake: The best thing is Twitter. I respond every day to people. I talk s*** every 5 minutes.
(Superman arrives and tells us that DJ Snake is due on stage.)
We don’t want to keep you waiting.
Snake: No, don’t worry I’m a cool guy…With broken English. My last message is: everybody can do it! Everybody! You know, I have won a Grammy with my broken English. I have made a platinum record with my broken English. The music was the connection not the blah blah blah. If you make top music you are going to win.