The globally renowned musician, originally born as William Sami Étienne Grigahcine, spoke exclusively to OTTplay about his ‘world’, how language is no barrier when it comes to music and why coming back to India is the same as coming home after a long trip.
Pallabi Dey Purkayastha
Last Updated: 03.29 PM, Nov 19, 2022
He is probably more desi than some of us combined, and the Grammy-nominated French DJ, DJ Snake, prides himself in being an Indian at heart. “I love everything about India,” he exclaims during our exclusive interview ahead of his concert in New Delhi on November 19, 2022.
The Taki Taki smasher, who is currently on a six-city tour in the country, spoke with us about his very-evident love for India, how he is a sucker for live-show energy and why the boom of OTT has made life easier for him.
Excerpts from our conversation with the star musician:
The last time you were in India back in 2019, things were drastically different. This is your first time coming back to your ‘second home’ since the pandemic. What has changed in last two-three years?
DJS: To me, there’s nothing like live events and nothing digital can compare. The pandemic was pretty weird, to not be able to travel and see anybody. We did a couple of live streams, but it felt weird. At the same time, I wanted to give some positive energy to my fans. To be honest with you, I wasn’t really feeling this live stream thing because I need to feel the crowd, I need to feel the energy. I want to hear people sing along. I don’t see what I do as a job. I see it as a feeling– a priceless feeling. And not being able to be with the fans and feel the energy was super weird. I didn’t want to let the fans down, so I did those live streams to give them a little something during those tough times.
And how do you plan on entertaining your Indian fans after what felt like an eternity of no concerts?
DJS: With massive love, respect and appreciation. My Indian fans are a massive part of my world! India! DJ Snake is back! This is going to be an epic run!
Speaking of your Indian connection, you have always emphasized on having a strong sense of belonging here. What are the top three things about this country that resonates with you?
I love everything about India, but seeing the fans that message me every day, singing my songs back to me.... in a country thousands of miles from home, where we are connected mostly via the internet and yet, it seems like we all know each other. That is what India is to me; it’s family! The energy I feel when I am in India is one of the most amazing things. I would say the energy of the people keeps me going for sure! India is like a second home to me. I feel so comfortable and welcomed here. I’m excited to get back, visit and experience new cities, meet more of the people, hear more of the music, and see more of the country that has influenced me so much.
Just like all of us, you had your share of struggles during the unusual circumstances of the initial lockdown and everything that followed soon after. How did you, as a person, cope when there were no shows to do, no cameras to capture you and no one to meet?
It’s was a few rough years and humanity has been through a lot. I just wanted to give some positive energy to the people and motivate them during this time!
What’s your view on the diss culture?
If you don’t like an artist, don’t buy a ticket to their performance. Hate is not something that needs to exist. You can appreciate or not appreciate, but what’s the point in propagating hate? No bad vibes.
Does it ever get overwhelming for you, when you’re working on your next track? Do you ever feel constant pressure living up to these bars you’ve set in the past?
There’s always going to be pressure. It makes you want to do better and go bigger. It’s like an athlete that’s trying to do better, season after season. This makes me want to keep going. I love the pressure.
The boom of OTT platforms, especially during the pandemic, has created work opportunities for not just actors but also musicians around the world. What’s your take on this latest development?
As long as everyone’s passionate and happy about what they are doing I guess it’s a good thing!! Definitely made working with my team easier though!
They say music transcends boundaries and you are a testament to that. How does one love something that they do not fully understand?
I make music that I love. My music is honest and it comes from the heart. Thats all that’s needed!