Hailing from New Jersey, EDM DJ-producer Snake Child has a storied musical background that started with making hip-hop mixtapes and playing in a rock band called Lady Radiator. While he was still playing rock music, he discovered his passion for making beats and writing electronic music, which lead to the creation of his Snake Child persona. “Crime Family” is his latest creation, which is a bass-rich blend of Electro and an up-and-coming local genre called Jersey Club. Snake Child has played all the major NYC venues, including Webster Hall and Pacha, alongside the likes of Borgore, Carnage and Proper Villains (who he collaborated with on “We Just Want to Party”).
We also caught up with Snake Child via Skype to learn more about the man behind the name and his new release “Crime Family.”
What’s the story behind the name Snake Child?
I was 18 and playing in a rock band, and we went on tour. We were in Lima, Ohio, or something like that. We met these crazy people out there, they were calling me Rattlesnake for some reason, and it just stuck. Then it evolved, it dropped the Rattle and became Snake, and then one day it became Snake Child. And I got it tattooed on me. I just ran with it.
You mentioned you were in a rock band and I’ve noticed that your tracks have a lot of different musical influences. How did you get into producing electronic music and what were your major influences?
I was always making mixtapes and mashups in the 6th grade. Once I started getting into playing in bands and music, I wanted to write beats, any kinds of beats. A producer I was working with at the time, his name was Jesse Cannon, told me about Ableton in 2006, and right from there I was just recording guitar and I wasn’t sure what kind of music I wanted to write. It wasn’t until 2009 that I started taking Snake Child more seriously and started writing dance music, any kind though. Also, my dad was a musician and used to write songs. I always liked writing songs, so I kept doing it.
When were you playing in the rock band in relation to when you began producing electronic music?
That was like high school. I liked playing guitar and bass. I wanted some new guitar gear, so I sold my DJ gear to buy guitar gear. This was in high school, I think it was sophomore year. Then after I got out of high school I was like, man, I want to go back to that. So I sold some keyboards that I found, I would find keyboards and other equipment in the garbage and fix them. I sold a bunch of stuff on Craigslist and got another pair of 1200s [turntables].
How would you describe your production style in your own words?
I love feel good music. I think about feel good music, like being happy. But also sometimes I think about the end of the world, like my new song ‘Crime Family.’ When I was writing that I was thinking like the end of the world party, what would be the soundtrack? It was one of those tracks like, I just don’t give a fuck. It’s kind of dark. I go between both of those styles of music, the happy ones - good funk stuff, disco house - and the end of the world stuff. I don’t know why, I always liked it. I would say my music is Dutch House, Jersey Club, and Disco House all fused into one.
Tell us about your release Crime Family. What’s the story behind the name?
The vocal sample I used says ‘crime family.’ That’s from Mobb Deep ‘Shook Ones Part II.’ I just heard the lyric and liked how he said ‘fam-i-ly’ with so much swag. It was kinda cool, so I just pitched it up a little bit and sampled it. And then when I was writing it, 'crime family' made me think of some renegades, like people that just don’t give a fuck. We were talking about the end of the world party type thing earlier. And with the sound, and how the structure of the song evolved, it was just like, I don’t give a fuck. I was like, I’m just gonna run with this.
Snake Child's next show will be his "Crime Family" Release Party at the Delancey basement in NYC on Saturday, April 19th. There is no cover charge and attendees can simply walk in, no tickets or RSVP required.