Snakehips rapidly made their name with Hype Machine chart-topping remixes for Banks, The Weeknd, Bondax and Wild Belle. Earlier this year, the duo also released their 4-track EP ‘Forever (Pt II)’, featuring a several talented vocalists – Londoner Kaleem Taylor, The Internet’s Syd, singer-songwriter Sasha Keable and Daniella T.A.O.L. The result is a perfect example of Snakehips’ signature sound; a sensual, contemporary take on old school R&B and hip hop.
Up to date, what are you feel most proud of in your musical career?
There have been so many high points! I think working with some of our favourite artists like Chance the Rapper, Anderson Paak, Tinashe is something we’re really proud of. Seeing a crowd singing along to our tracks is always something that makes us feel really humbled by how far we’ve come.
Are there any songs that you guys worked on that we wouldn’t necessarily know you were involved in?
We wrote on a track for DJ Snake’s recent album. Ollie played saxophone on a Bondax record, which I’ve forgotten the name of haha. James did a bunch of mixing on some Rudimental records and some other stuff a few years ago. There’s a load of stuff we’ve worked on behind the scenes but mostly been focusing on our own stuff recently.
Is there anyone you are both dying to collaborate with?
There are tonnes! The Weeknd, Kali Uchis, J Hus to name a few…
Where did ‘Snakehips’ come from?
It came from a pair of jeans Ollie used to wear that were really tight, I’m sure you can imagine the rest haha. Thankfully they’re not around anymore.
Do you have any festival survival tips?
Drink lots of water and never stand behind really tall people at shows
Where were you both at musically at the time of this encounter? Had you been working on your own solo material?
Yeah I’d done a couple of beat tapes as Snakehips just before that, so I’d kind of been doing some hip hoppy type stuff. James [Carter] had been doing some similar beats like that as well, so we just joined forces.
Is this a stand alone single or can we expect a body of work in the near future?
We’re going to put out some new music hopefully next month, a few new things. It’s not going to be part of an album yet, but we’re going to start putting out more music. We’ve basically just been finishing off a load of stuff and working on a load of new things, and working out what the best way for us to release stuff is; whether we actually want to do an album or whether we just want to do EPs, you know? There’s so many different things you can do these days, we don’t want to feel too pressured releasing a full album if it’s not the right time.
So at the moment, are you at the writing stage or have you recorded new music?
We’re recorded and written a lot of new music, but yeah we’re just collecting our thoughts on how we should approach it.
You’ve collaborated with a lot of big names over the span of your career. How do you know when a vocalist is the right fit?
I feel like a lot of the time when we’re writing, we’ll not specifically make something for someone, but whilst you’re making a beat, you can kind of hear in your head someone that might work for. If it’s an artist that you’re really into, and you’ve been listening to their stuff, you’ll be like, “Woah, this could really suit [whoever].” I feel like just when we’re writing, it becomes apparent that you can imagine someone’s voice on it or whatever, so we just go from there.
Almost every track you’ve released has incorporated a collaborative member. Will we hear many lone SNAKEHIPS tracks or is this the direction you’re more likely to continue with?
I mean we’ve put out beats and stuff, just using samples and things. I think honestly from when we started making music, we always liked to write songs, even our early remixes that people starting listening to, we always use full vocal tracks. We’ve always been really interested in songs I think, so working with great singers and rappers is something that we really enjoy, and that we really like to be a part of.
With lyricism being projected by these collaborative artists, how does songwriting generally happen for a Snakehips track? Do you guys write the lyrics or only the production?
No, we like to be involved in everything as much as possible. I mean it’s obviously different every time depending on who you’re working with. Every track that we’ve put out, we’ve definitely been there throughout the whole process, and we like to get involved writing lyrics and the vibe, and the message of the tune. So yeah, we’re involved in every aspect.
What’s next for Snakehips? Are you just going to be focusing on these tracks you’re tackling at the moment?
Yeah we’re kind of just touring loads, we’ve got like a double A-side; putting out two new singles pretty soon, like in the next month or so. Just loads of more new music, we’ve got loads of stuff that we’ve been sitting on, so we’re just going to be throwing it out there.