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Interview: Snakehips chats to Wave Racer about festival life and Chance The Rapper

Just a couple of mates catching up on memories and new music

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It’s been a fast and steep rise to recognition for London production duo Snakehips. You’ll probably know them from the summer-ready anthem ‘All My Friends’ featuring Tinashe and Chance The Rapper but they’ve also tapped some fresh (and equally impressive) talent for their most recent releases, including Australian-born George Maple and trailblazer Anderson .Paak. The duo (AKA Oliver Lee and James Carter) are headed to our shores this week as part of the highly anticipated Splendour in the Grass lineup, as well as a handful of headline shows across the country.

Coincidentally, local artist Wave Racer has just been announced for Splendour’s Thursday night festivities, so it looks like the crew will be getting back together sooner rather than later. We linked the young producer with one half of the London group for a little artist-on-artist action and ended up eavesdropping on an epic catch-up convo between two mates and huge music fans. Check out their conversation below.

Wave Racer: So how are you doing? I haven’t seen you since we were in LA and we had that show together.

Snakehips: Yeah man, good times. Been good man. Just been chilling at home, just kind of been in London for a little while. Just working on some new music and finishing off our single and stuff. But been good man, what’s been going on with you?

Wave Racer: Yeah nice. That was my last show in America, that one I did with you guys, so I went home straight after that and now I’ve been home ever since, just trying to work on stuff. I’m moving house, moving to Melbourne.

Snakehips: Oh man, you’re moving to Melbourne!

Wave Racer: Yeah, I’ve been real busy sorting out that. So you said you’ve got a new single on the way?

Snakehips: Yeah man. We’re just finishing it all off right now. And I don’t know when it’s gonna be out, but it should be kind of soon at least, hopefully.

Wave Racer: Cool, I’m very excited to hear it. It sounds awesome.

Snakehips: I know, should be good.

Wave Racer: And you’re coming to Australia next month, right?

Snakehips: Yeah man, yeah we’re coming down for Splendour and I think we’ve got a couple of shows. We’ve definitely got one in Melbourne. I think Sydney and Perth as well. We’ve got to hang out when you’re in Melbourne, man.

Wave Racer: No, I’ll definitely be there by then. You should come hang at my new place. It’s pretty awesome I got like floor to ceiling windows and like I’ll have a little studio set up there. It’s going to be awesome.

Snakehips: Yeah! It’s going to be ballin’, yeah. Hopefully we’ll get a couple days off so we can come and chill.

Wave Racer: You haven’t been to Splendour before have you? It’s really awesome.

Snakehips: Nah. I’ve heard it’s muddier than most Australian festivals.

Wave Racer: Yeah, it’s a bit muddy. But it’s probably not as bad as Glastonbury or anything like that.

Snakehips: Yeah exactly I was going to say we’re probably kind of used to it. However bad it is it, won’t be that much of a shock. I hope.

Wave Racer: So, I’ve been meaning to ask you because you, since you worked with Chance the Rapper on ‘All My Friends’ have you had the chance to listen to his new work, Coloring Book?

Snakehips: Oh man, yeah I love it! I really love it actually. There’s like a sick one with Jay Electronica on it, that’s like an amazing track and there’s like a whole bunch of wicked stuff.

Wave Racer: Yeah, it’s a really, really amazing album. I think it’s like probably his best work yet. It’s so crazy that he’s blown up to be such an amazing, big successful artist now and you guys just casually made a single featuring him and he had a guest verse on your biggest hit song. It must be pretty wild to have that in your catalogue.

Snakehips: Man, totally. Do you know what, I think the fact that we even managed to get those two on it is still like… I don’t really understand how it all happened really. It’s still kind of surreal.

Wave Racer: Yeah it’s pretty insane, isn’t it? It’s like a surprise, but just an amazing one that produced such a good song and that song has been so successful around the world. So it’s so cool to see that.

Snakehips: It’s been with you man, and man you killed the remix. That remix was so sick.

Wave Racer: Oh, thank you very much.

Snakehips: I love that shit.

Wave Racer: It was a pleasure to remix that ’cause it was such a well written song and it had such beautiful written vocal melodies and everything was really easy to work with because it was so good to start with. When you have source material that is that strong, it’s not that much of a stretch to make something good from it again. It was really fun to remix that, I think it’s probably one of the funnest ones I’ve ever had the chance to remix.

Snakehips: You are too kind, you’re too kind man.

Wave Racer: No worries.

Snakehips: What’s going on with you man? Have you got new music coming out? Are you working on stuff?

Wave Racer: I’m basically in the process of formulating my next project, it’s probably gonna be a big project. Like the biggest thing I’ve done yet. I’m trying to make something that’s cohesive and has big collaborations on there. I’m not sure what it’s actually going to be yet, whether it’s going to be an album or a series of other releases or EPs or videos or whatever. It’s going to be a long process but it’s under way. I’m excited about getting all this new material finished but it’s sounding very different to my older stuff, so it’s exciting. I’m really keen to show people the new side of things.

Snakehips: What is different about it?

Wave Racer: It’s just a little more versatile, it’s a little more dynamic. It’s got a big range of tempos and styles. And, you know, its got a bit of eighties vibe going on, but also a bit of like super-modern hip-hop rap vibe. Every demo has it’s own sort of identity and I wanna make a project where everything is its own unique sort of thing but then it all sounds sonically cohesive at the same time. So, yeah, it’s a weird undertaking but I’m hoping it pays off.

Snakehips: Wicked, man. Yeah I can’t wait to hear that, it’s exciting.

Wave Racer: It’ll be great. Well when you come down, I’ll show you some stuff. Just you and me.

Snakehips: Wicked man. Let’s do it, let’s do it.

Wave Racer: Yeah. Are you looking forward to anything specific in Australia that you can’t get at home?

Snakehips: Mate, it’s just such a great place… everything about Australia. I love hanging out there. The people are really nice, the weather is always nice. I mean, I hope it is anyway. I know it’s like winter out there when we’re coming down.

Wave Racer: It should be nice. It should be okay.

Snakehips: It should be okay. But man, just the vibes. It’s such a wicked place, we always love coming down there. Like the crowds always have so much energy and the people just really seem to get the music down there – moreso than a lot of places. It really feels like what we’re doing, people really understand it, you know? And the crowds are so sick, you know, it’s just a lot of fun playing down there.

Wave Racer: Do you think it’s better? I’ve spoken to you before about crowds in London and playing to your home crowd, and like the difference between that and playing in America. Do you think that Australian crowds will have a greater appreciation for you guys coming all the way from the other side of the world, as opposed to playing to a home crowd?

Snakehips: Yeah, I think so. It’s weird really. We do always get a really good crowd in London but I don’t know. There’s just something about the way people are, when they go out, in different places in the world, like people just don’t seem to care as much about being cool or whatever in Australia or the States. People just seem to have a better time and just kind of let go for a little bit while they’re at shows. And yeah, it’s always so much fun man. And I think just the fact that you guys did such a big movement of music down there. It just seems that people are really into the whole thing and it’s more in public consciousness than maybe it is in other places, which is wicked.

Wave Racer: That’s awesome yeah. It’s really cool. I hope you guys, actually I’m sure you guys will have amazing crowds when you come down here. I don’t think you guys have even been back in Australia since the release of ‘All My Friends’ or have you? Am I wrong about that?

Snakehips: We did a couple of things around New Years. So that was literally just it, and it had come out like right then. But yeah, it’s going to be good being back down there because people will have been listening to it and stuff so it should be a lot of fun.

Wave Racer: Sweet, dude. It was nice to hear from you.

Snakehips: Yeah, you too man. I’ll shout out to you when I’m down in Australia. 

This interview has been condensed for clarity.


Thursday July 21: Perth – Villa
Friday July 22: Sydney – Max Watt’s
Saturday July 23: Splendour in the Grass
Sunday Jully 24: Melbourne –Max Watt’s
Tickets via Astral People & Handsome Tours

  • Interview: Wave Racer

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