You’d be hard-pressed to find an Australian radio station that doesn’t have Snakehips on rotation.
From ‘All My Friends’ with Chance The Rapper and Tinashe, to ‘Don’t Leave’ featuring MØ, Oliver Lee and James Carter have made a habit of producing number one tracks.
Ahead of their Australian festival tour as part of Groovin the Moo, we caught up with Oliver for a candid conversation about Australia, Ja Rule and naughty tour behaviour.
Hi Ollie, thanks so much for chatting to me. Where are you at the moment?
I’m actually in London, it’s super early here so apologies in advance for the tired, morning voice.
Totally forgiven. You guys have toured Australia a few times, are you excited to come back?
So excited. I love Australia, especially Melbourne. We’re going with Groovin the Moo to a load of new places we haven’t been to yet, like Canberra. So that will be really cool.
Groovin the Moo’s lineup is so sick. Who are you excited to be sharing the bill with?
I know George Maple and Hayden James, who are good buddies. Also, the Darkness is playing and I literally had no idea they were even a thing anymore, so that will be cool.
How do Australian crowds compare to those overseas?
The first time we went out there and played it was like ‘wow, these people really get what we’re doing’. Australian crowds are just so receptive, energetic and cool. It’s always such a fun place to play.
Who are some Australian acts you feel are doing cool things at the moment?
There’s a dude called Feki that I’ve just started listening to. He’s got a fucking tune called ‘Run Away’. It’s, like, well emotional but it’s got this huge drop in it. Also, Wave Racer is doing cool things.
So you and James are the duo behind Snakehips. How did you guys meet?
It was actually super random. We were in a bar in Hong Kong and we were from similar places in London, and were into the same kind of music. I actually think we bonded over a love of Ja Rule.
Ja Rule? Say no more. That’s how I make all my friends.
Right? I feel if people don’t like Ja Rule that’s a real deal-breaker.
You’ve collaborated with some pretty big names – Anderson .Paak, Zayn and MØ. How do your collaborations come about?
It’s definitely different every time. Sometimes we do it together with them in the studio and sometimes we’ll start making something, and imagine someone that would be sick on it. It kind of depends whether we’re in the same places as people. We’re always on tour, so getting people in the studio is sometimes difficult.
And sometimes you play ‘Livin’ It Up’ by Ja Rule for someone and if they like it, then you know the collab will be amazing?
That’s literally my favourite Ja Rule song.
I’d be disappointed if it wasn’t. So, how did you get your name? Do snakes even have hips?
Just before I was making beats, I had this really tight pair of jeans. Then one time I was hanging out with a group of friends and I pulled the pants up really high and did this dance. Then everyone started calling me Snakehips.
Then you met James and thought, ‘I’ve got the perfect band name’?
Well, I was already making beats under that name. Then it kind of just got too hard to change it. And now we’re here, stuck with a stupid name.
No, I definitely appreciate it. I was just curious more about snake anatomy than anything.
Ha! I actually have no idea if snakes have hips.
What’s the naughtiest thing you’ve ever done?
Oh god, I don’t know. I must have done a load of naughty stuff.
What about in Australia, what’s the naughtiest thing you’ve ever done here?
We’re always really well-behaved in Australia. But actually, there was this festival a couple of years ago where James stole a load of roast dinners from the catering tent.
That’s the most British theft I’ve ever heard of.
Well, I guess the full stomach was worth it.
For recurring fans like myself, what kind of new things can we expect from your set this time around?
We’ve got a bunch of new stuff to play, and the show is always evolving every time we tour. But I guess we just always try to keep the good vibes up and have a party. It’s going to be good fun.
You can catch Snakehips at Groovin the Moo and on their national tour throughout May.
This interview was originally published in Fashion Journal 168. You can read it here.