Unpredictable: Lil Silva

As an artist, Lil Silva represents a a very familiar transition of recent times – starting off producing at 140BPM, and gradually mutating his influences into a sound he can call his own. The path is clear to see; grime still runs thick through his productions, but the drop to 125-135BPM roughly has allowed for the encorporation of 2-step, house and elements of UKF.

Lil Silva has ended up with a hybrid club sound, indescribable by one genre. His tunes continue to wreak havoc on dancefloors nationwide and his DJ sets too. We caught up with the man behind the music and found out a bit more about LSWhites, his next projects and his recent Hyp mix.

What were you listening to and making when you started out in production? How have you got to where you are now?
I was listening to a mixture of grime, garage, hip-hop and reggae and I pretty much started off producing grime. Overtime I’ve listened and been influenced by so much music I’ve had the time to expand as a producer and been able to adapt the music to my own sound.

As well as the DJing and production project, you run a white-label imprint called LSWhites that has released a 12″ of your own. Did starting a label seem a natural next step from making music? And, why did you decide to only do vinyl?
I guess it was a natural step musically, because I honestly never thought of running my own label when I had started out. Im glad I did it though, it’s great for me to put out those untitled projects at random moments without over thinking. It’s appreciated more on vinyl and I intend to keep the series limited with the amount I get pressed, so if you see it then get it.

Are there any plans to develop the label further in the near future?
No specific plans as such, best to be unpredictable. Who knows, today bass music – tomorrow R’n’b!

What is it about Night Slugs that made you decide to release with them?
I loved what they were doing, the music had a real edge to it. I felt that it was a great home for my type of production back then, it was that label that was real experimental with the sound they were putting out.

Did you approach the Night Slugs Club Constructions EP any different to a normal release?
The plan was to actually to have the EP as a normal release, during the period of producing the last few tracks they had club constructions in process which began with L-Vis on the first release and they wanted that side to expand. Its was a new platform for the label which they had suggested will best suit the next release for myself instead of your normal 4 track EP. The series is all about raw and stripped down club music specifically aimed at the dance floor, so it kinda made sense to do it that way.

Sampha was involved in a track on the Patience EP, but generally, you tend to only use sampled vocals. Do you have plans to work with MCs and vocalists more, and who would you ideally work with?
Definitely! I’m actually working with some vocalists at the moment, can’t wait for people to hear the new projects! Future plans to be doing some more work with Sampha again also, so look out for that.

What is planned for the next release?
I cant say just yet, all I can say that its going to be phenomenal. I’ve been working on this project for the last few months, I really cant wait for people to hear it and especially the fact I don’t think anyone would of expected it next.

You’ve just done a Hyp mix for us. How did you go about selecting the tracks, and is it fairly similar to what you might play in a club?
Fairly similar yes, this selection was a mixture of few new bits I’ve listened to in the last month with some new bits from myself. I honestly feel I haven’t been getting inspired from dance music recently. I guess it will all make sense as to when we reveal what we’ve been up to in the studio lately.

Richard Akingbehin