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Lil Silva

We take the young DJ out from behind the decks and into the style spotlight


1. Despite the hip-hop friendly name and street-wear panache he’s actually a DJ

The 23-year-old has come a long way since his first, nervous set aged 13 at a talent show in a Bedford nightclub. He now pulls in the crowds with his own brand of experimental electro bass and dark techno with shades of grime and dance. ‘I played in Japan recently and it was amazing to think that all these people had been on the other side of the world listening to my stuff.’ His remixes are also in demand: SBTRKT, AlunaGeorge, London Grammar and Lana del Ray are among recent recipients. ‘I like transforming tracks, so I enjoy a challenge,’ says Silva. ‘Like if the original isn’t anything close to the tempo I want it to be, it’s good to make things my own.’

2. He really loves his trainers

‘I never thought I was that into fashion until I realised how many tees and trainers I had. I’m an Air Max man - it’s an addiction. My black and white ones are my favourites, they go with everything.’

3. He’s arty too

‘I work on my visuals as well as my sound. For my new record I’ve been playing with a lot of abstract themes. I love it when you’re not really sure what something is. I used to watch a lot of Manga stuff, and I like the aesthetics of that - simple but effective, nothing too loud. I’ve always been good at art, since school...I guess I’m good with my hands.’

4. He’s an internet shopper

‘I get about two hours [of sleep] a night - that happens when you travel a lot. So when you’re up at four o’clock in the morning on your Mac with nothing to do you can quite easily end up buying loads of stuff, that’s where I buy all my clothes.’ Silva’s work, as well as his wardrobe, has benefited from these bouts of insomnia: ‘I find my creative peak is more in the night-time, although when there are no windows in the studio you do lose track of time.’

5. He wouldn’t be caught dead on the decks in a vest

‘You’ve got to be comfortable but I would never strip down to a vest. I won’t name names but there are some people doing it and it’s a bad look. It’s like, “Come on dude, it’s London, it’s raining outside and you’ve practically got your top off.”’ What about if he had a set in Ibiza? ‘Well that would be a different situation…but usually I stick to my favourite, simple look: chinos with cuffs, white socks, Air Max and a tee.’

Words by Hollie Moat; photography by Mads Perch; styling by Santi Rodriguez