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Lil Silva

The moniker of Bedford, U.K.- based electronic/dance producer TJ Carter, Lil Silva's sound evolves with every release, although his work has several signature threads that tie it all together. His early singles, like his 2008 debut 12", "Seasons/Funky Flex," put him at the center of the booming U.K. funky scene, but he didn't want his sound to be pigeonholed. Vocals played an increasingly important role in his work, whether he drafted singers like Rosie Lowe on 2013's Distance EP or took the spotlight himself, as on 2016's JIMI. Over the years, Lil Silva's collaborators grew to include Mark Ronson and Diplo as well as frequent creative partners George FitzGerald (with whom he worked as OTHERLiiNE) and Sampha, who appeared on releases spanning 2011's Patience EP to 2022's single "Backwards." By the age of 13, Lil Silva was DJ'ing at local all-ages clubs and was also a member of the grime crew Macabre Unit. In 2008, he was ready to share his productions with the wider world, which he announced by self-releasing his debut 12" "Seasons/Funky Flex," which perfectly framed his angular approach to bass music. Around 2010, Lil Silva found a spiritual home in the form of innovative bass label Night Slugs, which released his Night Skanker EP, featuring six all-out tracks that fit perfectly with Night Slugs' output; so much so that both "Gold to Gets" and "Seasons" were featured on the label's first compilation, Nightslug Allstars, Vol. 1. Lil Silva took his first evolutionary step with 2011's Patience EP, which featured his first collaboration with Sampha. After his final release on Night Slugs, 2012's Club Constructions, Lil Silva veered into new territory with his 2013 EP, Distance, released on Good Years. The EP featured vocal appearances from Sampha and Rosie Lowe, and even some backing vocals from Lil Silva himself. That year, he also contributed to Africa Express Presents: Maison des Jeunes, an installment of Damon Albarn's ongoing Africa Express project. 2014's EP Mabel took another step toward vocal-centric tracks by featuring Lil Silva on lead vocals for the first time, as well as a couple of contributions from alternative R&B singer Banks; Lil Silva would go on to co-produce Banks' debut album, Goddess, alongside Jamie Woon. In 2015, Lil Silva demonstrated how organic his gradual shift in tone was by turning it on its head and releasing the Drumatic EP, which reached back to his dancefloor roots. Around the same time, he was in contact with Mark Ronson, who invited him to work on Adele's 25 -- together they produced "Lay Me Down." Ronson's approach to song structure further inspired Lil Silva's work, a development that became apparent on his 2016 EP JIMI. The record was his most ambitious to date, featuring dynamic pacing within the songs and introspective lyrics, yet the EP was unmistakably Lil Silva. The single "Making Sense" arrived in 2018, and with Sampha, Lil Silva co-produced Chip's "Darth Vader" that year. Also in 2018, he contributed to George FitzGerald's album All That Must Be. Along with appearing on Kano's "Hoodies All Summer'' in 2019, Lil Silva once again teamed up with FitzGerald for their house-inspired project OTHERLiiNE's singles "Chimes" and "Hates Me." The project's self-titled debut album followed in 2020. Additionally, that year saw Lil Silva remix Paul Epworth's "Love Galaxy" and appear with Melanie Faye on Duval Timothy's single "Fall Again." Lil Silva then contributed production work to Serpentwithfeet's 2021 album Deacon, and reunited with Sampha for 2022's single "Backwards."
© Liam Martin /TiVo


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