Swiss chocolate, swiss cheese, swiss army knife and swiss… drum and bass? This genre is certainly around the world, bringing the best quality music and new names into the scene, day by day. This time, we bring you SiLi, who slid into this family not long ago and his musical style and creative ideas are perfectly in-line with the new wave of production talent in D’n’B. SiLi is an artist who you will more than likely to hear about in the next period of drum and bass music.
You haven’t been around for long but seem to be picking up quite a bit of steam lately. Can you tell us who you are and how did you end up in the exciting world of drums and basses?
My name is Silas and I’m from Switzerland. I am interested in lots of different things, Drum & Bass being one of them. Music has always been around me since my early childhood. My dad listening to classical music, my older sisters’ house CDs and drum & bass podcast recommendations and the soundtracks of some Play Station 2 games such as Fifa Street or Need For Speed Underground were the most influential ones, I’d say. I used to take piano lessons from age 8 to 16 and played in a school band for about 2 years, where I could take first steps with other instruments as well. At some point I got a Native Instruments Maschine Mikro workstation and started making hip-hop beats with it. That was about the same time I got into the whole UKF Dubstep scene and started listening to Doctor P, Flux Pavilion and so on. From there it didn’t take much to end up in the world of drums and basses.
You had an amazing journey through music by the influence of your family. After choosing this vibrant genre, how did you come up with your alias? Does it mean anything specific? How does it relate to you?
It’s just my IRL nickname, nothing special about it. Although it’s just an abbreviation of my real name, I certainly am silly and make silly tunes at times. I had lots of other artist name ideas along the way… but never felt like switching.
SiLi is certainly an easy one to remember. So, you had a genre and a name to start with, you already released good tracks but what are your goals as a musician for the future? Which direction are you planning to go to with your music?
I just go wherever it pulls me the most. I began with liquid, now I’m also into the darker side of drum and bass. Who knows what’s going to happen. I have a list of some artists I want to meet and some labels I want to release on and making a full album would be nice as well. Playing at Liquicity Festival is a goal too and if everything goes well, I can tick off that box next July 😉.
We only can hope for better days for the festival season at the moment. This year has been quite hard for the world, especially for the music industry. Where do you see yourself in this situation? Did the lock-down give you more time for your musical projects? Would you say you’re riding a wave of inspiration right now?
I certainly would be making tons of music if I wouldn’t have to work that much at the moment. I work more than ever right now. Having a short window of a few hours on a weekend is the most I can get these days. But yeah, it’s always in monthly phases for me anyways. A month from now it may look completely different…
What does a normal day of yours look like? How do you find inspiration in everyday life?
I get up, go for a jog, take a cold shower, and then I’m off to whatever I need to tackle on that specific day. Right now, it’s mostly data management and software stuff I’m working on at a small family business (not my family) which sells Italian and local Swiss goodies to small and big companies and to private customers. But I also create 2D animated tutorial videos for certain departments of our government, mix & master songs for other artists, create 3D visualizations and some other things… I love solving problems. My friends motivate me the most, I guess. But I draw motivation from all kinds of things. A huge list of ever-changing artists, songs, videos, books, podcasts…
You certainly like solving problems, seeing this huge list I understand the few hours on the weekend that’s left for music but you still find time for working with other producers. I am lucky enough to be able to follow the process of some of your collabs and I think good things are waiting for you out there!
Thanks! Yeah, collabs don’t always work out, but are a ton of fun if they do. It’s always neat to work in a team where one complements the other. Learning from each other is also a huge part of collabs in my opinion. I’m still trying to find someone who’s very good at music theory. I’d love to get into more advanced chord progressions.
How do you make connections with other producers? How do you know if someone would be the right person to create a track with?
I just slide in those DMs and try to get my point across. Can’t say exactly what it is, but normally I just like their music, or I can hear a certain gap I might be able to fill.
You release music on various labels but where do you see yourself in five years?
There are so many labels out there. Best case would be one that’d be able to release all my different styles, but I’ll probably be releasing all over the place, like I am doing right now.
How critical are you about your projects? And what about other producers’ releases? Do you ever compare your tracks to someone else’s?
Hell yes, I am very critical about my own projects! But I think it’s a substantial part of my work-ethic and character in general. Whenever I’m working on tracks though, I have to shut off that inner critic and be one with the DAW. I absolutely admire some tunes out there. But mostly they just remind me of what’s possible and give me new ideas for my own creations.
When is your next release coming out? Tell us about it a little! What is next year going to look like for you?
I have a couple of tunes lined up, the next one shouldn’t be that far away. Besides those I’m also working on a bigger project for a known label I have never released on. The label boss recently decided to make the project even bigger than initially stated, well yeah… If everything goes as planned, I will be able to start working on an album in the upcoming 2 years.
There are some exciting and promising opportunities ahead of you. Looking forward to hear those releases. Now if you don’t mind, here are a few more challenging questions for you. First of all please name 5 of your all-time favourite DnB tracks! I know, I know…
Oooof, let’s see… (in no particular order, of course):
- Skeletone & Silence Groove – Brothers
- Dawn Wall – Devil’s Night
- Artificial Intelligence – Nobody
- Encode & Receptor – Suka
- K Motionz – Golem
Does SiLi ever do silly things? Please tell us a funny moment in your life!
All the time LoL. I like moving and dancing funny and playing silly characters. About 5 years ago, I went to Venice with a couple of friends. We stayed at a hotel which had a long corridor, so I spontaneously decided to move down the hall like a very bad special agent, doing somersaults and pointing my finger gun. They were very amused and even filmed the last part of it, which ended up on many of my friends’ phones. Apparently that stuff helps some of them through hard times… couldn’t be happier about that.
Would you let us hook up your ‘Recently Played’ list on Spotify to play it out loud? If not, what’s the reason? Are there any embarrassing songs that you listen to? :D
I would love to! I’m not ashamed of any songs I listen to hahaha. The one song I genuinely listen to, that some people might consider “embarrassing” would be Beabadoobee Dance with me. But if you can find something more embarrassing than Spase Peepole or DJ Detweiler’s Turn Down For What Remix I would gladly like to know them.
We all have our guilty tracks so no judgement here. If you had one message to give to the world, what would it be?
That is a very good message and definitely an advice that we all should take. Thank you very much for your time and I hope everything goes well for you in the future. If you wish to add anything to the interview… now is the time, so please go ahead! 😊
Thank you for this interview, thanks to all my friends and people listening to my music and a very special thanks to 2 people who were really important to me in terms of dnb in 2020: Diego from Delta9 Recordings and Elliott from the liquiddnbftw YouTube channel! Also shouts to Madi, Ele, Giulia, Nemean & rest of CooleCampingCrew, Andrea, Dava, Karsten, Jasha, Lucas, Dan, Temam, Lockee & Ryck.