We caught up with the famed Tik Tok producer to discuss his meteoric rise and the taboos surrounding the use of social media to launch a career in music
Date published: 1st Feb 2023
A brand new name on the UK dance scene, whose red-hot talents have earned plaudits from numerous titans of the electronic music world, Watford-born Tik Tok-star, DJ SILK looks set to dominate the airwaves throughout 2023. And for good reason...
Delivering infectious feel-good anthems, his limited yet spicy back catalogue of works is already clocking up big numbers, amassing a large following of fans across the globe in a short space of time. Some of them include previously touched upon titans, Skrillex, Disclosure and Fred Again...
Recently quitting his job to pursue what looks set to be a very successful career in music, the fast-rising producer is now making moves, preparing new music and a mesmerising live show ahead of a busy spring and summer.
We caught up with SILK to learn more about his origins in music; where his journey first began, the influential artists who've helped mould him into the DJ he is today, and the important role social media played in launching his career.
Hotly tipped to be a huge name in 2023, your rise over the past 12 months has been nothing short of meteoric. Tell us where your journey began and how the experience has been thus far:
"First of all, thank you! I would say the musical journey began very early on when my close mates and I first started playing in bands together and I think when I got to about 12 or 13, I realised studio time was pretty expensive. So I took it upon myself to learn how to use Logic so that we could record demos.
"Later on, I studied music very briefly at college but I just didn’t feel that further education was for me so I decided to get a full-time job to support my hobby. Maybe if I had stayed at college I could have produced full-time a bit earlier or maybe I wouldn’t have met the people I met along the longer route… who knows?"
You’ve amassed tens of thousands of fans over the past year and with only three releases to your name - ‘Tell Me’, ‘Supply The Love’ and your latest, ‘Quiver’. What’s your process when writing in the studio? And what do you think makes your records so appealing to dance fans?
"This is a really good question. For the first few years I was producing, I was trying to replicate other people's sounds and never actually releasing the music I made.
"I would highly recommend this method to beginners because treating tracks as an exercise early on will give you the tools to materialise your own ideas later down the line.
"When I sit in the studio now I always try and start out with a strong emotive element and build the track around that… I feel like having one or two really emotive elements gives you a really firm base to build a really euphoric track."
Some of your younger fans might not be too familiar with Toto but we’re aware of the sample you’ve cut into ‘Supply The Love’. Is there a story behind using the sample?
Do you consider yourself a fan of Toto’s work? And what other guilty or not-so-guilty pleasures do you have?
"I mean who doesn’t love Toto? I wish I had a really interesting story behind ‘Supply The Love’ but the truth is that I had this disco instrumental I had been working on for a while but something was just missing… Then I heard the original Toto song on the radio one day and thought ‘YES!’ - I rushed to my laptop and tried to find the isolated vocal online, dropped it in the project and the rest is history.
"In terms of guilty pleasures, I think everyone who knows me personally will know that my favourite band is Blink 182. But I wouldn't consider them a guilty pleasure. They are geniuses."
Off the back of the last question, which artists have played a significant role in inspiring you to become an artist yourself, and which names continue to influence your work today?
"Again, Blink 182 would be at the top of that list. I remember watching the ‘MTV Album Launch’ documentary when I was younger and it changed my life forever.
"I would have to say Radiohead, Talking Heads and The 1975 all continue to influence me as a songwriter currently."
Your most recent release ‘Quiver’ has garnered a lot of interest, blowing up on Tik Tok and subsequently racking up over 3 million streams on Spotify alone. How vital are social media platforms such as Tik Tok in helping artists to develop their careers in the modern day and how significant have they been in your rise to acclaim?
"I think a lot of people turn their noses up at TikTok but I believe that if you care enough about your art and you want as many people as possible to hear it why would you not use every tool in your arsenal to do so?
"I also think that people's fear of looking silly is holding them back… If you post a video and it gets 50 views people think it's cringe but when you post and get 100K views it's suddenly cool. You need to be confident enough to realise that views and algorithms do not define you as an artist but you should also capitalise on when it does go in your favour."
You’ve received nods from titans of the electronic scene, including Fred Again…, Skrillex and Disclosure. Walk us through the feeling of seeing artists of such high calibre supporting your work:
"I mean I still find it mad that anyone is listening to my music, let alone people I still look up to."
Looking ahead to the next 11 months of the year, what do you have in store for SILK fans? Can we expect more live shows and new music anytime soon?
"Well, I have some really cool collaborations, remixes and originals dropping very soon but I’m not sure if I can say much more than that…
"In terms of performing live, I'm currently working on building an epic live show with my team, so keep an eye out for that later in the year!"
More focus on the future, if you could manifest a show in any destination or any club or at any festival across the world, where would it be and why?
"I think Reading and Leeds would be a personal goal of mine because it was my first ever festival growing up and I haven’t been back since. It would be a really sweet full-circle moment."
We’re always on the lookout for new music and producers always seem to have the insight, the knowledge, and the foresight to see who the next big names in dance might be. With this in mind, are there any underground names that you’ve been listening to who you expect to pop off in 2023?
"Yes, I think ATRIP, Oppidan and Mafro have got a massive year ahead of them! Definitely keep an eye on those 3."
Finally, acting as a sort of time capsule you can look back on in years to come, we wanted to ask where you see yourself five years from now. What are SILK’s big dreams and aspirations for the future?
"I think the dream is to have a full-length album that makes me FEEL from start to finish and then to tour that album with a full live set-up… with maybe a couple of festival bookings sprinkled here and there."
Check out our What's On Guide to discover more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.
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