Silva Bumpa Interview: “There’s never been as much good Garage as there is now"

One of the underground garage scene's trailblazers, Silva Bumpa, has just released his debut EP, What About The DJ? We caught up with him to chat about it, and what else 2024 has in store. Check it out below!

Thomas Hirst

Date published: 20th May 2024

If you’re tapped into the heart of the UK music underground, Silva Bumpa will be on your radar. Amid a resurgence of UKG, bassline and speed garage, a crop of producers and friends are pushing a new scene forward, with the Sheffield native a key player.

Silva Bumpa’s sounds combine thumping bass grit with the singalong bounce of club classics. Thanks to an almost unhealthy obsession with bassline and speed garage, he’s bottled the effervescent spirit of mid-noughties clubland, while bringing his own infectious songwriting flavour to the table. 

With his debut EP What About The DJ? having just released on the legendary Locked On records, alongside his ever-building notoriety in the scene, and a huge summer of shows coming up; we caught up with Silva Bumpa to chat about it all. See what he had to say below!



There are few better places to start our chat than your debut EP, What About The DJ? what can you tell us about it and how has the reception been since its release?

"I've wanted to do a project like this for so long.

"When I first started making music, I would put out random free downloads or edits on labels; trying to get a name for myself and build a sound. 

"But the plan from the start was always to work with a label, like Locked On, where I could, build a full project, with a cool creative direction, with art, that tells a bit of a story and stuff that puts everything together into one piece. 

"So with the EP, I was trying to combine all the sounds that inspired me to make Silva Bumpa in the first place. From Bassline to Organ House, Speed Garage, 4/4 Garage, and bumpy housey stuff. And to be able to put them all in one project together with Locked On was really, really, really important to me. 

"The reception has been good too, I’ve had a lot of people playing the tunes, and I feel like people are starting to understand what I'm trying to achieve a little bit more, which is really nice."


How have you found the difference between releasing these quick downloads and mixes, and putting a full project together with a creative direction?

"In 2024, releasing dance music and being a dance artist is strange.

"I think people don’t want, or even know, what a dance Album or an EP is. People who are into the genre don't consume music that way, and I think a lot of people are just used to the four-track vinyl setup, like an A1/A2 kind of thing, or just a single.

"So doing an EP is something that, as an artist, was quite important, especially as it’s probably something I won’t be doing much throughout my career.

"But the EP also just made sense in this scenario with what I wanted to do. 

"I found that putting all these sounds in history that have normally been separated, and all these sounds that represent the genres within the garage realm right now, and trying to piece them together in one project, has really helped me in showing people what Silva Bumpa is right now, and what I’m trying to do with it."



With all those different styles and genres you want to represent, where do tracks start for you? And what's your process of making them?

"For me, a lot of the time, it's just about sample hunting. 

"I spend most of my time looking at old RnB stuff, old sound clashes, listening to old Garage, and referencing a lot. So all the songs on the EP have come from hearing different songs I like and combining those elements, so it’s definitely a heavily inspired EP. 

"I think with Silva Bumpa, I've said it from the start, I'm just picking things I want and sticking with them; I'm not going to try and really reinvent anything.

"So it's not super heavily stylised, it’s just me trying to combine all of these classic sounds from 1996 to 2006/2007 kind of times, sampling from packs from that era to get that authentic sound, and putting it together and trying to make it sound fresh and new."


The EP has been released on the legendary Locked On too. It’s a label responsible for classics like Artful Dodger & Romina Johnson - Moovin Too Fast - as well as all of the work of Mike Skinner and The Streets - what’s it been like working with them and having that relationship, especially around the EP.

"It's been absolutely amazing. 

"Alexa and Bailey who run it are creatives through and through. They are just completely immersed in art and you feel it when you speak to them. 

"They are very artist-focused too. From the get-go, they were fascinated about how we could make the EP stand out. 

"They’re not trying to be the biggest and the best either, they’re just trying to showcase artists and trying to put a face to a name, and I think that’s one of the things that I feel has been missing in the garage scene for a long time. 

"There are so many amazing producers and amazing tracks coming out. But when you can truly put something together and do release parties, cool artwork, videos, interviews, make t-shirts, and go into the community and do things for the community, it’s really nice.

"When I was getting into Garage and Bassline as a young person, when I was 15/16, it was such a confusing world to navigate and there were like three or four videos from the scene that made their way onto YouTube or a couple of those CDs that were floating around, those gave me a really interesting eye into what the scene was actually like, and for a young person, who didn't understand any of it at all, that was really important.

"I didn't know what anyone looked like, I didn't know who made what, what happened, and who the real person that changed the sound was. So I've always wanted to make content and videos, put my face on it and just be a part of the scene and provide those things that I would have loved when I was younger. 

"I go out to garage raves all the time too. Whenever I'm not DJing, I go out. I'm just such a fan of the scene. Like, I really love it. I'm such a fan of all my friends who produce too, and I just want to make this scene stronger and do my part in that.

"So working with Locked On is just perfect because they completely get it. 

"Making the scene art-focused, people-focused, and community-focused, is just part of their values, and I think that is really, really important. So it's been amazing working with them."


You spoke a lot there about the Garage scene, and it really seems to be having a moment right now, why do you think that is?

"Honestly, I think it's a combo of many things, it's quite hard to pin down what it is.

"As I said, I've been into Garage since I was really young, back when you wouldn't see it playing in that many places. If you go back to like 2014/2015, there was very little. You had TQD, and you had some underground garage with people printing vinyl, but there weren't many proper nights. That was until Conducta really brought it strong in 2017/2018, maybe even a little bit earlier. 

"With these genres, I feel like you need a few producers, a few promoters, a few clubs, and a few good songs to get the scene going, people to really represent it in a new, interesting way.

"So I think Conducta was and still is a big part of that. I think Interplanetary Criminal is a big part of that. But I also think the production level, just getting to where it is now has been a massive part of that. If you look at the way Soul Mass Transit System was dropping Speed Garage bangers in 2018/2019, the level of production was unreal, it sounded new, but it also sounded classic. 

"That sound, for me, and I think a lot of people feel this, was such a good and new version of Garage. So whenever it started, whatever caused that, the quality just seemed to really increase and also the quantity as well, and that era really just tipped it over the edge into what it is now. 

"So I think that's one thing, but I also think trend cycles play a massive part. It's like anything, but it needs the big people, the stars - For me, it was Conducta and Interplanetary Criminal - I think young people need that. 

"So I just can't see Garage going anywhere now because that tip has happened. Now people like KETTEMA are dropping it, people like Marlon Hoffstadt are dropping it, people like Peggy Gou are dropping it, especially these new Speed Garage records that are being made, and they're so much bigger that the production's just so fat and so modern that it can fill out a stadium. 

"Now, if you drop a Soul Mass Transit System tune at Warehouse Project, it's going to absolutely tear up the whole venue just because the production is just so high, and I don't think there was as much of that five years ago as there is now. 

"That's my kind of best analysis as to why it's come back, but also just as to why it's absolutely booming and will continue to grow."


It’s clear from our chat that you are just massively in love with the genre and the scene, who are you looking at right now and seeing create really interesting stuff, and who do you think are the ones to watch?

"There are so many people making amazing tunes right now. 

"I always just say, Soul Mass Transit System, Main Phase, and Interplanetary Criminal for me. Because for like two or three years now, they just continue to be so creative and forward-thinking, but also classic and fun, and I think that their production has set a standard for a lot of people to build up off. 

"But there are also a few other producers that I've been rating recently, people like Diffrent, from Germany, Skeptic, and Intraspekt, who I love. 

"But this is the great thing about Garage now, there are just so many people making great music. When I do a Rinse show, I go through my emails and every week I get 10/20 songs that sent to me I love. 

"I don't know if it's just because I get the privilege of being sent them, but I've been into this for a long time and I don't think there has ever been as much good Garage as there is now."


Now, you have just been on your first headline tour of Australia and NZ, what was that like, I hear the crowds out there love their garage.

"It was amazing. I love travelling, I love meeting new people, It's one of my favourite things about doing what I do, and yeah the crowds over there are great. 

I just really wanted to go and play over there, and you could argue I did a headline tour a bit prematurely, but I just wanted to go plant that seed. I’m super passionate about getting that strong, like Australian/UK connection set up. I love that place so much.

I've got friends out there and the second someone gave me an offer for a tour and my agent thought it was good, I was like, I'm going. I only did five shows and was only there for two weeks. But I'm glad I did it because I just felt like it's just been a goal of mine for so long. 

I'm literally already planning the next one.


Speaking of special sets, you supported Skream and Benga for your debut Boiler Room back in January, I know how much those Boiler Room sets can mean for DJs coming up, how was it?

"It was an absolutely amazing opportunity, and I loved every second of it, it was really special.

"But yeah you're right. You know, once you've built that solid foundation, I feel like you're only ever really a Boiler Room moment and a track away from sort of doing everything.

"You see it every month, where a few clips come out, a few big tracks, and that's it. You're on your way. Yeah. Boiler room is a very big platform, and I think that, yeah, being involved with them was an amazing experience. I hope to be back, to be honest with you."


What else is on the horizon for you in 2024? How’s your summer looking, are there any stand-out gigs for you?

"I've got a lot going on, but to be honest with you, if I’m playing in clubs every weekend, clubs I want to be playing in, and selling tickets, which I have been managing to do, then that's when I’m happiest. 

"I sold out my YES show in Manchester in advance, which was a big moment for me. But when I’m out playing my music and testing out tunes I spend all week making to people in cool clubs like that, that's my happy place. It's just so sick to me. I'm an underground artist at the end of the day, I just love my 300-cap venues.

"But obviously, there are some massive gigs coming up I'm really looking forward to. Fabric, Glastonbury, Outlook Main Stage, I'm continuing my residency at Hopeworks and doing an all-night-long tour in October and November. I'm just trying to keep it building. 

"There's a lot on the horizon music-wise now I’ve finished my Locked On EP. Going forward I’m going to have some releases on ATW, Interplanetary Criminal & Main Phase’s label. I've got some stuff for my own label, Sterling, that I'm putting out some cool White Label, Garagey stuff. Then, hopefully, I’m going to be working alongside Room Two at Columbia for a few singles. I've got a track with Denham Audio that will be coming out at some point this year. So yeah, lots of exciting things on the horizon musically too."


Finally, we do a feature at Skiddle called three tracks, and I always ask people this, so imagine your next set is reduced to just three tracks, what are you playing and why?

"If I can only play three tracks, I feel like a good opening track would be like Testa Trax - ‘Extasy’; then I'm going to blend that into my remix of ‘Uh Uh’ by Fredo and Clavish; and then I'm probably gonna end on this unreleased Interplanetary Criminal song called ‘Say You Want Me’. I think that'd be a solid little three-tune mix."




Silva Bumpa is playing a number of nights, all on sale of Skiddle, in the coming months. Grab tickets below, and find more information on each event by clicking the link in the event title: 


23 Degrees x Locked On: Pete Cannon, Sophia Violet, Silva Bumpa

Buy tickets:

Warped x 23 Degrees Day Party: Coco Bryce, SMTS, Skeptic, Silva Bumpa + more

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Genesis: Enter The Rave - Bakey, Bushbaby, Chad Harrison, Silva Bumpa, Skeptic & Lu.Re

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Check out our What's On Guide to discover even 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.