“I’m not trying to be like anyone else” – In Talks With Rap Newcomer S1lva

Elle Evans

By Elle Evans

Elle Evans

7 Jun 2021

Born in Brazil but raised in Oxford is British rap’s latest newcomer S1lva, who’s newly released debut single “Milli” has been flying across our sound waves. Moving to Oxford at just 6 years old from what he describes as “the rough part” of Brazil, S1lva was surrounded by all kinds of music from a youthful age, that in turn have helped to shape his contemporary sound today.

Although he’s new to the game, the Drill, Rap and Brazilian Funk influences glide effortlessly with his signature flow in his debut bop. Proving why he is one to watch, S1lva’s street poetics, hard-hitting pen game, and all-round swagger took centre stage in this wheel-up worthy offering. Not looking to be boxed into one specific genre, he made it known that he’s got a slew of various songs that explore different sounds sitting in the backlog for now.

With more music on the way, Mixtape Madness got the chance to catch up with S1lva after an eventful bank holiday weekend for a chat about his journey thus far, his sound going forward, his debut single “Milli” and more. Tap in below to see what he had to say!

We are just beginning to step out of lockdown, how have you found the past 12 months or so as an artist?

The whole “artist” thing for me is still new, I only got signed last year around the same time that Corona appeared. I spent a lot of time in the studio because everything was closed off, I think a lot of artists were doing the same thing but, in the time, I was coming into music, that’s all I was doing. I grew into doing that and developed into it. It helped me develop my music a lot more and I learnt about more things within music. Other than that, I was just like everyone else and stayed inside.

It didn’t affect you creatively then. You were pretty cool with it.

Nah I wouldn’t say so! A lot of things that I talk about, they didn’t really stop within that time so not a lot changed other than the fact we were all locked inside.

To my understanding, you grew up in Brazil and then moved to the UK at a young age. What music did you grow up listening to?

In Brazil, the must isn’t too different you still get the American and UK music out there but back then you wouldn’t see it as much, whereas now you see it all over the place. It was mainly Brazilian music like Samba and Funk, I grew up on that. When I moved here, I started listening to a lot more Rap music.

How did you find this transition?

It’s hard to remember but I grew into it. Nowadays, I barely listen to Brazilian music, well, I’ve been listening to it recently because I’ve been working on a couple projects that I want to do. I still love Brazilian music, but I grew out of it.

How did music pave a way into your life for you to then consider it as a career? Did you start by freestyling or?

I first started getting into it through freestyling around the mandem at school like you do, it was nothing serious at first but then we started booking out sessions after school once a month and that’s when we started to take it a bit more seriously. I remember doing one-minute freestyles so much to the point where I would go to the YouTube beat and only be able to write for one minute because I was posting them up on Instagram. Me and my bredrin grew up on it together.

What made you want to start taking it seriously? Was there a triggering point in which you thought nah I am just going to go for it?

I never really liked education; I have always been searching for a different way to live big. I want to be rich, I even started up other hobbies like art for tattooing when I was younger. My mum will probably hate me for saying but this but yeah, I’ve always been trying to find stuff to do instead of education! *laughs*

Are there any artists that you grew up listening to that have helped shape your sound or influence you in anyway?

I listen to a lot of music; I don’t listen to just one genre. I’ll listen to Pop, R&B, Rap or Drill – I listen to everything. I try and pick out little things from everyone else but at the same time try and come out with my own sound, a UK and Brazilian type of vibe. I’m not trying to be like anyone else.

You recently released your debut single “Milli” which has been doing really well! Tell us a bit more about this release and your thought process behind it? Why did you pick this one as your introductory sound?

This is my first release and my first music video that I have ever done. I am trying to bring the Brazilian wave into the UK scene. Before I got signed, I was mainly doing Drill but then I started working on other things and found new sounds. For my first release, I wanted to stick to Drill but I didn’t want it to be the generic Drill, it has a nice bounce to it; we call it “Commercial Drill”.

I know you’ve said previously that you don’t like to be boxed in to one specific sound. Where do you see your sound going in the coming years? We are obviously very Drill dominated at the moment in the UK.

Even since my signing I’ve been working on my sound, I have songs for girls, I’ve got wave and pop songs with S1mba! I’ve been doing everything; whatever people like is what I’ll be releasing. I like to be open with my mind as an artist, it helps when it comes to the whole branding and writing part as well.

Can we expect to see any collaborations soon? Is there anyone you’d like to work with maybe in the UK or overseas?

Defo! I’ll be working with a lot of people soon; I got signed on an EP deal as well, so I am working on that right now. Once I’ve got the songs down, I will see if there are any people who will fit the tracks. I like a lot of people in and out of the UK, but right now I haven’t been looking around for too many features!

What are your current thoughts on the UK scene as it stands?

It’s at a sick place! We had Tion and Russ at number one for like three weeks with a drill song! The UK scene is at a mad place right now and I like it because it’s within the pocket of music that I want to be in. For people like me, it helps a lot, we’re not working towards nothing, we have places to go in it now. It encourages other artists to do stuff as well, it pushes you to work towards something you never thought you would be able to get to before!

What else can we expect to see from you this year?

Hopefully a lot! Like I said, I’ve been working on my EP but it’s in the works! I’m looking to release one or two more songs before my EP. I am trying to get my face out there this year!

Keep up to date with all things S1lva via his Instagram here.