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Fresh Kicks 209: Silva Bumpa

Sheffield tearaway Silva Bumpa records a rowdy mix of bassline, breaks, house and garage for the Fresh Kicks series, and speaks to Naz Hamdi about honouring his hometown’s dance music legacy, and his plans for the months ahead

“When I was 15, I downloaded Ableton and have been on it ever since,” says bubbling garage producer and DJ Silva Bumpa. After being introduced to music by his pianist grandad, Silva Bumpa fell in love with instrumentation and chords. He inherited his grandad’s piano and learned to play at a young age, and also began to use Pro Tools and drum kits, developing his talents.

During school, he and his friends shaped their tastes through their extensive research into bassline and the vast history of electronic music, especially in northern England. “Sheffield founded bassline, and I have always wanted to be part of it and its legacy,” he says, affirming his city’s important role in UK dance music. From here, Silva Bumpa grew his personal library, scouring the internet, particularly old websites and MySpace forums to learn about Niche bassline, the genre that developed at Sheffield’s Niche Nightclub. He later created his moniker in tribute to musical inspiration Lil Silva, and the bumpy DJ mixes he was listening to at the time.

Through leaning into bassline, jackin’ house, speed garage and other electronic styles, Silva Bumpa has found his own sound incorporating his northern roots. He is specifically influenced by R&B and its relationship with garage, displayed by artists like “Artful Dodger, MJ Cole, Tom Shorterz and Chris Lorenzo”, which he describes as “fast and intense music full of cheeky samples and scratches”.

Silva Bumpa’s current creative process focuses on samples, dancehall acapellas and house vocals. He “builds songs around acapellas, pairs them with the instrumentals, then writes a topline melody to it”. Alongside music releases, Silva Bumpa has a residency at Hope Works, and played back-to-back with the likes of Skeptic and DJ Cosworth during some of his sets last year. He has a residency on Rinse FM, where he plays plenty of unreleased tracks, and has also played Boiler Room. “I feel like my music has been really connecting with people and I haven’t experienced anything like that before,” he says.

Studying music religiously is what Silva Bumpa dedicates a lot of his time to. “I love making music, and I think that the reaction that you get from dropping music is such an amazing feeling and makes people want to be a part of something, which is really nice to experience,” he says. “I think artists can spend their whole lives always wanting more, but it is important to remember that what’s being done is fulfilling.”

As for what’s to come, he’s just released a long-awaited EP with Locked On Records, ‘What About The DJ?’, which features collabs with Capo Lee and Megan Wroe. As well as experimenting with other exciting ventures, including a full project from his bassline alias Bad Star, and a bunch of collaborations with the likes of Prozak and ATW, he would also “like to work with Interplanetary Criminal, Special Request, KETTAMA, and artists like Katy B, Novelist and some other UK legends”.

He will be performing at Outlook festival and completing his last two Hope Works sets with Soul Mass Transit System and Main Phase. Silva Bumpa has his sights on taking over fabric and Razzmatazz in Barcelona in the near future: watch this space. 

Speaking about his Fresh Kicks mix, he says: "This mix is a collection of loads of recent discoveries new and old! Some sick new tracks from producers I love like Bushbaby and Main Phase, and some rare white labels ive recently picked up from my local record shop in Sheffield. Trying to mash loads of flavours together like bassline, house, speed garage etc enjoy!"

Want more? Check out Fresh Kicks mixes from Akanbi and Aletha

Naz Hamdi is a freelance writer, curator and archivist. You can follow them on X @nazfromnewham