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  • Victoria Applegarth

“Make what's true to you”: SILK on his debut EP ‘Regret the Morning’ 

Meet Oliver, aka SILK, the pioneering producer and DJ energising the electronic music scene with his euphoric and upbeat tracks charged with emotional intensity.

The first time I encountered Oliver was in The Carpet Shop, an intimate venue tucked away in Peckham’s railway arches. Having gone for Duskus’s EP launch party (another amazing artist you need to keep on your radar), Oliver spontaneously hopped on the decks and concluded the night with a set of delightful concoctions, remixing iconic pop tunes from the likes of Katy Perry and Leona Lewis, with dirty basslines. You just couldn’t help but groove and throw your hands in the air. 

It was clear to see in that moment his deep-rooted passion for what he does; producing feel good tunes and curating charged moments of euphoria.

It’s why his eagerness for his moment is palpable through our Zoom call, where he sits readily with his stripy purple and red knit jumper and a genuine, friendly smile on his face. Despite the fact that he admitted to being super tired from an event the previous evening, Oliver is just as lively. It’s because music is his passion, point blank. 

We start our bunny-hopping conversation by reminiscing. Oliver fondly relays his early fascinations with music, recalling his admiration for McFly and Blink-182, and the attempts he and his friends made at forming their own bands. “They all sucked,” says Oliver, laughing. Looking back, he also pinpoints watching album documentaries as being seminal in giving shape to his music vision. “I remember watching those when I was 9/10 years old and thinking holy shit, I reckon I could do that.” 

So, with the help from his dad who let him borrow his first ever computer, he spent the next few years deciding on which sector of the industry he wanted to venture into and subsequently, landed on music production. But, like many creatives, Oliver was juggling his 9-5 and his creative passion and a commitment to both ventures was almost immediately overshadowed by burnout. As he notes; “It's quite frustrating, trying to half do something - half not. I was getting home from work and staying up till four in the morning trying to come back.” 

So, in 2022, spurred on by the pandemic, the split of his parents and a feeling that he was at a crossroads in life, Oliver resolved to take a six month sabbatical from his office job to focus on honing in on his craft and to just “write, write, write.” 

It was at this point that he also decided to move out of London, founded on a desire to escape the noise and distractions of the city and acknowledging that Watford life was eating into his productivity.“I just needed to get away and just create this bubble to live in.” 

So, with a strong base crafted he got to work and resolved that if nothing significant came of it within the six month time frame, he would reluctantly return to the ‘real world,’ leaving his aspirations behind. Luckily, that didn’t occur. 

It seems that moving to Northampton and sticking to a healthy routine was the antidote that provided creative clarity. Now, after releasing a string of successful singles, building a social media community of over 100,000 and signing to Universal Music, the 25-year-old’s debut EP aspirations are finally coming to fruition.

Regret The Morning presents Oliver’s diverse range of talents, spanning from catchy pop hooks to introspective ambient instrumentals that build rich soundscapes that mimic the vibrating energy of inner city nights. His music tugs at a thread in time, evoking a sense of nostalgia that feels both immediate and far away, uplifting and profound.

The EP kicks off with the enchanting instrumental 'Relish The Night', leading into the indie-pop title track 'Regret The Morning', featuring Mali Koa. Other standout tracks include the collaboration 'Reason' with Paige Cavell, the summer hit 'On My Mind', and the wildly successful 'Quiver', boasting over 30 million streams worldwide. Closing with the energetic 'Moments', featuring a soul-stirring performance from KiLLOWEN, and the soaring vocals of EVALINA on 'Last Time', 

Oliver is a steadfast champion of electronic music’s pleasure principles. His songs are intimate, energetic, and full of promise, and whilst each song is unique in its own way, he has no trouble in blending all the sounds into one coalescent whole. Despite the fact that he admits to struggling with imposter syndrome, “90% of the time, it's like, oh my god, I suck, this is awful, everything I make is shit”, he relays to me with tangible excitement that he wouldn't change a single thing about any of the tracks. 

“Arriving at this project, it felt like every song that I wrote, I had the skill set to get that exact idea out of my head. If someone were to ask me, what do you do? What kind of music do you make? I'd be like, hey, go check this out. It covers all bases and I'm really proud of it! It feels like for the first time ever, we've got a cohesive piece of work - I’ve never had that before and I fucking love it.”

The EP certainly left me captivated until the final note and whilst, I myself, felt elated upon listening to it, Oliver assures me that whatever emotions arise at the end of your experience are valid. “Give yourself 28 minutes to listen to it from start to finish and however you feel at the end of it is 100% correct. I hope it's a good feeling, but if it's bad, that's also fine.”

Regret the Morning highlights there is no doubt that Oliver has established himself as an unflinchingly ambitious new voice in the industry, one that is also deeply grateful for the relationships he’s built along the way. In the time we spend talking together, Oliver talks about his friends and collaborators with such conviction; “It all feels organic, cool and awesome,” he beamsHe speaks as if he's still amazed by the fortune of being surrounded, and supported, by such talented peers.

Speaking about his collaboration with KiLLOWEN, who he is good friends with now, he likens his contribution as a perfect addition to his own music style at the time. “He is an absolute wizard. I've never seen anybody write that quickly before. Once we had the drums, the chord progression and the baseline down, he literally just went ‘Okay, leave that on like a loop’ and then he sat in the corner for 20 minutes and came back and we had the whole tune!”

It is clearly noticeable that Oliver is someone who is aiming to craft a career that's more purposeful. 

Don't go off things because you think they're gonna do well or because you think they will get a lot of views or something, do it because you actually want to do it. Down the line, you'll notice that you've actually got a proper community around you.”

In today’s era of clout and follower chasing, this candid perspective is invigorating. It is this philosophy that has ensured long-standing relationships with fellow creatives, but also meant that he has built a loyal collective of supporters, mainly via TikTok which has seen a meteoric growth in the last year. 

And so, talk turns to the decision of Universal Music to pull the entirety of its recording catalogue from the app. When asked how he feels about it, Oliver is honest. “There were two days of… I'm panicking. But, I'm kind of like there's nothing really I can do about it.”

Rather than dwelling on what could have been, he remains positive and highlights that he is grateful for what he has managed to build. “I've been so lucky with the people that it's kind of captured, because I feel like we've got a really cool audience.”

It is why, alongside his EP, he wanted to curate further content with a degree of permanence, all the more important when online spaces are often transient, where music, in most cases, is flattened into an algorithmic mass of trends. “I wanted to create something for the people that are already there and I thought that that would help create that connection to the music rather than just scrolling past and seeing it passively.”

So, as opposed to highly edited music videos, he has uploaded live performances for three of his tracks, filmed in an eclectic, retro living room set. Alongside this, is a mini documentary, featuring all of his nearest and dearest involved in the project accompanied by some of his favourite voice notes and moments they shared over the last year leading up to the EP.

It is raw, intimate and captures the essence of truest collaboration, conveying his real desire to connect with his audience beyond the mere spheres of Tiktok and why he is also excited about his live show tour that he is currently on. “With live shows it's a very different audience. Even though it's still electronic music, there's definitely a different kind of aura around the show.” It also represents a special moment for Oliver, as his parents will be attending the London gig - “it’s going to be a real seminal moment.”

As someone who has been meticulously honing his craft over the last 10 years, I wanted to end by asking what his advice is for aspiring music producers: 

“I wouldn't start an artist project until you're at a place with your production, that you're not only confident with it, but like, you feel like it represents you. I would say kind of start out maybe give yourself six months of learning production and then figure out exactly what you want to do and feel and just make what's true to you. If you're not making what's true to you, you're going to end up making stuff that you hate for the longest period of time. I can imagine that that'd be awful.”

From just one chat with Oliver, it’s impossible not to notice the relatable yet magnetic star power he radiates. His feel-good production and infectious personality have, rightly so, gained plaudits on a global level and it is clear to see that he has officially entered a new phase as a music producer, and it’s one that he doesn’t plan on ending any time soon. I, for one, am excited to see what the future holds for this up and coming creative, and to, of course, boogie with him tonight (March 7th). 

Follow SILK on Instagram and TIKTOK and listen to 'Regret the Morning' on all major streaming platforms. 


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