— 29 Sep 2017, 17:45
Tell us who you are and what you do.
I’m SILVASTONE (pictured left) an artist, producer and DJ who was born and raised in Croydon, where I have lived nearly all my life. I am also the owner of White Hut Studios, the locally-based popular music recording facility in New Addington. I'm also part of the creative team behind the successful bi-monthly event AfroBOX, where I am also the resident host.
How did the idea for AfroBOX come about?
As an artist, I've been blessed to travel all over the world performing to many crowds. After my headline show earlier this year at the O2 Academy in Islington, I realised that I had been doing so many performances outside of Croydon yet none in my own borough. This was not only the case for me but my team also realised this was the same for many other talented artists/DJs in the surrounding Croydon neighbourhoods. We are often booked for the same shows, as far afield as for example SXSW festival in Texas, yet we never perform where we are from. Mostly because there hadn't been many opportunities around here.
Furthermore, when you consider that Croydon has the highest concentration of Afro-Caribbean residents and that Afrobeats is becoming popular in the mainstream, it seemed surprising that there was nowhere for this to be celebrated, and so we knew we had to do something about it; thus the birth of AfroBOX which, unsurprisingly, proved to be an immediate success.
What can visitors expect from AfroBOX at Boxpark Croydon?
I am a regular visitor to many of the events at Boxpark Croydon and I have to say AfroBOX is one of the best events in my most humble opinion - ha ha! Visitors attending will experience the sounds and vibes of new Africa. The energy is fantastic and everyone is there to have a good time. Its an event that brings people of all ages (over 18) creeds and nationalities together. The line-up will always feature some of the country's best DJs who champion the genre and the scene's hottest artists, plus there's some additional surprises thrown in too. Also, did I mention that it's free entry too? You'll need to register for tickets quickly because they get snapped up pretty fast!
Who have been some of your biggest musical influences?
Having an older brother who was heavily into music meant that I was influenced by Hip Hop artist such as Jay Z, Dr Dre and 50 Cent, etc. In addition to that, I love R&B, Reggae, Pop, Garage, House, and these genres which I would hear all around Croydon have also influenced me. I grew up buying music from artists like Joe, R.Kelly, Bob Marley, Beres Hammond, Micheal Jackson, Boy George, to name a few. I'll have to add Kirk Franklin and Gospel music to that list too because they were big influences when I was playing keyboard in church.
Most importantly, it has been African music and travelling around the continent that has been my biggest influence to my musical output.
Who should everyone be listening to right now?
Well of course I think people should be listening to me - SILVASTONE, but I'd also highly recommend J-Hus, Maleek Berry, Fuse ODG, Dun D, Moelogo, Mr Eazi, Wizkid, Davido, Tiwa Savage, Atumpan, Ike Chuks. You should also be listening to any of the AfroBOX DJs, past, present and future who will also lead you to loads more amazing artists out there.
What does the rest of 2017 have in store for you?
We have our next AfroBOX event on 12th October which is already looking incredible and the team are already planning our pre-Christmas party edition, as well as some exciting seminal AfroBOX events next year - so look out for news of those!
Myself personally, I have my new Afro/dancehall single “Billa Bad Man” about to drop very soon - its the forth single taken from my current EP 'LEVELS'. We will also be shooting more music videos plus recording new music for my next project. I also have several shows around the country booked and I'm planning another headline show soon too. You can also find me working with a lot of the young people in Croydon on community projects such as my White Hut in Education programme which empowers them through the creative process of making music.
Finally, what was the last track you listened to?
The last track I listened to was 'Bestie' by Yungen featuring Yxng Bane.
You can follow AfroBOX on Twitter and Instagram
Click here for the AfroBOX video recap and enjoy the latest AfroBOX promo mix online here