OTHERLiiNE is the debut collaborative project from producers Lil Silva and George FitzGerald. Between them, Lil Silva and FitzGerald have worked with the likes of Adele and Mark Ronson, as well as brands such as Off White and LV. Their latest joint single, “One Line”, is a hypnotic and thoughtful track, paired with radiant, sun-drenched animation and simple, evocative lyrics. The single’s sparse instrumentals and steadily rising vocals, all driven on by an incessant, accelerating beat, will no doubt appeal to fans of artists like the xx. “One Line” is carefully crafted, transcendent dance music – an elegant soon-to-be club classic from two of the UK’s most exciting underground producers.
In the run-up to their debut live performance, we caught up with Lil Silva and George to talk DIY music, Virgil Abloh and learning to work as a partnership.
How did you both meet? Was it an organic meeting, or was one of you the driving force?
GF: Silva reached out to me to do a remix of his track “Lines”. I really loved the way the track was put together and wanted to work with him. So, I hit him up after I’d done the remix and the rest is history.
What was it that united you both and inspired OVERLiiNE’s very distinctive manifesto?
LS & GF: As soon as we got in the studio together, we realised that we had a lot of common influences in our music. Half of the ideas on this record came about after reminiscing over old garage, funky, grime, house or techno records together on YouTube; realising we’d both loved a certain track 10 or 15 years ago. Having those common threads in our musical histories means certain things can just go unsaid in the studio; they’re automatically understood.
Your collaboration has been described as something that occurred accidentally and then grew very organically. Could you tell us more about that?
G: We never planned for this to be something separate to our own solo endeavours. Initially we wrote a track called “Roll Back” for my last record, but then we just had more music and lots of ideas that we wanted to carry on pursuing. It felt very natural to just continue writing without worrying how the music would be released.
You both describe yourselves as having come up independently. How do your self- driven, DIY backgrounds marry with this new, highly collaborative partnership?
LS: We’ve both come up doing everything ourselves, so we definitely had to get used to being in a partnership. Even down to the really mundane aspects of what computer programme we were both going to use (Logic vs Ableton!!), or whose studio we’d be working at on a given day. It wasn’t a hardship at all though. We loved stepping out of our everyday process. We feel like it’s made us better musicians.
Is it ever challenging, working so closely with one another?
G: You definitely have to trust the other person. Without that, there can’t really be a true collaboration. I learned very quickly that there would be things Silva would hear that I couldn’t and vice versa. Instead of challenging those things in the studio, I would trust that he was going to do something cool that would improve the music, which inevitably he did!
LS: As G said … you really have to trust each other and let the energy take its course …
You say that there’s a “telepathy” between you – a total, instinctive understanding – but have there been any moments when you’ve really surprised one another?
G: We realised the other day that we’d written an entire track together, mixed it and released it, but all the time thinking it was in a different time signature. That’s kind of cool though.
To what extent has OTHERLiiNE allowed you guys to experiment and explore things that you haven’t done before in your solo careers?
LS: For me, it’s allowed me to dive into live [music]. Something I’ve wanted to get into for a while, but this kind of forced the idea of building something unique around the music we’ve made and allowed me to really think about how the record can travel and be a completely new journey for everyone watching it live.
Lil Silva, you’ve worked with Virgil Abloh in the past. Are your personal styles important to you and your sound, and do you guys see OTHERLiiNE making any crossover into fashion?
LS: Of course, the two go hand-in-hand … They always have done in my opinion. With Virgil it was very organic; he has been a fan of my music from the start and I’ve been a fan of what he’s been doing in fashion since Pyrex. We just had an idea to release music alongside a one-off product and then celebrate it with a free party for everyone the same day it all got released; it just felt very free and both music and fashion worlds came together and it was a cool thing to be a part of, especially with a sound that is pretty raw and underground. The same applies with OTHERLiiNE: if we have a good idea that may make sense to work with a designer around a show, or do a one-off piece alongside new music, then I’m sure we will do it … To me it’s those little things that make it special when you’re investing time and money into an artist you dig.
You guys talk about the flow between songs. How important is that sense of fluidity and of the project as being a whole, seamless entity?
G: We spent a lot of time making sure the tracks flow nicely in and out of each other. It was very important to us to make sure this was something people could listen to all in one sitting. Not just a collection of random tracks we’d written together.
OVERLiiNE’s debut live performance was billed as “a fully immersive experience.” How did you approach building this level of immersion?
LS: To create something like that you have to spend a lot of time programming the show and work with brilliant visual artists. We were very lucky that Alexander Brown and Bruno Costarelli were able to help us realise it.
George, you’ve said that you guys haven’t rushed anything with this project. How crucial was that sense of meticulousness when you were making OTHERLiiNE, and do you think the music scene generally lacks patience?
G: I can’t speak for the music scene as a whole, but everything about the industry now seems to be geared towards accelerating the production process and satisfying supposedly shortening attention spans. I still believe there is a big place for music and art that has been allowed to percolate over time. Listeners will always respond more genuinely to things that have been made with passion and care.
You’ve already confirmed that there’ll be an OTHERLiiNE 2. How long do you guys see yourselves working together and will you both continue to release music independently?
G: I’m currently writing a third solo record and Silva has some big solo plans too but we just like making music together. I doubt it will be that long before we’re back in the studio again together.