Havana Club x Rilla: Cultural Story

Havana Club x Rilla: Cultural Story

A look at their new multi-platform project...

Havana Club was born out of Cuban street culture, and the brand retains that sense of identity amid its international adventures.

With a growing following here in the UK, Havana Club have launched a program to give something back, creating a platform to support and nurture underground culture.

Recently working alongside rapper Skinny Malone and designer Mia Joseph, Havana Club also linked up with the team behind vital club force Rilla.

Renowned for their ultra-cool Yellow Party events, Rilla is helmed by Vectra, a figure from North West London who cut his teeth on the grime scene.

Tour DJ with BBK stalwart Jammer, Vectra turns to his love of hip-hop for the broader array of sounds at Rilla.

Check out this superb mini-documentary on Rilla crafted by Havana Club, then read our Q&A with Vectra.

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Do you remember the first time you got behind the decks? Who were your initial turntable heroes?

I was 15 when I got my first pair of decks and my first set when I was 16... All time hero and forever will be is DJ EZ he is the reason why I asked for decks.

You came of age through grime, what does that sound mean to you?

Grime means a lot to me it gave me the platform to showcase what I can do, gave me opportunities to travel and share the music globally.

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You’ve got a strong relationship with BBK and Jammer, what have you learned from them as people?

Being around people like Jammer ive been able to learn things about the music industry I wouldnt have learned from just being a DJ... Plus I’ve had the pleasure to DJ at some sick events with top tier artists.

North West London crew SLK was where you cut your teeth – do you feel London still has that tight-knit regional identity? Who from North Weezy are you repping right now?

I think over recent years more cities like Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester etc have made an impact in the UK music scene and we've had to embrace it, but all for the better if I'm honest...

North Weezy now has more of a rap and dancehall artist scene - right now I'm Repping Skrapz he was a SLK member as well! BMD, too, the creator of the term North Weezy plus other artists like Big Zeeks and Nines.

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What was the inspiration for starting Rilla? What did you feel was missing from London nightlife?

It was originally a launch party for a clothing label. The party was so good our friends told us to do another and five years later we are still here!

At the time there wasn't a lot of events where people were free to wear what they want and express themselves... there was a lot of hard sole shoe events in Central London, whereas sometimes people don’t want to get dressed up in a shirt and shoes or dress and heels to go raving. 

Which club nights inspired you when you began creating Rilla’s identity?

None. We aim to be innovative and fresh at all times!

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What have been the Rilla highlights so far?

Going abroad is 100% a highlight! We did a Yellow Party last year in Ibiza which was a sell out and an amazing experience.

What ambitions do you have for the club? Who would you love to have as a guest, for example?

All we want is to keep our ravers happy and make sure they enjoy every event they attend, no matter what venue or country. Guest wise I would have loved to have had Pop Smoke RIP... J Hus or Skepta would be sick!

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Director: Louis Lincoln
DOP: Billy Kendall
Producer: AZ Captures
Photographers: Robin Niedojadlo & Gabriel Niedojadlo

Join us on the ad-free creative social network Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks, exclusive content and access to Clash Live events and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.


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