See Whistles' first menswear collection in a new film

DJ Bradley Zero Phillip models Whistles' debut AW14 collection in an exclusive film – and talks being a part of Peckham's creative community

In this film shot by director and Dazed contributor Mollie Mills – named Best Online Content Creator at the 2014 Tribeca film festival – Peckham based DJ Bradley Zero Phillip explores London dressed in Whistles' new AW14 collection – their first foray into menswear.

In the film (styled by Dazed fashion editor Elizabeth Fraser-Bell) Phillip, who grew up in Leeds but has lived in Peckham for the past seven years talks about how DJing can take over your life and how London’s unique energy sets it apart from other cities.

Perhaps best known for starting Rhythm Section at Canavans in Peckham – a vinyl-only bi-monthly party with two rules: be nice, and don’t take pictures – Phillip is also part of the team running Boiler Room and recently launched Rhythm Section International, his label. To celebrate the film’s release, we caught up with Phillip to talk about his style, the rave legacy of his hometown and his most treasured record. 

What’s your earliest music memory? 

Bradley Zero Phillip: For some strange reason, my parents let me go and see The Prodigy at Leeds Festival when I was 14. The Prodigy Experience was one of the first electronic albums I got into through my Dad’s collection, but seeing them live and being at a rave for the first time was an intense moment! Maybe not my first musical memory per se, but definitely an early and formative one. Long before that, my first experience of soundsystem culture was at Leeds Carnival, where I would go every August bank holiday with my granny and parents, dance around to soca and watch the floats go by. I have a very early memory of asking my mum why a man was smoking a ‘funny looking cigarette’.

How did Leeds inform who you are as a DJ?

Bradley Zero Phillip: Leeds has always had a very strong rave and reggae scene that actually crosses over more than you would imagine. From LFO’s warehouse raves in the 90s through to the dub sessions that still go on in the West Indian Centre today, these sounds and environments have really fed into what I do today.

“For some strange reason, my parents let me go to see The Prodigy at Leeds Festival when I was 14. Seeing them live and being at a rave for the first time was an intense moment!” – Bradley Zero Phillip

What do you remember of your first DJ experience? 

Bradley Zero Phillip: With my dad being a DJ since before I was born, it’s quite hard to pick out the first experience, because I was growing up around it. I’d often go out with him to functions and even sometimes mix at daytime events. This was probably before I could tie my shoelaces, and it was totally normal to me. I can’t claim to have been beatmatching underground music at the time though, it was more seamless blends of Now That’s what I Call Music 32.

You’ve lived in Peckham for over 6 years now – how do you feel the area has changed?

Bradley Zero Phillip: The only thing constant about London is change, and this is part of the reason why it’s such an exciting place to live. Peckham has changed a fair deal since I moved here, but it also changed a lot in the six years before that and will carry on changing for the next six years and so on… Despite this, I think the thing that sets Peckham apart from other neighbourhoods is the community. There’s a really tight-knit village feel here that I haven’t found anywhere else in the capital. There’s a sense that the people here now are here for good; establishing themselves here, investing in the area and doing things our own way. Nothing’s going to change this, as long as Southwark council realise that we did all this ourselves with no help and that we do not need, or want their supposed ‘regeneration’ scheme. The sceptre of corporate developments hovers over Rye Lane and we intend to resist it, instead opting for natural, gradual growth, not a wholesale cleansing of the area.

How would you describe your style, both sartorially and as a DJ – and is there a connection between the two?

Bradley Zero Phillip: When it comes to clothes I appreciate fine textures, interesting cuts, classic silhouettes with subtle nuances, an occasional splash of bold colour and a risqué feature thrown in every once in a while. I’ve never really considered comparing the two styles but actually, I pretty much just described any given DJ set I might do! I like to set the scene with ambient soundscapes and interesting, otherworldly aural textures, introduce some unexpected percussive layers, re-contextualise classic tracks with lesser known oddities before going in with something really OTT once people are in the groove, then settling back into that rhythm whilst throwing a curveball every now and then to shake things up. 

What’s your go to outfit for playing a set? 

Bradley Zero Phillip: I’m a mover, so I dress to sweat, wearing as little as possible. If I’m wearing trousers I always bring spare shorts, If I’m wearing a shirt, always bring a spare vest. Alongside the records I always pack a spare change for afterwards. DJing is a performance, so it’s also an excuse to dress up a little - add to the drama so to speak, but when it comes to my sets, usually in hot, sweaty clubs, less is more, and if Taps have to come ‘Aff then so be it.

What’s the most treasured vinyl in your collection and why?

Bradley Zero Phillip: The test pressing of the first record I released on my label, Rhythm Section International. It’s a very personal record, it marks a beginning and whilst not really having any market value, it's an edition of 5 and would remain special to me as step further forward into this business of putting out music on vinyl.