Mala, otherwise known as Mark Lawrence, is a music producer and artist from Norwood, South London. Lawrence forms half of the seminal UK dubstep duo Digital Mystikz with Coki, otherwise known as Dean Harris.
Early dubstep was born in the cubs of South London, where Digital Mystikz hosted one of the most influential nights of the mid 2000s, DMZ. The popularity of this night caught the attention of radio DJs such as Mary Anne Hobbs and John Peel, who were both early supporters of Digital Mystikz and the dubstep genre.
Other genres that were popular in London at the time, such as garage, grime, jungle and drum and bass all have points of connection with dubstep, as they share common musical elements such as the use of syncopation and spoken word. The influence of reggae and two-step can also be heard in dubstep, as its lineage can be traced back to the Jamaican sound system scene popular in London’s West Indian and Caribbean communities since the arrival of the Windrush generation.
Mainstream successes of later dubstep artists, mainly in the USA, altered the feel of the genre, adding in more extreme distortion and elements from pop music. The popularity of dubstep peaked in the early 2010s, but Mala and Digital Mystikz are revered as key figures in a genre that became the sound of a decade. Mala is still producing and releasing new music, concentrating on the traditional sounds and cultural heritage of Peru.
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- Black Music Collection #13
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