Perhaps the only drum ‘n’ bass artist whose first production was a remix of a Christina Aguilera song, 24-year-old Mark Wilkinson’s career might have started in slightly inauspicious circumstances. But alongside label mates Chase & Status and Sub Focus, his bass-heavy sound is being credited with reviving the commercial fortunes of the genre.
Born in Twickenham, South West London, Wilkinson first developed a love of dance music, and in particular the liquid funk pioneered by Hospital Records, at the age of fourteen. Following his jungle-inspired take on The Mickey Mouse Club graduate’s 2006 hit, “Ain’t No Other Man,” he then started to write his own material.
After one of his tracks ended up on the aforementioned label’s Sick Music 2 compilation, he signed to Andy C’s Ram Records, remixed hits from the likes of Nero, Example and Professor Green, and attracted high-profile admirers including Skream, Mista Jam and High Contrast thanks to a string of club anthems. He went on to win Best Breakthrough Producer at the National D&B Awards in 2012.
Since then, Wilkinson has performed at Global Gathering, Mallorca Rocks and the Las Vegas leg of the Electric Daisy Carnival, founded his own CYN Music label alongside best friend Cyantific, and recorded his debut album,Lazers Not Included, which is scheduled for release at the end of the month.
Accompanied by a cheeky but surprisingly touching video which depicts the ups and downs of a five-year relationship, current single “Afterglow,” an emotive fusion of skittering beats, melancholic piano hooks and gutsy soulful tones courtesy of The Voice UK semi-finalist Becky Hill, is already nestling in the upper reaches of the UK Top 10. Meanwhile, previous releases such as The Prodigy-esque menacing old-school rave of “Automatic,” the intense blend of wailing sirens, grimy synths and abrasive hip-hop vocals on “Heartbeat” and the acoustic-tinged breakbeat of “Need To Know” have also more than justified Wilkinson’s emerging reputation as one of the bass scene’s hottest young names.