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London resident Mark Wilkinson has continually fine-tuned his accessible, dancefloor-friendly brand of drum’n’bass, scoring numerous hit singles and albums in the U.K. and abroad. He kicked off his career on two of the genre’s most revered labels, Hospital Records and Andy C.’s RAM Records, during the early 2010s. His full-length debut, 2013’s Lazers Not Included, contained the double-platinum Top Ten hit “Afterglow” (featuring Becky Hill). He continued releasing albums driven by radio-friendly pop hooks, with ventures into house and future garage. Portals, a collaboration with Sub Focus, appeared in 2020, and Cognition, which reached number three in New Zealand, followed in 2022.
Wilkinson’s passion for dance music began at 14 when he traded his guitar for a sequencer. Music production classes in college led to Wilkinson building a home studio, and later, a full-fledged studio where he recorded “Hypnosis,” a track that landed on the 2010 Hospital Records compilation Sick Music 2. Demos sent to Andy C. led to a contract with the DJ’s label, RAM Records, kicking off with the 2010 12” “Moonwalker,” which also landed on Andy C.’s mix-CD Nightlife 5. He won the Best Breakthrough Producer award at the U.K.’s National D&B Awards 2012 and released his hit 12” “Need to Know” that same year.
In 2013, RAM issued Wilkinson’s debut album, Lazers Not Included. It turned him into a bona fide star, with the single “Afterglow” peaking at number eight on the U.K. singles chart. He played countless shows all over the world, enjoyed two more U.K. Top 40 singles, and finally signed to major-label Virgin EMI. His long-awaited second album, Hypnotic, dropped in 2017; it featured a plethora of guest vocalists including Wretch 32, Andreya Triana, and up-and-comers like Matt Wills, Shannon Saunders, and Jem Cooke. In 2019, he issued the non-album single “All for You,” featuring Karen Harding. Portals, a collaboration with fellow RAM alumni Sub Focus, was released in 2020, reaching number 26 on the New Zealand album chart and additionally charting back home. Wilkinson established his own Sleepless Music Ltd. label in 2021 and began releasing singles such as “Used to This” (featuring Issey Cross), which became a U.K. Top 40 hit. The full-length Cognition arrived in 2022, becoming Wilkinson’s third album to top the U.K. Dance Albums chart, additionally reaching number three on the main chart in New Zealand. ~ David Jeffries & Paul Simpson