One half of the revered dubstep duo Digital Mystikz, producer, DJ, label owner, and Londoner Mala (Mark Lawrence) discovered reggae in his teens, but it was a later fascination with jungle drum & bass that opened his eyes to the possibilities of rhythm and bass.
Thanks to jungle's love of sampling different genres, Mala was turned on to jazz, funk, and other genres while returning to reggae, where he chose dub master Augustus Pablo as a role model. His early productions could be heard on London's then pirate radio station Rinse FM alongside Coki, forming the production duo Digital Mystikz. In 2005 with 2 more friends, Loefah and Sgt. Pokes, the quartet formed the genre defining club night and label DMZ. In 2006 Mala also established Deep Medi Musik, 2018 see's the label celebrate 100 releases. Throughout the 2000s and beyond, DMZ, Digital Mystikz, and Deep Medi proved to be pillars of the underground dubstep scene, with everyone from John Peel to Gilles Peterson showing their support. Peterson became close friends with Mala, signed him to his Brownswood Recordings label, and accompanied Mala on a rhythm-finding trip to Cuba. After recording some Cuban musicians including Roberto Fonseca, Mala brought the recordings home to South London. Brownswood released the results in 2012 as Mala in Cuba. 2016 saw Mala journey to Peru, inspired by the country's musical traditions, he collaborated with local musicians for his next album. Mirrors was released by Brownswood in 2016.