Magnetic Man: A group with sticking power
Friday 22 July 2011
With dubstep entering the mainstream – especially with Mercury Prize nominee Katy B's pop blend of the genre – it may be a surprise to some teenagers that dubstep is not a new thing.
It all began a decade ago at a tiny record shop Big Apple Records in Croydon, where Artwork (aka Arthur Smith), now one part of the dubstep supergroup Magnetic Man, met fellow band members, Benga (Benga Adejumo) and Skream (Oliver Jones).
Artwork was making garage and techno in a room above the record shop and penned the dubstep anthem "Red", before the genre even had a name.
With his Big Apple record label, some of the first dubstep records were made after he signed the 15-year-olds, Benga and Skream, among others.
Although the trio formed Magnetic Man in 2007, it was not until 2010 that they were signed to Columbia Records.
"Dubstep came out of 2-step garage," says Artwork. "Kids think it's brand new but it isn't."
Their Top 10 hit "I Need Air" in 2010, with vocals from Angela Hunte, who co-wrote the Alicia Keys track "Empire State of Mind", brought dubstep into the UK Top 10, for the first time ever.
Their hypnotic song "Perfect Stranger", featuring hauntingly beautiful vocals by Katy B, was also an instant Top 20 hit for the then newcomer singer. Benga produced Katy B's Top 5 hit "Katy on a Mission" while Skream's 2009 "Lets Get Ravey" remix of La Roux's "In for the Kill", was a huge success.
Their Top 5 debut album Magnetic Man has some impressive collaborations: "Getting Nowhere" with John Legend and "Fire" with Ms Dynamite. And their new catchy single "Anthemic" featuring P-Money, which is out on Monday, seamlessly merges dubstep and rap, which, let's face it, is all a teenager wants.
"Anthemic" is out on Monday. Magnetic Man perform at the iTunes Festival, London NW1 (www.itunes festival.com) on 26 July and South West Four festival, London SW4 (www. southwest four.com) on 28 August
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