Rising star: DMZ, music collective

DMZ, music collective

· DMZ is a collective of DJs and producers comprising Londoners Mala and Loefah, reclusive producer Coki and their MC, Sgt Pokes. Their record label and bi-monthly club night (held alternately in London and Leeds) are at the heart of dubstep.

· The friends, who began swapping mixtapes at Atwood Primary School in Croydon, are champions of dubstep, an underground scene influenced by UK garage, jungle and rave.

· They've attracted mainstream praise: 'They are pioneering a totally unique sound,' says Radio 1 DJ Mary Anne Hobbs. 'They're now inspiring the grand masters of dub and hip hop.'

· Mala and Pokes played their first gig at 14, with jungle DJ Kenny Ken. Mala: 'He told us to keep going and that opportunities would open up. Our focus has never been money or fame.' Their schoolmates were less supportive: 'We got ridiculed,' says Sgt Pokes. 'People were like: "What? You think you're ever going to play to big crowds?"'

· Last year, DMZ DJed in New York, and this month they're heading to Japan and New Zealand. Their British night is also inspiring some serious travel. Clubbers have come from Europe and America; the last event saw one committed fan travel from Melbourne, Australia. 'We're dealing with sound and togetherness,' says Mala. 'That's DMZ.'


Emma Warren

The GuardianTramp

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