A UK music icon. MJ Cole is a unique musical pioneer.
The London born producer, DJ and writer has released some of the most important UK dance records of past decades.
His intricate, heart-wrenching productions have done more to link the abstract, avant-garde tendencies of the UK Garage sound to the exploding mainstream scene more than any contemporary.
Sincere and Crazy Love, two beautifully crafted classic records released in 1998 and 2000, rapidly propelled MJ Cole from the underground to households across the country. The album that followed, Sincere, went gold and exceeded 100,000 sales representing a huge breakthrough for UK Garage music.
The combination of deep, soulful vocals and unrivalled production ability created an era-defining body of work, building on a growing reputation and earning him accolades from the likes of Brit, MOBO and Mercury prizes. The albums musical legacy endures throughout in modern dance music to this day.
Not only has he remained a relevant and essential member of the ever-evolving UK music scene but has become an integral part of what makes UK underground music so incredibly exciting.
- The 405
MJ Cole aka Matthew Coleman was born and raised in West London and is a Royal College of Music graduate. But his path was not that of a traditional graduate of the College.
His gaze began to turn to the underground. He began working at Drum and Bass label SOUR (Shy FX, Elisabeth Troy, T Power) in the mid-90s as a tape operator and sound engineer to the likes of Freq Nasty and Ed Rush. Whilst working on Ramsey & Fen’s 2-step remixes for Kim Mazelle he contracted the Garage bug.
He went on to sign to Gilles Peterson’s Talkin’ Loud label from which he released his debut album Sincere and follow up Cut To The Chase. In 2004 he revived his label Prolific Recordings and began releasing music from there; working with artists from all corners. Wiley, Zed Bias, William Phillips (Tourist), Serocee and Elisabeth Troy all featured on recordings up to 2013 spanning genres across the underground UK dance music spectrum.
MJ Cole is also responsible for remixing some of the worlds biggest artists. Credits include Amy Winehouse, Mariah Carey, De La Soul, Alicia Keys, Above and Beyond and recently the breakout record Human from Rag N Bone Man.
2015 marked the return of MJ Cole with the rolling tribal club cut Bouldaz on Disclosure’s Method White imprint. The release pointed to a new creative direction and once again introduced his innovations into the public consciousness.
Today, MJ Cole continues to push musical boundaries and transcend expectations. 2016 began with Alcatraz – a weighty house-inspired offering on Redlight’s Lobster Boy Records released in February that received numerous plays across radio and raves alike.
This release was followed by a meeting between one of the UK’s most revered club figureheads and one of its most exciting rising stars on The Rumble - a futuristic, bass-heavy production evoking a urban dystopia featuring MOBO nominated best newcomer MC AJ Tracey. Cole’s new label 892 Recordings released the record in conjunction with Ministry of Sound. An urgent contemporary anthem for 2016 London, the track showcased Cole’s unique ability to connect with audiences spanning generations and genres.
Never caught standing still or looking back, MJ Cole continues to stretch the boundaries of UK dance music into 2017 and beyond.