“Steel Banglez” is a track tag that's become synonymous with bangers. Known for spearheading the new sound of UK rap, the East London producer has helped a plethora of emerging artists secure mainstream success through his layered combinations of afrobeats, dub, grime, garage and rap. Right now, the Forest Green native is one of the most sought-after producers in the industry.
Amassing millions of streams through his genre-blending productions for the likes of MIST, Yungen, MoStack and Dave (to name a few) in a short space of time, his Midas touch has given him what looks like a sudden breakthrough. But Banglez has actually been on the beat for almost over a decade now.
As the child of Punjabi immigrants who came to the UK in 1985, music has always been at the forefront of the Banglez’s life. His mum (who he recently helped retire) was a music teacher and his dad a poet, which made for a musical upbringing. He was immersed in an Indian-Punjabi musical heritage as well as the East London sounds that his brother brought into the house. Soon enough he caught the music bug at the age of 14 when he started making beats using Fruity Loops, and well, hasn’t stopped since.
Even while serving some prison time in 2005, Banglez was still producing. Being allowed his keyboard inside, he took this chance to collaborate with local talents Yung Meth, Fix Dot'm and Colours Miyagi who he’d met in prison. However, 2014 nearly saw the end of his career: Rap star and close collaborator Cashtastic – an artist who Banglez had invested a lot of time and money into – got deported back to Jamacia and soon after, his list of artists collaborators dried up, which saw Banglez demotivated and drained.
That was until, of course, he started to plan a way to discover new artists again in 2015. First MoStack and then MIST and the rest is, as they say, history. UK rap history. From there Banglez began his domination of the UK charts.
Now, we present to you Banglez In Session and it's a fiery statement of intent crammed into 30 minutes of fire. It's perfect for the sun and it's gnarly enough for the night, we've had this one on repeat. Anyone heading to Lovebox can catch him in action on the Friday and if this mix and Banglez's latest musical spree is anything to by, this is highly advised.
Geri Cela is a freelance journalist, follow her on Twitter
Steel Banglez plays Lovebox on July 13, more info here