About Artful Dodger
Artful Dodger is a UK garage duo, originally based in the city Southampton, which became famous for its 2-step hits and inaugurated Craig David's professional musical career with his appearance on their 1999 number-two hit "Re-Rewind". They scored seven consecutive UK top-20 hit singles from 1999 to 2001. The band is named after a character in the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist, because of the many bootlegs they made in the early days. They are referred to in the Streets' single "Let's Push Things Forward". Many Artful Dodger tracks can be found on the UK garage compilation album series Pure Garage, mixed by DJ EZ.
The band originally consisted of producers Mark Hill and Pete Devereux. What began as a handle for the release of underground bootleg recordings quickly blossomed into a musical project creating original material for mainstream release and culminated in the release of It's All About the Stragglers, after the duo went on to work with an array of up-and-coming vocalists. This version of Artful Dodger became defunct as of 10 July 2001. The Artful Dodger name is currently the property of Blessed Records, also known as Public Demand Records, and is represented on the live circuit by DJ Dave Low and MC Alistair. When the original two producers, Mark Hill and Pete Devereux, formally announced the reestablishment of their creative partnership in 2017, they reunited under the name "Original Dodger".
Mark Hill was admitted to the school of music at the University of Southampton as a percussionist as a teenager. Prior to Artful Dodger, he had performed with the Welsh Philharmonic Orchestra as a percussionist, and played in jazz bands. He had also worked as a session musician.
During the second year of his three-year program at the University of Southampton, Hill joined a jazz-funk band. Few contact hours meant that Hill had plenty of time on his hands, so he started a recording studio with fellow student and bandmate from the jazz-funk band, Neil Kerr. Kerr's father provided seed capital, and in addition to this, the two business partners were able to secure a £20,000 bank loan, for which Kerr's father was listed as guarantor. After a few years of trading, the business attracted further capital investment from 3MV. This studio was described by The Guardian as being a "soundproofed room next to a radio station in Southampton"; a location which that publication credits as having influenced the "commercial vibe" of their musical output.
Pete Devereux holds a Grade 8 in Piano. Prior to Artful Dodger, he had played in grunge rock bands, performed classical violin, and DJ-ed.
Pete Devereux first found his way towards Mark Hill when he booked time at his and Neil Kerrs' studio, after discovering it in the YellowPages.
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