Growing up in West London’s Mozart Estate, David Penning aka Illaman was exposed to music from the moment he came home from the hospital. His sister’s dad was a B-Boy and Hip Hop DJ who had two turntables, 12 inch Jamo speakers and record boxes all over the floor in the living room where the TV would have been. In the block opposite lived his grandparents who pretty much raised and looked after him. Spending all his time either in the kitchen with his nan whilst she cooked up stew chicken and curry goat with rice and peas for the guests they always had over at their parties, or riding around in his Kingston born grandfather’s Ford Capri.
With Peter Tosh, Augustus Pablo, I-Roy and an infinite catalogue of Studio One music as the soundtrack to his youth it wasn’t long before a passion for listening to music became a hunger to perform and write it.
Fast forward to now and Illa has been on the road as a mic man for Goldie, MistaJam, Flux Pavilion, Skream, Skism, N-Type, DJ EZ, Danny Byrd and many many more over the past 15 years. But, the electronic music world isn’t the only place you would have heard Illa’s name ringing out though. Having worked with UK Hip Hop group Foreign Beggars as a stand in for Pavan, also a member of Problem Child alongside pioneers of the scene Dabbla, Dubbledge and producer Sumgii while releasing a whole host of hip hop records, EP’s and singles. Illa’s workrate is unmatched as a multi faceted artist.
Now fronting 3 piece Grime/Punk/Metal band Pengshui, joining Submotion Orchestra’s Fatty Bassman and Foreign Beggars’ drummer Pravin Mukhi. They have already gained a massive following in their brief 3 years together. Releasing their 2nd album in January 2022 with talk of the 3rd already being underway. They show no signs of letting up the relentless barrage of music dropping.
Illaman is a force to be reckoned with and by looking at his journey so far it’s going to be an exciting time watching what he has to offer up next.