East performing in 2011
|Also known as||Fleur|
|Born||29 October 1987|
|Origin||Walthamstow, London, England|
Fleur East, also known as Fleur, is an English singer, songwriter, rapper, dancer, and fitness model. She competed on the second series of televised singing competition The X Factor in 2005 as a member of the girl group Addictiv Ladies. In 2012, she then launched a solo career with the record label Strictly Rhythm and released songs with dance musicians including DJ Fresh and Drumsound & Bassline Smith.
East returned to The X Factor as a solo artist in 2014 for its eleventh series, where she placed runner-up. She became the show's first contestant to reach number one on the UK iTunes Store chart during the competition with her performance of "Uptown Funk" (originally by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars). In 2015, she signed to Syco Music and released a full-length album, Love, Sax and Flashbacks.
East was born to an English father and a Ghanaian mother. She was raised in Walthamstow, London. She also has family living in Yorkshire. Also, she has a younger sister named Keshia, a make-up professional. She attended Holy Family Technology College in Walthamstow and Queen Mary University of London, where she studied journalism and contemporary history. In an interview with the Daily Mirror, East said she was the victim of racism in childhood, with one child asking her, "Are you black or white?"
2005–13: The X Factor, Addictiv Ladies and independent releases
East was in the girl group Addictiv Ladies, who were on series 2 of The X Factor in 2005, mentored by Simon Cowell, but were eliminated in week 1 after ending up in the bottom two with Chico Slimani. She was introduced to drum-and-bass producer DJ Fresh through her manager in 2011, and Fresh subsequently hired her as a vocalist for a BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge session of his. In 2012, she featured on Fresh's song "Turn It Up" from his album Nextlevelism and toured extensively with him in 2012, including performances at T4 on the Beach, V Festival and the iTunes Festival.
East signed to the record label Strictly Rhythm in January 2012 and released two singles as the lead artist (credited as Fleur): "Broken Mirror" with Cutline and "Turn the Lights On" (produced by Culture Shock). She also featured on "The One" by Horx and P3000. In 2013, she featured on Drumsound & Bassline Smith's "One in a Million", which entered the UK Singles Chart at number 53, and headlined the Miss Face of Africa EU ceremony in London. In December 2013, she self-released her debut EP She for free download. One of the EP tracks, "Super Rich Royals", is a mashup cover of "Super Rich Kids" by Frank Ocean and "Royals" by Lorde.
East worked as a waitress at the London nightclub Aura Mayfair to help support her music career, and was also a fitness model with the agency W Athletic, but struggled with her finances. She later said that by early 2014, she was "definitely depressed" and considering ending her music career, until her friends and relatives encouraged her to re-audition for The X Factor.
2014: Return to The X Factor
In June 2014, East auditioned for the eleventh series of The X Factor. She sang John Legend's "Ordinary People" in her room audition, where she received "yes" votes and progressed through to the arena auditions. She sang Chris Brown's "Fine China" at the arena and progressed to the boot camp stage. East made it past the six chair challenge and through to the judges' houses stage in the "Over 25s" category, mentored by Simon Cowell once again, to whom she performed "Bang Bang" by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj. Cowell chose East for the live shows, alongside Jay James and eventual winner Ben Haenow.
In the semi-final of the live shows, East performed "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars, a rendition The Guardian's Stuart Heritage described as "truly astonishing [...] Fleur barged in and left the competition in ruins. It was two minutes and 53 seconds of all-out attack; possibly the biggest moment that any [Simon] Cowell show has produced since we first met Susan Boyle, only this was even more surprising because we already knew Fleur, and this far she’d merely been adequate." Popjustice declared it "the most exciting moment of the entire series [...] Whichever act wins The X Factor this coming weekend, Fleur’s now established herself as the one who deserves and will undoubtedly get The Full Ella (FKA The Full Leona) when it comes to career rollout." East's version went to number one on the UK iTunes Store, which led the original song to be released five weeks earlier than planned; it subsequently reached number one on the UK Singles Chart. In week 10, the show's final, East was announced as the runner-up in the competition, losing to fellow over-25 Ben Haenow with 34.3% of the votes to Haenow's 57.2%.
|The X Factor performances and results (2014)|
|Room audition||"Ordinary People"||Free choice||Through to arena|
|Arena audition||"Fine China"||Free choice||Through to bootcamp|
|Six chairs challenge (bootcamp)||"Paper Planes"||Free choice||Through to judges' houses|
|Judges' houses||"Bang Bang"||Free choice||Through to live shows|
|Live week 1||"All About That Bass"||Number Ones||Safe (5th)|
|Live week 2||"It's a Shame (My Sister)"||80's Night||Safe (7th)|
|Live week 3||"Lady Marmalade"||Saturday night at the movies||Safe (5th)|
|Live week 4||"Thriller"||Fright Night (Halloween)||Safe (6th)|
|Live week 5||"Will You Be There"||Michael Jackson vs. Queen||Safe (5th)|
|Live week 6||"Bang Bang"||Big Band||Safe (2nd)|
|Live week 7||"I'm Every Woman"||Whitney Houston vs. Elton John||Safe (2nd)|
|Live week 8||"A Fool in Love"||Song chosen by celebrity guest (Emeli Sandé)||Safe (3rd)|
|"If I Ain't Got You"||Song chosen by the public|
|Live week 9||"All I Want for Christmas Is You"||Christmas song||Safe (2nd)|
|"Uptown Funk"||Song to get to the final|
|Live week 10||"Can't Hold Us"||No theme||Runner-up (34.3%)|
|"Beneath Your Beautiful"||Celebrity duet (with Labrinth)|
|"Uptown Funk"||Best of the series|
|"Something I Need"||Winner's single|
2015–present: Love, Sax and Flashbacks
In January 2015, East announced that she had signed to Cowell's record label Syco Music. She recorded her debut album with musicians including Wayne Hector, The Invisible Men, Jack Splash, and TMS. She announced in July 2015 that she had been working on her first fashion collection with women's fashion brand Lipsy London. "Sax", the lead single from her debut album, was released in November 2015 and reached number three in the UK. Her debut album, titled Love, Sax and Flashbacks, was released on 4 December. On 22 January Fleur released the single "More and More". She performed the single at the National Television Awards. In 2016, East signed with Columbia Records to launch her international music career.
East describes her music as "urban-inspired with a few twists" and lists Michael Jackson, Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Sade, Emeli Sandé, Jessie Ware, and Florence Welch among her inspirations. East's early solo work was heavily influenced by drum and bass artists including Netsky and Matrix & Futurebound.
- Love, Sax and Flashbacks (2015)
- The X Factor Live Tour (2015)
- Sax Tour (2016)
- "X Factor: Fleur East tops iTunes chart with 'Uptown Funk'". The Independent. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
- Buxton, Olivia (9 November 2014). "X Factor hopeful Fleur East tells how racist bullies made her life hell". Daily Mirror. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
- Zoie O'Brien. "X Factor's Fleur East performs to crowds as community unites behind Walthamstow finalist". East London and West Essex Guardian Series. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
- Guardian Series. "Students show they have the X-factor". East London and West Essex Guardian Series. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
- "Family Matters. Newsletter of the Holy Family Catholic School" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 January 2015. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
- "Five things you need to know about Fleur East". itv.com. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
- Olivia Buxton (9 November 2014). "X Factor hopeful Fleur East tells how racist bullies made her life hell". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- "BBC – 1Xtra TX – Addictiv Ladies: X Factor?". BBC. 15 October 2005. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- "An Interview With... Fleur". Soundhall. 30 September 2012.
- "Fleur (Singer, Songwriter & Artist) Interview – Strictly Rhythm Recs @ The Social Nov 2012". Music Gateway. 29 November 2012.
- "Introducing Fleur".
- Hunter. "Fleur – Interview".
- Super User. "Fleur East".
- "Fleur – She (EP)". iluvlive. 3 December 2013.
- "OMG 2014 X Factor finalist Fleur East knows ALL Rita Ora's party secrets!". nowmagazine.
- Anton. "Model/ Sport Profile – W Athletic".
- Janine Yaqoob (14 December 2014). "X Factor Final 2014: Fleur East was so broke she nearly gave up music". mirror.
- Ashleigh Rainbird (9 December 2014). "X Factor's Fleur East: My fight with depression inspired me to be a winner". mirror.
- Stuart Heritage. "Fleur's Uptown Funk performance was the moment X Factor became relevant again". the Guardian. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
- "2014 AZ: E and F are for East, Fleur – Popjustice". Popjustice. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
- "X Factor: Fleur East tops iTunes chart with 'Uptown Funk'". The Independent. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
- "Mark Ronson's Uptown Funk breaks all-time streaming record!".
- "Ben Haenow wins The X Factor 2014: as it happened – Telegraph". Telegraph.co.uk. 15 December 2014.
- "X Factor's Fleur East signs record deal with Simon Cowell's label Syco". Digital Spy.
- "Fleur East working on "uptempo" album with Wayne Hector". Digital Spy.
- "X Factor runner-up Fleur East working on Lipsy fashion line". voice-online.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
- "Fleur East reveals 'Sax' will be the first track released from her debut album". Digital Spy.
- FLEUR EAST | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company
- "iTunes – Music – Love, Sax and Flashbacks by Fleur East". iTunes Store (GB).
- Corner, Lewis (20 May 2016). "Fleur East signs major US record deal and lines up HUGE television appearances". Digital Spy. United Kingdom: Hearst Corporation. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
- "International Women's Day Special: Get To Know... Fleur – Drum & Bass Arena :: Blog". Drum & Bass Arena :: Blog. 8 March 2013.