Mutya Keisha Siobhan
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|Mutya Keisha Siobhan|
L–R: Donaghy, Buena, Buchanan
|Also known as||MKS|
Mutya Keisha Siobhan (often shortened to MKS) are an English girl group based in London. Formed in 2011, the group consists of Siobhán Donaghy, Mutya Buena, and Keisha Buchanan. The trio comprises the founding members of the Sugababes, although each of them individually departed the group in 2001, 2005, and 2009, respectively. As the Sugababes, the group released their first album, One Touch in 2000.
In November 2011, they began recording their debut album alongside the likes of Dev Hynes, Shaznay Lewis, Cameron McVey, Naughty Boy, Richard X, William Orbit, and MNEK. They officially confirmed they had formed as a group in July 2012. In August 2013, the music video for debut single "Flatline" was released online. The song was released the following month and debuted at number 50 in the UK.
Although their debut album under MKS was confirmed for release in early 2014, the group ceased all updates and promotion early that year. As of 2017, there has been no update on further development but Buchanan and Buena have both briefly stated that the group are still together and hoping to get the album out in future.
1998–2012: Beginnings with 'Sugababes' and reformation
The Sugababes were formed in 1998 by All Saints manager Ron Tom. Siobhán Donaghy and Mutya Buena, both aged just 13, had been signed as solo artists, but decided to work together after performing at the same showcase. While working in the studio, Buena invited her best friend Keisha Buchanan to watch them. Manager Tom decided the three girls were to be a trio, likening their different appearances to the United Colours of Benetton campaign. Originally dubbed the Sugababies, the group's name was tweaked to Sugababes when they were signed by London Records to give the group a more mature image.
The group's debut single, "Overload", peaked at number 6 on the UK Singles Chart in 2000 and was nominated for a BRIT Award for Best Single. The group co-wrote most of the tracks on debut album One Touch with the help of All Saints producer Cameron McVey. One Touch peaked at number 26 on the UK Albums Chart. The album produced three more top 40 hits—"New Year", "Run for Cover" and "Soul Sound". The sales of One Touch did not meet London Records' expectations, and they dropped the group in 2001. It was later certified gold by the BPI and had sold 220,000 copies in the UK by 2008 according to Music Week.
During a Japanese promotional tour in August 2001, Donaghy left the group. She stated initially that she wanted to pursue a fashion career, but was eventually diagnosed with clinical depression amid reports of in-fighting amongst the group's members. Donaghy later stated that she was forced out of the group by Buchanan and called Buchanan the "first bully" in her life. Donaghy was replaced by former Atomic Kitten member Heidi Range. Buena departed in December 2005 to concentrate on motherhood and her solo career, after which Amelle Berrabah was announced as her replacement. In September 2009, after eleven years in the group, Buchanan was replaced by Jade Ewen, leaving the group with no original members.
In October 2011, several news outlets reported that the original line-up of the Sugababes would reform. In January 2012, further speculations circulated that the group would reunite were sparked, after both Buena and Buchanan tweeted that they were in the studio with "two other females" and British rapper Professor Green. However, Buena later denied this on Twitter, saying: "No track [with] keisha or professor G he was around tha studio. im jus workin on my stuff @ tha moment. (sic)" Despite this, Scottish singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé confirmed to MTV UK that she had written new songs for Buena, Buchanan and Donaghy, saying: "Yes, that is true. I've written for the original line-up of the Sugababes, which I’m very happy about because I just loved them when they first came out. I loved their sound, it was so cool. It was very different, so I'm happy to kind of be involved in what started the whole Sugababes journey. It sounds amazing."
In April 2012, it was reported that the line-up had signed a £1 million record deal with Polydor Records. In July 2012, it was officially confirmed that the group had reformed under the name Mutya Keisha Siobhan and were writing songs for a new album under Polydor. The name was officially registered through the European Union on 27 June 2012. The group attended the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony on 27 July 2012 and posted pictures on their official Instagram page, marking the trio's first public appearance together in eleven years. On 6 August the group confirmed they had written two songs with Shaznay Lewis, former member of the All Saints. The next day, Donaghy tweeted "With the girls in the studio. I think the album is finished!!!" before adding "Whoop!"
In November 2012, the group were nominated at the Yahoo! Gossip Best Girl Band of 2012 Poll alongside Little Mix, Stooshe, Girls Aloud, The Saturdays and Spice Girls. Their return was named the eleventh biggest moment of 2012 in NME's '75 Moments That Defined 2012' countdown. The group also appeared on the cover of iconic, high-fashion magazine Ponystep in December 2012.
2012–13: Debute single and Sacred Three Tour
That same month, they performed an intimate gig at Ponystep's New Year's Ever party, performing three Sugababes singles, "Overload", "New Year" and "Freak Like Me". They also did a cover of Rihanna's "Diamonds". The performance marked the first time Buena, Buchanan and Donaghy had performed together in over a decade. A fan-filmed video went viral online, receiving over 70,000 views in just two days. In an interview with BBC News, MKS said that they decided to reform as they felt they still had 'something to give'.
The first glimpse of new material came to light on 7 January 2013 when the group uploaded a short a cappella clip of their rumoured debut single "Boys" on Buchanan's YouTube account. The clip has been viewed over 140,000 times. The same day, Popjustice released a three-second clip of the studio version of the single, calling it "simply amazing". The group have also signed with Storm Model Management. On 14 March, the group's producer Dev Hynes uploaded a track on his official Soundcloud page, stating the track would not feature on the groups forthcoming album. "Lay Down in Swimming Pools" is a reinterpreted rendition of Kendrick Lamar's "Swimming Pools (Drank)" that featured hazy R&B production and three-part harmonies. Hynes later commented saying "Just finished recording new music with Mutya, Keisha and Siobhan, And the girls felt like having a bit of fun at the end of the last session – enjoy!!" On 26 March, the group featured on a remix of Phoenix's single "Entertainment".
On 4 June, the group announced the title of their forthcoming debut single as "Flatline". They later uploaded a one minute, eleven second preview of the indie pop-inflected track to their official Soundcloud page on 13 June. On 2 July, the trio announced via their Facebook fanpage that the full version of the song would be on their official Soundcloud page on 4 July at 2:00pm. During the group's Google+ Hangout session after the premiere of "Flatline", the titles of several tracks from their forthcoming album were revealed, namely "Back in the Day", "Drum", and "Beat Is Gone". During the video shoot for "Flatline" in Los Angeles, MKS were interviewed by Billboard. Two more songs from their forthcoming album, "I'm Alright" and "Victory" (co-written with Sia), were mentioned, while "Boys" was also confirmed as part of the track listing. In another interview with Idolator, the group also stated that a new version of "Lay Down in Swimming Pools" will be included. The album was expected for release in 2014.
MKS performed their first official headline gig at Scala on 1 August. Among Sugababes classics "Overload", "Run for Cover", "Stronger", and "Freak like Me", the trio also performed several new songs from their forthcoming album, including "I'm Alright", "Love Me Hard", "Boys", "Today", and "No Regrets". "Lay Down in Swimming Pools" and a mash-up of "Flatline" and "Push the Button" served as the encore to the evening. In early October, Mutya Keisha Siobhan appeared on the Google+ Sessions series, performing three live acoustic tracks: new song "No Regrets", the Sugababes classic "Caught in a Moment" and "Royals", a cover of the international number one track by Lorde. The performances are available to view in HD on YouTube. On 6 November 2013, Mutya said that she was open to reclaiming the Sugababes name, as Jade Ewen revealed that the fourth line-up split two years earlier. From 8–16 November 2013, the group embarked on The Sacred Three Tour, playing 6 dates across the UK. The group confirmed that they would perform new material with old Sugababes songs such as "Too Lost in You" and "Freak like Me".
2014–present: Hiatus and recent activity
Speculation had arisen amongst fans if the group has split without announcing, been dropped by their label, or their label had lost confidence in their marketability. The trio's Facebook page was finally updated with a new profile picture on 7 October, together with an announcement stating that the group is working with a new team and that the album is on the way, but the announcement has since been followed by a period of apparent inactivity. Their Facebook page was last updated in October 2014. On 15 January 2015, a studio snippet of the track "Boys" was leaked. "Back in the Day" was then leaked online on 13 February 2015. The reason for the delays in music has surfaced that the group were going through legal battles with their record label. The girls are no longer with Polydor and have gained new management with Red Light Management. The group has secured the rights to their original Sugababes name and were planning to release music in 2015, though neither of these alleged developments were announced or confirmed by MKS, Sugababes, Polydor or Red Light Management.
On 13 January 2015, Keisha Buchanan filed for the Sugababes name to be trademarked in the United States. The trademark process was completed on 26 September 2015, and in January 2016 Buchanan successfully achieved ownership of the United States Sugababes trademark.
In June 2016, at London Pride’s WandsworthRadio special, Donaghy has confirmed that a new album is coming next year the interview was recorded. "The Sugababes got a record coming out next year. We’ve been back and then there was a bit of a break but we working on it again, so its exciting. I can’t tell you the exact release date of the album. I know but I can’t tell you. It’s next year."
In October 2016, a 15 sec clip of the song called Three More Days surfaced online on the webpage www.the-scared-three.tumblr.com.
At the end of 2016, eight tracks leaked online; 'Boys', 'Drum', 'Love In Stereo', 'I'm Alright', 'No Regrets', 'Summer of 99', 'Today' and 'Too In Love'.
Awards and nominations
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album|
|2013||"Lay Down in Swimming Pools"||TBA|
|"Entertainment (Blood Orange Remix)"
(Phoenix featuring Mutya Keisha Siobhan)
- Sacred Three Tour (2013)
- Run for Cover
- Hole in the Head
- I'm Alright
- Too Lost in You
- Love Me Hard
- No Regrets
- Push the Button
- Freak Like Me
- Lay Down in Swimming Pools
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