Wednesday, 21 August 2013


                             BLACK           SOCIAL           HISTORY                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Timothy McKenzie (born 4 January 1989), better known by his stage name Labrinth, is an English singer-songwriter and record producer. Initially, he was tipped to work as a producer, but Simon Cowell signed him to his record label Syco Music as a solo act. In the process, Labrinth became Cowell's first non-talent show signing in six years.
Labrinth made his debut appearance on the UK Singles Chart in March 2010, when his collaboration with rapper Tinie Tempah 'Pass Out' reached number one. His first solo single "Let the Sun Shine" was released in September 2010, reaching number three in the same chart. His debut album Electronic Earth was released on 31 March 2012, having been preceded by the singles "Earthquake" featuring Tinie Tempah and "Last Time", which peaked at number two and number four respectively. He achieved his first number one single in November 2012 with "Beneath Your Beautiful" featuring Emeli Sandé.

Life and career

1989–2010: Early life and career beginnings

McKenzie attended Stoke Newington School and began to pursue a musical career during his school years. When they were younger, he and his eight siblings formed a band called Mac 9. He comes from a musical family consisting of nine siblings and grew up at home surrounded almost exclusively by the sound of American gospel music.A.D.H.D. (2009). The track generated interest in McKenzie as a producer and songwriter, entailing Guy Moot of EMI Music Publishing to offer the artist a publishing deal.

 His brother, Mac 1 (who also goes by the name A-Star), is a producer, and introduced McKenzie to the art of creating music in his studio at the age of 15. Labrinth initially started his career by producing the track "Dead End" for British recording artist Master Shortie from the album 
From 2010 to 2011, Labrinth mentored the Urban Development Vocal Collective (UDVC) alongside his sister, ShezAr. He also produced multiple tracks for the collective, contributing towards a 9-track project titled Urban Development. The vocalists also provided backing vocals for Labrinth's original tracks. Other artists to collaborate with the collective include Wretch 32, Chip, Maverick Sabre and Devlin.
On 28 February 2010, McKenzie appeared as an uncredited guest artist on British rapper Tinie Tempah's debut single, "Pass Out" – having also produced and co-written the track. The single debuted at number-one on the UK Singles Chart, number seventy in Australia and number six on the Irish Singles Chart. Having spent two weeks at the summit in the United Kingdom, "Pass Out" was awarded Best British Single at the 2011 BRIT Awards and Best Contemporary Song at the 2011 Ivor Novello Awards, also achieving platinum certification from the British Phonographic Industry for surpassing sales of 600,000 copies. Several months later saw the two artists collaborate for a second time with the release of Tempah's second single, "Frisky" – again co-written and produced by McKenzie. The single debuted at number-two in the United Kingdom, beaten only by the charity single "Shout" featuring Dizzee Rascal and James Corden. The track saw chart success in Scotland, where it became the duo's second consecutive number-one single, also peaking at number three in Ireland.
Throughout 2010, McKenzie continued writing material for a number of high-profile artists, including Professor Green for the track "Oh My God" (Alive Till I'm Dead), Ola Svensson for the track "Let It Hit You" (Ola) and Loick Essien for "Love Drunk" (Identity).

2010–present: Signing to Syco and Electronic Earth

Whilst beginning work on his debut studio album in early 2011, Labrinth assisted several artists as a producer, including: Yasmin and the single "Finish Line" and Ms. Dynamite and her comeback single "Neva Soft". It was revealed in September 2011 that Labrinth was to appear on the Children in Need 2011 charity single, "Teardrop", a cover of the Massive Attack song by the same name. Under the name 'The Collective', Labrinth appeared as one of many artists assembled by Take That member Gary Barlow, which included Chipmunk, Wretch 32, Mz. Bratt, Dot Rotten, Rizzle Kicks, Ed Sheeran, Ms. Dynamite and Tulisa Contostavlos. The single, which was performed both at Children in Need 2011 and Children in Need Rocks Manchester on 17 November 2011 debuted at number twenty-four on the UK Singles Chart.Following chart success as a writer and producer, Labrinth was approached in June 2010 and signed to Simon Cowell's record label, Syco. The signing marked a milestone for the label, with McKenzie becoming the first signing in six years to have not arisen from one of Cowell's reality shows. Through Syco, Labrinth released his debut single "Let the Sun Shine" on 27 September 2010 in the United Kingdom. The track debuted at number three in the UK, also reaching number thirty-two in Ireland. 3 January 2011 saw the artist appear as a featured artist for a third time, credited to British rapper Devlin's single "Let It Go" – which saw limited chart success, peaking at number fifty-nine in the UK. And a remake of Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band's "Express Yourself."
Labrinth released his second single, "Earthquake" on 23 October 2011 – featuring long-term collaborator Tinie Tempah. The single debuted at number two on the UK chart with first week sales of 115,530 copies – the second highest selling number-two behind X Factor winners Little Mix and their cover of Damien Rice's "Cannonball". The track also saw international chart success, peaking at number twelve in Ireland, number five in New Zealand and number twenty-one in Australia;[16] achieving gold certification from the Australian Recording Industry Association and platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. In December 2011, Labrinth confirmed the release date of his debut studio album, Electronic Earth, which having originally been 12 March 2012 was pushed back until 2 April 2012. The album was preceded by a third single, "Last Time", which was released on 18 March 2012 as a four-track digital EP along side remixes from Knife Party and Gareth Emery.
On 23 May 2012, Labrinth performed at the Cheltenham racecourse to celebrate the occasion of the Olympic torch coming through Cheltenham. Labrinth performed at The University of Leeds' Summer Ball on 2 June 2012, supported by R&B act Angel, and Nottingham Trent University Graduation Ball on 9 June, at the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham. On 15 June, Labrinth performed at The University of Surrey End of Year Show. The event was held at Rubix, the University of Surrey's very own club. Yasmin, was his support act on the evening. On 29 June, Labrinth performed at VG-lista top 20 in Norway in front of a crowd consisting of 90,000 people. Labrinth also performed at GFest in Preston on 8 September 2012 to celebrate Preston Guild 2012. The song "Beneath Your Beautiful", which features Emeli Sandé was released as the albums sixth single and peaked at No 1 in November 2012.
On 25 December 2012, Labrinth released the Atomic EP for free download via SoundCloud. It features Plan B, Devlin, Wretch 32, Ed Sheeran, Maxsta, Lady Leshurr and Etta Bond among others.

Other ventures

Odd Child Recordings

In addition to McKenzie's signing to Simon Cowell's record label Syco, he also made a deal to create his own imprint label within Syco, which he named Odd Child Recordings. The record label title comes from its purpose: to locate and nurture young and upcoming artists. It was revealed on 5 July 2011 that Odd Child made its first signing with singer Etta Bond. Writing material for her debut release, Bond worked with producer DaVinChe – having already uploaded the demo singles "Ask Me to Stay" and "Come Over". Bond also made an appearance on British rapper Wretch 32's second studio album, Black and White, on the track "Forgiveness" – which was released on 11 December 2011 as a single.
Bond and fellow Odd Child signing Raf Riley released a free collaboration EP as ExR on 20 July 2012 called Emergency Room, featuring the previously unreleased demo "Ask Me To Stay" alongside 7 other tracks. The EP includes the promotional single "Boring Bitches", featuring Lady Leshurr. The video was produced by Reuben Dangoor  alongside the EP artwork, and received mixed opinions due to the controversial content shown in the video. The EP received support from many notable artists, including Labrinth, Diplo, Professor Green and Mike Skinner among others. "Resolve" was released in the form of a promotional video in December 2012. Both the video and artwork were made by Dangoor again.
Bond has since collaborated with the likes of Plan B on "Playing with Fire"; Devlin on "Love Cards"; Labrinth on "Under the Knife"; LifeLines on "Condition"; Josh Osho on "Saved Me"; Warren Xclnce on "Examine Me" and an original track with Fred Cox titled "Thirs D".

On 26 July 2013, ExR released the music video for "Big Girl's Vogue", the first promotional single from their second EP Meds. The eight-track EP was released for free download on 8 August 2013.