MORE than it being a badge of honour, it seems that the only way to succeed in the X Factor is to get dumped out of the show early, or at the very least not win the damn thing. The modern pop landscape is littered with music competition winners who went on to sink without trace.
Take last year’s series, which featured singer-songwriter Lucy Spraggan, who had the good sense to quit and has subsequently became a success. Similarly, urban pop duo MK1, who were voted out in week three, have shown what a more interesting proposition they are since they shed the cosy sound they adopted for the show.
Whatever rough urban edges they had were softened by their mentor Louis Walsh, but the pair — Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Rundle and Simeon ‘Sim’ Dixon — bear neither the show or the Irish impresario any ill will.
“We’re most definitely and most certainly grateful for the experience we had and the exposure it gave us but at the same time we are happy now to move on,” says Rundle.
“We still talk a lot about it. I will say it is the thing I have spoken about most in the last year but that can be expected. But yeah, we are happy to move on from it now.”
The pair were introduced through a mutual friend. Rundle had left her native Cornwall and moved to London when she was offered a writing contract. After spending two-and-a-half years song-writing and performing in bars and clubs on her own she connected with Dixon.
“We just got talking about our music interests,” he says, “and how much we want to do this music thing, and after all of that it was like, ‘Let’s get in the studio tomorrow’.
“So we got in the studio the following day and started to cut a few tracks. And literally from the minute Charlie’s voice was on the same song with my raps and stuff it was just like such a match. It was something where we felt we can’t ignore this. We have to pursue this and take MK1 as far as possible — where it needs to go. So our chemistry is based around that. Music really brought us together and everything else around it is just cool friends.”
Currently working on their debut album, the pair have enlisted the likes of Rob Davis (Kylie Minogue), Jake Gosling (Ed Sheeran/Wiley etc.) and urban producer Skripture.
“We’ll still keep our core element,” says Dixon. “You will know straight away that we’re a pop urban act. However, the kinda concepts that we’ll be dealing with are very edgy and a bit leftfield as opposed to just being what the norm is in the charts at the moment.”
Adds Rundle: “The most important thing for me about the album is portraying the fact that me and Sim are musicians as well. We’re not just like a manufactured pop act.
“We have worked so hard to come from the roots upwards and we’ve been working. I can play so many instruments and sing in so many different styles and Sim can flow on so many different beats. We really wanted to come across that we’re not fixed in a one-way pop urban mould.”
*MMK 1 play an all-ages show at the Half Moon Theatre, Cork, at 6.30pm on Saturday.
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