This UK male vocal quartet's urban R&B-flavoured pop proved a big success on the UK charts in the late 90s. The band, comprising former Brit School alumni Dane Bowers and Wayne Williams alongside Bobak Kianoush and Mark Baron, were keen not to be misinterpreted as another manufactured boy band. Their demo was originally heard by US rapper Jay-Z, who in turn passed it onto the newly formed Northwestside label (which had recently been granted the non-US license for distributing artists on Jay-Z's Roc-A-Fella Records). The band was signed by Northwestside in March 1997, and was eagerly marketed as purveyors of slick UK urban R&B with great crossover potential. Their debut single 'Be Alone No More', featuring a cameo performance from Jay-Z, climbed to UK number 6 in March 1998. Their big breakthrough came with a cover version of Silk's 1993 US number 1 hit 'Freak Me', which topped the UK charts in July 1998. 'Guess I Was A Fool' reached number 5 in November, and by the end of the year the band was confirmed as having sold more UK singles in 1998 than any newcomers apart from B*witched and LeAnn Rimes.
Their self-titled debut album was released in November. Reasserting their street credentials, the group collaborated with Ghostface Killah of the Wu-Tang Clan on 'I Want You For Myself, a UK number 2 hit single in January 1999. 'From The Heart', taken from the soundtrack to the film Notting Hill, earned the quartet another Top 10 single during the summer. After two further UK Top 10 hits, 'Summertime' (featuring US rapper TQ) and 'Bomb Diggy', the quartet split-up to work on other projects. Bowers' involvement in the UK garage scene generated several solo hits and 'Out Of Your Mind', a collaboration with True Steppers and Victoria Beckham of the Spice Girls.
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