Of course I remember them! I’m not embarrassed to say – I was an MN8 groupie! Not the type who would sleep with the band of course, but more the type who would try and be everywhere they are if possible. I was only about 17 at the time, so I won’t apologise for it dammit!
For those of you who may not remember, MN8 were a UK R&B group who burst on to the scene with their hit I’ve Got A Little Something For You which reached number two in the UK charts in 1995. KG, G-Man, Dee-Tails and Kule T went on to have a further six Top 30 singles and two albums, and even supported Janet Jackson on her tour.
My favourite member was KG – I seriously fancied him! What I also liked about them was that they seemed to be easily accessible. My friend and I were very proactive fans, so we would travel to the BBC studios every time we knew they would be appearing on Top of the Pops, and we managed to hang around long enough for KG to notice us and go and get us guest passes to the National Lottery Show where they were performing. Our best achievement was when we found out they were recording their second album in London, so one evening we decided to call every single recording studio in the Yellow Pages, until we found them. It sounds crazy but it worked! The person who answered the phone at one studio passed us on to to G-Man who invited us to go and chill with them the next day, so we did, a number of times. Oh to be young again…
Last year I read an online interview with KG on Digital Spy, which stated that he was now married (boo!) living in Sydney, Australia, and working on his own music. Being my favourite MN8-er and all, it was only right that I kept up with tradition contact him myself for an update and a short walk down memory lane…
What are you doing all the way in Australia??
After MN8 I just wanted to get away so I travelled a bit - NYC, Stockholm, and Tokyo, and I settled on Sydney. Today I work and live between Sydney and London.
When your deal with the label ended, did you all try and find another deal, or were you fed up of MN8 by then?
The timing of our decision to move on and the end of our contract was purely coincidental. We felt we’d been viewed and had functioned as one entity for so long that we needed to be individuals for a while. There were no immediate plans to find a new home.
I noticed back then that in shows or photo shoots, all the guys would go topless at some point, except you… WHY??
If you notice – in the beginning only G-man would take his shirt off. It was just his thing, his personality. G would often go shirtless in public long before MN8 - why not? He had abs for days. Me, I always felt that less is more and while I kept in okay shape and did one or two of shirtless shoots, I just didn’t make a habit of it.
How did people you all knew, before the group started, react to your success? Did you have haters?
Yes, haters come with any level of success. Saying that, for most part the people we knew before MN8 were quite supportive when we became successful. What was interesting was how the ‘new friends’ we met at the top fell off when we weren’t as hot - that was very interesting indeed.
So you’re working on your solo stuff now, right? What type of sound are you going for?
The music I make today is contemporary – futuristic R&B + dance. I’ve changed a lot as an artist and a vocalist. In MN8 each of us would play a role, sing as instructed and pull back; the focus was to make edgy 90′s pop music. As a solo artist, and an experienced producer/ writer - I make sure my music has a little more swagger and the vocals are a little more dymamic, soulful and in line with my influences today.
Will you be releasing your material for the Aussie market, or will you come back to the UK?
I haven’t really got any plans to release directly in Australia. While some pockets of Australia have a sophisticated R&B ear and following, I come to Oz for the surf, sun, anonymity, space and not much else.
When I think about it MN8 and Damage were the only UK groups of their kind back in the 90s. Have you been able to keep up with the current UK scene, e.g. have you seen JLS, and what do you think? They’re a bit like the sons of MN8…
Yeah I have kept up with the UK scene. It’s funny - I recall when Backstreet Boys came out, then *NSYNC. Execs and members of the press would tell us they were modelled on us – blue-eyed version of MN8 – with their swagger and ‘I’ve Got…’-esque sound. However, while we’d like to take credit for influencing them, these bands went on to develop their own sounds and inspire others. So while JLS may smack of MN8 at the moment, they will go on to define themselves in much the same way. In any case I hope they do really well and make a lot of money.
Are you still in touch with the other guys? What are they up to – also married family men?
Yeah, we keep in touch. I spoke to G-man recently for the first time in a while, and it was good to touch base. G is still making music, managing artists etc. Dee-Tails is acting and into filmmaking. T is still making music and is settled.
In this age of boyband reunions, have MN8 considered it?
Yes - I’ve been speaking to G-man, Deetails and T and we are nutting something out - we’ll see what happens…
Is there anything you look back on or think about that now makes you cringe?
Looking back, there are a lot more pluses than minuses. As time passes I feel MN8 was very cool for what it was (or should I say is…)
Anything you’d like to add?
Nothing other than it’s been a pleasure to assist.
Just so you all know, KG and I are now best friends.*
*That’s a lie