Simon Cowell knows more than a little something about how to succeed in the music business, so when Labrinth became the first non-talent show artist in six years to be signed to Cowell’s label, it rightfully made headlines.
Born Timothy McKenzie, the London-based Labrinth first emerged as a triple-threat artist in 2008 when he wrote, produced, and sang on rapper Master Shortie’s 2008 track “Dead End.” A year later he was working with U.K. R&B artists Tinchy Stryder and Chipmunk but it was 2010 when he really broke, beginning with his guest spot on Tinie Tempah’s smash hit “Frisky.” His remix of the Gorillaz' “Stylo” landed that same year and soon labels were offering Labrinth behind-the-scenes songwriting and production deals, but Cowell saw it differently. Early in the summer it was announced the American Idol and X-Factor producer had signed Labrinth as an artist to his Syco imprint. Labrinth’s debut single for the label, "Let the Sunshine," arrived in August of that year. At the beginning of 2011, Labrinth started work on his debut album. Juggling production work for the likes of Ms. Dynamite and working on the BBC Children In Need’s 2011 charity single Teardrop, the first new material from Labrinth first saw the light of day in October 2011. The single, Earthquake -- a collaboration with Tinie Tempah -- debuted on the UK singles chart at number 2. Six months later, in April 2012, Labrinth’s debut album Electronic Earth was released. ~ David Jeffries, Rovi