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Music / Mutya Buena

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She's just a Real Girl.

Mutya Buena (born Rosa Isabel Mutya Buena, May 21, 1985) is an English Soul/R&B recording artist who was a member of the Girl Group Sugababes from 1998 to December 21, 2005 (citing "personal reasons" for her departure, most likely to do with infighting and political strife as well as becoming a new mother). She attained four number one singles with the group with six top-ten hits and three multi-platinum albums. One of those albums, Three, contained a song Mutya dedicated to her late sister entitled "Maya".

In 2007 Buena released her only solo effort, Real Girl. Every inch a blue-eyed soul album (save for "Song4Mutya" which was a dance track produced by Groove Armada), it peaked at number ten in the UK charts and was certified Gold. However, the commercial failure of the last two singles released from the album meant that Buena was dropped from her label, Universal, in early 2008. She later released a few singles from an album with the working title Mutya Mk II but after the commercial failures of all tracks released the album was shelved. In 2010 she contributed vocals to the tribute album Sound of Camden and expressed a desire to quit music and become a child psychologist.

The same year, Buena launched a claim for ownership of the original Sugababes name with former bandmates Keisha Buchanan and Siobhán Donaghy, but ultimately only walked away with the right to use it on stationery and paper products. Because of this her reformation with the original Sugababes has lead to them using the name Mutya Keisha Siobhan instead.

In addition to her career as a musician Buena has also appeared on the Celebrity Edition of Big Brother UK.



  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Her social network accounts read like a twelve-year-old hijacked them, but there's no mistaking Mutya's vocal prowess.
  • Camera Fiend: If her Instagram is anything to go by.
  • Cover Version: Sound of Camden, targeted towards the "Camden Town" crowd, is full of these. Some include "Zombie" by The Cranberries, "Come As You Are" by Nirvana, "Creep" by Radiohead and "Sunday Bloody Sunday" by U2.
  • Drugs Are Bad: The song "Strung Out" is about a teenage flame who becomes addicted to drugs and suffers a subsequent downward spiral before dying towards the end of the song.
  • Emotionless Girl: Portrayed herself as this while in Sugababes.
  • New Sound Album: Mutya Mk II was meant to be this to Real Girl, with more of a dance/electropop focus.
  • Real Life Writes The Music: "Song4Mutya", while denied by the song's writers (apparently the song was originally written under the Working Title "Song4Estelle"), can be viewed as a Take That! to the Sugababes lineup after Mutya had left.
    Sat there with some new girl, what is this!
    (Don't panic panic Mutya, don't drive erratic, hey!)
    That's who has replaced me? What a diss!
    (Don't panic panic, don't act too manic manic)
  • The Quiet One: She only speaks in interviews when she really needs to.
  • Retraux: The entirety of Real Girl hearkens back to old-school soul.
  • Sampling: The song "Real Girl" samples Lenny Kravitz's "It Ain't Over Till It's Over". "B Boy Baby" also samples The Ronettes' "Be My Baby".
  • Self-Backing Vocalist
  • Special Guest: Her album Real Girl contains duets with George Michael and Amy Winehouse.
  • This Is a Song: "My Song".
  • Younger Than They Look:
    • From looking at the cover of Real Girl, it's hard to believe that Mutya was only 22 at the time.
    • With her smoky old-school vocals, it's fair to say she's younger than she sounds too.