Mutya/Keisha/Siobhan (or "MKS" for short) are an English Girl Group whose members are Mutya Buena, Keisha Buchanan and Siobhán Donaghy. They were previously the first incarnation of the Sugababes, active from 1998-2001 before Siobhan Donaghy left the group.
The announcement of their reformation via Twitter, Facebook and pop music site Popjustice on July 20, 2012 ended almost a year of speculation over whether the group were recording material for an upcoming album. They signed to Polydor Records in March/April 2012 (through a one million-pound deal) and registered their new name via the European Union on June 27, 2012.
So far it's been confirmed that the trio have worked with:
- Scottish singer Emeli Sande
- Singer-songwriter and producer MNEK (who previously wrote "All Fired Up" for The Saturdays and has since gone on to become famous in his own right as an artist)
- Future Cut (who produced for Lily Allen, Shakira and Stooshe among many others)
- Mojam (production team whose members were in the pop group Blazin' Squad)
- Biffco (production team headed by Spice Girls songwriter Richard Biff Stannard)
- Shaznay Lewis (songwriter and former member of All Saints)
- Xenomania (long-time production team of Girls Aloud, spearheaded by Brian Higgins who single-handedly brought the group back together)
- Dev Hynes (known for his solo projects Lightspeed Champion and Blood Orange, as well as his work with Florence + the Machine, Sky Ferreira and Solange)
However, there are rumours that the group also worked with Craze & Hoax, Asterix, Naughty Boy, Katy B and Professor Green. However, despite several years of writing and recording sessions, an album has not eventuated (most likely because of legal disputes).
They now have an official website, and they can also be found on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube, as well as many, many other social networking sites. (Seriously, it would probably be a job to list them all.)
In 2019, the group managed to regain the rights to the Sugababes name and brand, meaning that the MKS brand is defunct and they're now operating as the original Sugababes line-up.
Note: Any tropes or information pertaining to Mutya Keisha Siobhan (ie the output of the reformed original lineup), not Sugababes, must go here. Any tropes pertaining to the group when they were still known as "Sugababes" must go on the Sugababes page.
- One Touch (as Sugababes) (2000)
Confirmed Recorded Songs:
- Back In The Day (Described by Siobhan as "our TLC moment")
- Beat Is Gone (Described by Keisha as "inspired" by the sound of Jessie Ware)
- Boys (Described as "EDM" — an acapella clip of the song can be viewed here, and a teeny three-second soundbite of the studio version can be heard here)
- Break My Heart
- Burnt Out (Written and produced by Tom Aspaul, who ultimately kept the track for himself and released his own version some time after MKS recorded their demo version of the song)
- Drum (Which is an "afrobeat" number, apparently inspired by the sound of Rihanna)
- Entertainment, a "remix" they supplied vocals for
- Flatline (A Dev Hynes track which served as the first single from the ultimately-shelved first version of the album)
- I'm Alright
- I Lay Down (Presumably the reworked version of Lay Down in Swimming Pools)
- Lay Down In Swimming Pools (a track done with Dev Hynes "for fun" and later released to Soundcloud - notable as their first ever publicly-released full-length recording)
- Light Up (a "90s throwback jam")
- Love in Stereo
- Love Like This (written with Sande)
- Love Me Hard
- Metal Heart
- No Regrets (The first track the group recorded)
- Only You
- Summer of '99
- Three More Days
- Too In Love (One of the first tracks the group recorded, produced by Xenomania - James Arthur re-recorded it for his own album as "Get Down" in 2013)
- Victory (A song written with Sia)
- You Make It Happen
- The Alcoholic: Going off the original version by Kendrick Lamar, "Lay Down in Swimming Pools" is all about alcoholism.
- Bastard Boyfriend: Metal Heart
- Beach Episode: The video for "Flatline" takes place on Venice Beach in LA.
- Break-Up Song: "Boys" is a cross of the "Over You" and "Don't Want You Back" varieties.
- "Flatline", Beat is Gone and Burnt Out are about dying relationships.
- Im Alright is about living life after an abusive relationship.
- Call-Back: As well as performing songs from One Touch (and even from later albums), it was heavily implied at one point that the group were going to call themselves "Suga". It's probably better that they changed it ...
- Back in the Day is one big Call Back to the groups earliest years.
- Cannot Keep a Secret: In 2011-early 2012, Mutya and Siobhan began exchanging tweets about missing a bus. Keisha then said something along the lines of "aren't we supposed to be keeping this [reunion] a secret?"
- Cover Version: The girls performed a cover of Rihanna's hit single "Diamonds" at a New Year's Eve party in London.
- Cowboy Be Bop At His Computer: The general public are still quick to call them "Sugababes". Certainly doesn't help that in a late-2012 interview Keisha stated that their new music will sound like Sugababes.
- After releasing msusic as MKS, there is a rumour that they finally have the rights to the Sugababes name and will be realising any future music as Sugababes.
- Deliberately Monochrome: A good portion of their reunion photos from July 2012 have this trope in practice.
- Dream Team: As well as all the writers and producers the girls have been working with, the group share a publicist with Britney Spears.
- Gaslighting: Im Alright is about leaving a relationship involving this.
- Ironic Echo: During the Popjustice interview:Keisha: Mutya, can I just say something? I found a link the other day which I really want to show you. Its a clip of you when youre 16 and they ask you why we came up with the name Sugababes. And you go: Well we had to have a band name because we couldnt have people just calling us Mutya, Keisha, Siobhan. (Everyone laughs)
- Intercourse with You: Drum, Love Me Hard
- Love Nostalgia Song: Summer of 99, Love in Stereo, Beat is Gone
- Ode to Intoxication: Lay Down in Swimming Pools
- Ode to Youth: Back in the Day discusses the time when MKS were just starting out as Sugababes at the age of 14, recording songs in their school uniforms and navigating teenage dramas at the same time.
- Summer of 99 is a more general youth nostalgia song.
- Open Secret: Though some people were genuinely surprised at the news of the group's forming, for almost an entire year rumours persisted that the "Origibabes" would reunite. This was supported with arguably strong evidence such as Mutya and Keisha tweeting that they were with "two other ladies" at the time of recording and information leaking about their management and record deals, as well as Mutya's court case against the current Sugababes over use of the name.
- Power Ballad: No Regrets. Today does a fake-out version of this, beginning with strings before kicking into an EDM/trip-hop styled production.
- Power Trio
- Putting the Band Back Together: The original lineup released an album, One Touch, in 2000 (it featured the singles "Overload" and "Run For Cover"). However, due to tensions within the group Siobhan left in 2001. Mutya and Keisha stayed in the group after their management secretly recruited former Atomic Kitten member Heidi Range to take Siobhan's place under the guise of "open auditions", but in late 2005 Mutya left after more disagreements within the group (as well as depression resulting from her newfound motherhood). After Keisha was fired from Sugababes in 2009, a reunion was considered but soon shelved. However, in 2011 the three members decided to come together to record some songs, and MKS was born before resetting as the Sugababes officially in 2019.
- Real Soon Now / Development Hell: Twelve years between projects aside, a single was promised at the end of Summer 2012, but nothing eventuated (possibly due to them firing their manager). However, the album's production is still in "full steam ahead" mode, as the three members frequently post pictures of their recording sessions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- Saved from Development Hell: Their debut single proper was finally released September 2013. The album proper, on the other hand ...
- Self Empowerment Anthem: Victory, Im Alright, Today
- Refrain from Assuming: Apparently "Flatline" was almost a case of this, as the original title for the song was "Jimmy". The word "flatline" appears prominently within the chorus, whereas the mention of "Jimmy" is only barely noticeable within the middle eight.
- Sampling: "Lay Down In Swimming Pools" interpolates the melody and the chorus from the Kendrick Lamar track "Swimming Pools (Drank)".
- Soprano and Gravel: An all-female example. Mutya is the Gravel to Keisha and Siobhan's respective Soprano voices.
- Song Style Shift: In the final 30 seconds of Drum, it stops being a percussive Afrobeat dance track and instead dissolves into hazy synths as Siobhan sings her (brief) verse.
- Token Trio: Working in the same manner as their former group, Sugababes, each member represents a different ethnicity; Siobhan is white (Irish ancestry), Keisha is black (Jamaican ancestry) and Mutya is mixed (Filipina-Chinese-Irish ancestry). Their manager in the 1990s, Ron Tom, likened their appearance to the United Colors of Benetton campaign.
- The Unreveal: In early 2012, both Mutya and Keisha tweeted about "being in the studio" with two females and Professor Green.
"@ studio wit professor green in tha building and two beautiful ladies"
- Mutya tweeted:
"Hanging out in the studio with @professorgreen and two lovely ladies with bags of talent :-p lol".
- While Keisha wrote:
"No track [with] keisha or professor G he was around tha studio. im jus workin on my stuff @ tha moment".
- However Mutya later denied this, saying in response to a fan:
- Vocal Evolution: Obviously, since the ladies aren't 15 - 17 years old anymore. Siobhan's tone is now fuller and richer, while Mutya's is darker and more expressive. However, it was arguably Keisha whose voice changed the most out of the three: In the group's early years she was a higher-register soprano, now her voice has deepened enough for her to become a mezzo-soprano (though she can still easily hit high notes).
- Writing Around Trademarks: The group couldn't use the name "Sugababes" until 2019 because the group that consisted of Heidi Range, Amelle Berrabah and Jade Ewen legally had that name under their record label.
- However, since the official Sugababes fell off the radar presumably for good, Keisha and Mutya started quietly acquiring the rights for the name. Keisha owns the rights to use the name in America, and Mutya owns the rights to use it on some merchandise in the UK. The group officially regained all the rights for the name in 2019.