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Clean Bandit are a British Pop music band, formed in Cambridge in 2008. The band consists of members Grace Chatto, and brothers Jack and Luke Patterson.[3] To begin with, many of their projects were known for blending elements of both classical and electronic music featuring guest vocalists. As the band continued to develop their sound, adapting it into a dance-pop style they have gained popularity around the world and are now considered one of the best British Pop Bands. Notable collaborators include MARINA, Demi Lovato, Jess Glynne, Anne Marie, Sean Paul, Zara Larsson, Julia Michaels, Luis Fonsi and Ellie Goulding.

Clean Bandit
Clean Bandit.jpg
Clean Bandit at a concert for young volunteers of the National Citizen Service in June 2013
Background information
OriginCambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
Years active2012–present
Associated acts
Past members
  • Ssegawa-Ssekintu Kiwanuka[1]
  • Neil Amin-Smith[2]

The band released their debut single "A+E" in 2012, followed by their 2013 single "Mozart's House", the latter of which reached number 17 on the UK Singles Chart. In January 2014, they scored their first UK chart topping single with "Rather Be", a collaboration with Jess Glynne. The song also reached number ten on the US Billboard Hot 100.[4] In 2015, the song won the Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording.[5] The band's debut album New Eyes was released in June 2014 and has received a gold certification from the BPI. Their 2016 single "Rockabye", which features Jamaican artist Sean Paul and singer Anne-Marie, became their second number one hit in the UK and the Christmas number one single for 2016. The song became an international chart topper for the band, additionally charting at number nine in the US.[6] "Symphony" featuring Zara Larsson became their third UK number one single in 2017. Their second album, What Is Love?, was released in November 2018. As of 2016, Clean Bandit have sold over 13 million singles and 1.6 million albums worldwide.[7]



2008–12: OriginsEdit

Band members Grace Chatto, Jack Patterson, Ssegawa-Ssekintu Kiwanuka and Neil Amin-Smith met while studying as undergraduates at Jesus College, University of Cambridge.[8] At the time, Amin-Smith, who attended Westminster School[9] was leading a string quartet together with Chatto, who attended The Latymer School.[10] In 2011, Chatto and Jack Patterson formed their own film production company, Cleanfilm, to make music videos for themselves and other artists.[8]

The original vocalist, Ssegawa-Ssekintu Kiwanuka or "Love Ssega", who features on two of the band's first songs, "A+E" and "Mozart's House" left the group in the early days to undertake a PhD in laser analytics.

The band's name, Clean Bandit, comes from a translation of a Russian phrase; the meaning is similar to the English phrase "complete bastard", though Patterson later stated that it is actually a more affectionate term similar to "utter rascal".[11][12]

As the group began to work together in a more professional manner, Luke Patterson, the brother of founding member Jack, joined the band when he was 14 to play drums.

2012–13: First SongsEdit

Clean Bandit, along with singers Florence Rawlings and Elisabeth Troy, at Way Out West in Gothenburg, Sweden, August 2014.

In December 2012, Clean Bandit released their debut single "A+E", which peaked at number 100 on the UK Singles Chart. In March 2013, they released their second single "Mozart's House". The song peaked at number 17 on the UK Singles Chart. Their third single "Dust Clears" charted at number 43 in the UK.

2014 - 15: New Eyes and Rather BeEdit

The band's fourth single "Rather Be" featuring Jess Glynne was released on in January 2014 and topped the UK Singles Chart. It was the fastest-selling song released in January since 1996 and ended 2014 as the year's second best-selling song in the UK (behind "Happy" by Pharrell Williams), selling over 1.13 million copies.[13] "Rather Be" also reached number one in Austria, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, whilst charting at number ten on the US Billboard Hot 100. In April 2014, the band made their TV debut on BBC's Later... with Jools Holland.[14] The following month, they announced a 14-date headline tour of the UK.[15] The band's debut studio album New Eyes, was released in June 2014 by Atlantic Records UK.[16] In September 2014, they performed with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra at MediaCityUK.[17][18] In November, the band collaborated again with Jess Glynne, on their single "Real Love". It reached number two on the UK Singles Chart.[19] The same month, the band performed as part of the charity group Band Aid 30 alongside other British and Irish pop acts, recording the latest version of the track "Do They Know It's Christmas?" to raise money for the 2014 Ebola crisis in West Africa.[20]

In February 2015, "Rather Be" won the Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards.[21] The group recorded a 30-piece orchestral version of "Rather Be" at Abbey Road Studios for Marks & Spencer's Christmas 2015 advertising campaign.[22]

2016 – 18: Neil Amin-Smith's departure and succession of singlesEdit

Grace Chatto of Clean Bandit with Elisabeth Troy at FIB 2015.

In May 2016, the band released the lead single "Tears" from their second studio album, featuring The X Factor 2015 winner Louisa Johnson. The single was a combination of electronic sounds and strings, coming together to give a fast and upbeat dance-pop song about getting over someone after the end of a relationship. "Tears" peaked at number five in the UK, following a performance on Britain's Got Talent.[23]

In October 2016, it was announced that violinist and pianist Neil Amin-Smith had decided to leave Clean Bandit.[24][25] Neil announced his departure on Twitter, stating that he had made the decision to leave for many reasons, including a dislike for spending so much time away from family and friends on tour. In his message he uploaded to twiter, Neil said he has had the best time touring and playing to all the band's fans and he thanked the group's production team and touring vocalists Elizabeth Troy and Florence Rawlings however did not mention the names of his three fellow band members.

Two days later, the group released their first song without Amin-Smith: "Rockabye", which features rapper Sean Paul and singer Anne-Marie. The single is another dance peice focusing on the love of a single mother to her six year old child. "Rockabye" became their second number one hit in the UK,[26] and remained at the top spot for nine weeks. It went on to become the Christmas number one single for 2016.[27][28] The song also reached number one in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland. It additionally charted at number nine on the US Billboard Hot 100.[29]

In March 2017, the trio released "Symphony", a collaboration with Swedish singer Zara Larsson. The single is a ballad and is said to be about the love of music and one another. The song topped the UK Singles Chart, becoming the group's third number one single in the country.[30][31] They gave their first live performance of the song on The Voice UK[32] and later went on their second North American Tour with Zara Larrson, having "Symphony" headline their tour and performing it on many U.S National TV shows including "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" and "Live with Kellyand Ryan". In June, the band released the studio version of "Disconnect" with Marina and the Diamonds. The track was previously performed at the 2015 Coachella Festival and was released following messages and threats by fans.

Clean Bandit on stage in Rome on 28 June 2017.

In October 2017, the band announced the single "I Miss You", featuring renowned songwriter Julia Michaels. The single is a slow piano song with a dance infused chorus. It charted within the top five of the UK and has been certified platinum.

In May 2018, the band released the second album's fifth single, "Solo", featuring vocals from Demi Lovato. This single was the band’s first song released around the summer period and has a Spanish feel. It is the first of the group's songs to use guitar, which later become the main sound heard on there second studio album. It topped the charts in the UK the following month and has received a platinum certification in the country.[33]

In November 2018, the sixth single "Baby" was released, featuring MARINA and Luis Fonsi.[34] The single marked the announcemeant of the band's second studio album "What is Love?". The song has a strong latin vibe throughout mixing the unique sound of MARINA with a upbeat verse of rap from Luis Fonsi. The single is the band's first song to not feature a string part from both cello and violin and the single sees the introduction of Chatto's second instrument, the Keytar. The song peaked at number 15 on the UK Singles Chart.

2018 – current: What is Love?Edit

In November 2018, it was announced that the band would release their second studio album titled "What is Love?" with Grace Chatto telling listeners they are meant to be able to listen to each song and answer the question of what love is by the end of the song.

The album boasted many big name collaborations including Ellie Goulding, Rita Ora, Stefflon Don, Craig David, ALMA and Charli XCX as well as features for the band's touring vocalists Yasmin Green and Kirsten Joy.

The album received a generally good reception however some fans were left disappointed as there was no string parts in any of the new songs on the album. The general idea was that violins had been replaced by guitars which some fans found disappointing as this is what the band had been known for.

Live toursEdit

After the release of the group’s first studio album "New Eyes"and the global success of their hit single "Rather Be" the band quickly started to tour around the world playing many big festivals.

The band have toured North America twice, once in 2015 and once in 2017. The band were due to have another tour of North America in 2018, however had to cancel due to medical reasons sourronding Luke Patterson.

From 2013 to 2016, the band toured around the world as the current trio with former member Neil Amin-Smith, Florence Rawlings and Elizabeth Troy, playing big name events such as Glastonbury and BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend.

After the departure of Neil, the trio introduced a new line up of band mates to join them touring. The new musicians were Sam Skirrow on bass, Stephanie Bennedetti on violin and pop singers Kirsten Joy and Yasmin Green on vocals.

Clean Bandit then went on tour to America and Canada again in 2017 with Zara Larrson playing to million of views across live TV as well as many sold out venues.

The band now tour regular across the world, mainly to audiences in the U.K., Europe and Asia. The group change their set list and running order massively from year to year and are currently performing all their big hits from the two albums as well as their favourite lesser known songs.

In 2019, the group unveiled a completely new stage layout and running order, putting emphasis on dance with big remixes at the end of almost every song including "Symphony", "Rockabye", "Mama", "Stronger" and "Tears".

Music styleEdit

Clean Bandit began their career as an electronic,[35][36][37][38][39] classical crossover,[40][41][42][43][44] electropop[45][46][47][48][49] and dance-pop[50][51][52][53][54] band. The band started by mixing electronic music with classical pieces by composers such as Mozart and Shostakovich.[11] As the band have developed their style they have become renowned for their dance-pop work becoming known as a British pop band.

Political viewsEdit

In May 2017, Clean Bandit endorsed the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn in the 2017 UK general election.[55] In June, the band supported a Labour Party rally in Birmingham.[56] In June 2018, they headlined the Labour Live festival in London.


Former members

  • Neil Amin-Smith – violin, piano (2008–2016)
  • Ssegawa-Ssekintu Kiwanuka – vocals (2008–2010)

Former Touring Memebers

  • Patrick Greenberg – bass (2010–2016)
  • Braimah Kanneh-Mason – violin (2016–2017)
  • Nikki Cislyn – vocals (2012–2013)
  • Florence Rawlings – vocals (2013–2016)
  • Elisabeth Troy – vocals (2013–2016)
  • Ezinma - violin (2017)
  • David Gane – drums, percussion (2018)[58]
  • Molly Fletcher – violin (2018)


Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Awards Category Recipient Outcome
Best Dance Video - Budget
Best Pop Video - Budget
"Telephone Banking"
Best Electronic/Dance Act
"Clean Bandit"
Song of the Year
Best English Language Song
British Group
"Clean Bandit"
British Single of the Year
"Rather Be"
International Work of the Year
Most Performed Work
Best Contemporary Song
Top Dance/Electronic Artist
"Clean Bandit"
Top Dance/Electronic Song
"Rather Be"
Modern Pop/Rock Album of the Year
British Single of the Year
British Video
Best Song
Best Dance/Electronic Song
Gaygalan Awards
International Song of the Year
International Song of the Year
International Hit of the Year
International Duo/Group of the Year
Clean Bandit
Best Group
Mass Appeal Award
Best Group
British Single of the Year
British Video of the Year
Gaygalan Awards[61]
Best International Song of the Year
Danish GAFFA Awards[62]
Best International Song of the Year
Sweden GAFFA Awards[63]
Best Swedish Song of the Year
P3 Guld Awards[64]
Song of the Year
Scandipop Awards[65]
Best Dance/Pop Song
Pop Awards[66]
Song Of The Year Award
Winning EDM Songs
Winning Hot 100 Songs
Best Global Track
Top Dance/Electronic Song
Choice Electronic/Dance Song
Best Collaboration
Best World Stage
Clean Bandit
Best British Group
Best Group
Best British Artist or Group
Best Song
British Single of the Year
British Video of the Year
Swedish GAFFA Awards[72]
International Song of the Year


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External linksEdit