Uzoechi Osisioma "Uzo" Emenike (born 9 November 1994), professionally known as MNEK (//, EM-ən-EE-kay), is a British singer and Brit and Grammy-award-winning songwriter and record producer. He has been nominated for a Grammy and he received the ASCAP Vanguard Award.. His writing and production credits range from people including H.E.R., Jax Jones, Zara Larsson, Little Mix, Dua Lipa, The Saturdays, Clean Bandit, Julia Michaels, Craig David, Christina Aguilera, Years and Years, Beyoncé and Madonna.
|Birth name||Uzoechi Osisioma Emenike|
|Also known as||MNEK|
|Born||9 November 1994|
Lewisham, London, England
|Origin||Bellingham, London, England, Nigeria|
In an interview with Build LDN, MNEK talked about his introduction into music and the industry and how, at first, he didn't even know what a publisher was. He stated, "I started writing poems and writing songs around the age of 8 or 7 and I started playing around with production software from really young as well. I then put some stuff up on Myspace finally when I was 14. There were two songs I had. I sent them out to all my favourite artists on Myspace and it just landed on this artist at the time called CocknBullKid, but she's now Anita Blay and she's an amazing songwriter. She was like "Okay, cool. I'm just gonna send this to my publisher" and at the time I had no idea what a publisher was. So she sent it and that was that and it became this flurry of people wanting to be my publisher and then that was me in the industry, but then I've had to grow in the industry at the same time - I've been learning on the job - because I was still in school and all that stuff. I was managing how to work that around it because my parents weren't gonna let me leave school."
In 2011, when he was 16, he began writing and working with production group Xenomania and contributed to Florrie's 2011 extended play Experiments, which first labelled him professionally as a songwriter. Shortly after, his work with Xenomania earned him his break out when he worked with top acts The Saturdays and The Wanted. He also released his debut single "If Truth Be Told" in November of that year.
In 2012, he worked with singer and songwriter A*M*E on her debut single "City Lights", featuring MNEK's brother Bartoven, and she became one of MNEK's first affiliates. In February, he was labelled as a featured performer on Rudimental's single "Spoons", slongside Syron. The song features on their 2013 debut album Home, where he also featured on the song "Baby", slongside Sinead Harnett, and also worked on the songs "Hell Could Freeze" and "Hide".
In 2013, MNEK contributed to the song "Need U (100%)", featuring A*M*E, and became his biggest contribution since working with The Saturdays. He was also labelled one of 15 artists to make BBC's Sound of 2014 long list.
2014–2015: Small TalkEdit
In January 2014, he featured on Gorgon City's single "Ready for Your Love". The song peaked to number 4 on the UK Singles Chart. On 20 April 2014, he premiered "Every Little Word" on 1Xtra, the "buzz" single from his debut studio album. On 9 May 2014, the remix EP, featuring Joe Goddard and Fred V & Grafix among others was released. Emenike has said we can expect to hear collaborations with Moko, Snakehips and Jimmy Napes on the record. The lead single "Wrote a Song About You" premiered on Annie Mac's BBC Radio 1 show on 13 June 2014. In June 2014, Oliver Heldens' track "Gecko (Overdrive)", which MNEK wrote, debuted at number one on both the UK Dance Chart and the UK Singles Chart. In 2014, he also worked with Madonna on her album, Rebel Heart, and produced the song "Feels So Good" by Kylie Minogue, from her album Kiss Me Once. On 22 July 2014, MNEK released the promotional single "In Your Clouds" as part of an iTunes Ones to Watch campaign. The song will feature on his debut studio album. His debut extended play (EP) Small Talk was released on 20 March 2015. In March 2015, JoJo announced that she worked with MNEK on her new studio album.
In September 2015, MNEK released "Never Forget You" with Swedish singer Zara Larsson. The single premiered as Annie Mac's Hottest Record on BBC Radio 1 and to date has been certified Platinum in the UK, 3× Platinum in Sweden, 2× Platinum in Australia and Denmark and Platinum in Norway. In the US, "Never Forget You" has been certified Platinum, reaching the number one spot on the Billboard Dance/Electronic Songs chart for three consecutive weeks and the top 10 of the national airplay chart.
2016–present: Songwriting breakthrough and LanguageEdit
After the success of his Zara Larsson collaboration, he began working with other artists as a songwriter, beginning with his contribution to Beyoncé's 2016 song "Hold Up". He also went on to form songwriting partnerships with artists including Becky Hill, Leo Kalyan, Shift K3Y, Ryan Ashley, Jax Jones, and Brayton Bowman.
In 2016, he released his first solo single since his debut extended play, entitled "At Night (I Think About You)". Shortly after, he also released a cover of the renowned Queen single "Don't Stop Me Now". "At Night (I Think About You)" peaked at number 87 on the UK Singles Chart. After releasing the song, he stated that he was recording and producing his debut album.
In February 2018, he teased the single "Tongue", which was revealed to be the lead single from his debut album, Language. He stated in an interview with Annie Mac[when?] that his album was finished and that he was mixing the album with mixing engineer Phil Tan. It was released on 7 September 2018.
MNEK is openly gay.
As lead artistEdit
|Single||Year||Peak chart positions||Ceritifications||Album|
|"If Truth Be Told"||2011||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Non-album single|
|"Don't Call This Love"||2014||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Every Little Word"||184||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Small Talk|
|"Wrote a Song About You"||66||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Never Forget You"
(with Zara Larsson)
|"At Night (I Think About You)"||2016||87||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—[A]||Non-album singles|
|"Don't Stop Me Now"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
(with Riton featuring House Gospel Choir)
(featuring Hailee Steinfeld)
|"Stopped Believing in Santa"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—[C]||—||Non-album single|
(with Years & Years)
|"—" denotes a song that did not chart or was not released.|
As featured artistEdit
|Single||Year||Peak chart positions||Ceritifications||Album|
|"Ready for Your Love"
(Gorgon City featuring MNEK)
(Jax Jones featuring Mike Dunn and MNEK)
(with various artists)
|"Blinded by Your Grace, Pt. 2"
(Stormzy featuring MNEK)
||Gang Signs & Prayer|
|"Bruised Not Broken"
(Matoma featuring MNEK and Kiana Ledé)
|"Through Enough" (Remix)
(VanJess featuring MNEK)
|"Baby"||Rudimental, Sinead Harnett|
|"bad_news"||2014||Bastille||VS. (Other People's Heartache, Pt. III)|
|"Common Emotion"||2015||Rudimental||We the Generation|
|"Freak Like Me"||2016||Lee Walker, DJ Deeon, Katy B||Non-album single|
|"SXWME"||Far East Movement, Jay Park||Identity|
|"No Question"||Shift K3Y, Ryan Ashley||NIT3 TALES|
|"WTF (Interlude)"||2017||Brayton Bowman||22 Minutes Later|
|"Worship"||The Knocks||Testify EP|
|"Late at Night"||Pell||Non-album single|
|"Not for the Radio"||Tinie Tempah||Youth|
|"Half of You"||2018||Leland||Sierra Burgess is a Loser OST|
|"Better Together"||Boston Bun||Non-album single|
- "At Night (I Think About You)" did not enter the Billboard Hot 100, but peaked at number thirty-four on the Billboard Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart.
- "Tongue" did not enter the UK Official Singles Chart, but peaked at number twenty-nine on the UK Official Dance Singles Chart.
- "Stopped Believing in Santa" did not enter the Swedish Singellista Chart, but peaked at number three on the Swedish Heatseeker Chart.
- The vocals on the single version of "Close" were re-recorded by Daniel Pearce.
Songwriting and production creditsEdit
- "Grammy Nominated UK Producer & Songwriter MNEK Releases Debut EP 'Small Talk' Today". Top40-Charts.
- "Jess Glynne and MNEK to receive ASCAP Vanguard Award". Musi Week.
- "BBC Music - BBC Sound Of, 2014 - MNEK". BBC.
- "Yinka & Friends: MNEK". Rinse FM on YouTube. 10 June 2014.
- "MNEK - Timeline photos". Facebook. 22 July 2014.
- "MNEK & ZARA LARSSON - full Official Chart History - Official Charts Company".
- "Zara Larsson - Chart history - Billboard".
- "MNEK Releases Sexy Single 'Tongue' From His Upcoming Debut Album". Billboard.com. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
- "Play MNEK's "Tongue" and tell someone special that you love them". Thefader.com. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
- "MNEK's honest album". Femalefirst.co.uk. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
- "MNEK is happy with his safe and loving boyfriend". Attitude. 31 May 2016. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
- Peak positions in the United Kingdom:
- "Discography MNEK". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien.
- "Discography MNEK". Danish Charts Portal. Hung Medien.
- "Discography MNEK". Finnish Charts Portal. Hung Medien.
- "Discographie MNEK". German Charts Portal. Hung Medien.
- "Discografie MNEK". Dutch Charts Portal. Hung Medien.
- "Discography MNEK". Norwegian Charts Portal. Hung Medien.
- "Discography MNEK". New Zealand Charts Portal. Hung Medien.
- "Discography MNEK". Swedish Charts Portal. Hung Medien.
- Peak positions in the United States:
- MNEK - Topic (11 January 2015). "If Truth Be Told". YouTube. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
- MNEKVEVO (27 February 2014). "MNEK - Don't Call This Love". YouTube. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
- "British single certifications – MNEK & Zara Larsson". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 14 November 2015. Select singles in the Format field. Type MNEK & Zara Larsson in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
- Ryan, Gavin (6 February 2016). "ARIA Singles: Zayn 'Pillowtalk' Is No 1". Noise11. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
- "American certifications – Zara Larsson". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
- "New Zealand single certifications". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
- "MNEK Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
- "#TONGUE - MNEK". Twitter. 26 February 2018. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
- "Official Dance Singles Chart Top 40 (09 March 2018 - 15 March 2018)". Official Charts Company. 9 March 2018. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
- "Veckolista Heatseeker – Vecka 51, 21 december 2018". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
- Ju, Shirley (14 June 2019). "Matoma enlists MNEK and Kiana Lede for 'Bruised Not Broken'". EDM.com. Archived from the original on 28 June 2019. Retrieved 28 June 2019.