From Tinchy Stryder to Taio Cruz: Where are the forgotten artists of the noughties now?

Akon is building ‘Akon City’


There is a curse associated with noughties musicians, something that became no more apparent than when I conducted an investigation into where Paolo Nutini has gone. Musicians make a few great, some timeless, records before all of a sudden they just decide to fall off the face of the earth and never be heard from again. Think about it, when was the last time you heard a banger from Daniel Bedingfield? Has Mika put anything out that even nearly rivals the magnitude of Grace Kelly in recent years? Well, now is the time to find out.

We’ve gone to the farthest and wildest corners of the noughties musician list (trust me, Lady Sovereign is on here), and we’re pleased to tell you that some of them have been doing A LOT since we last heard from them.

Sean Kingston

Sean admittedly got a few bangers under his belt, several of which were staples of the year 7 party, and he was even a very good friend of Justin Bieber’s at one point! Whether it was him getting caught lying driving his car in 2012 after claiming that it was his or Justin going all-holy, not much has been heard from their friendship since but Kingston insists they’ll be working together in the future.

Well, since his noughties heyday, he’s been up to a couple of bits, most notably taking a temporary hiatus. Second most notably, nearly dying in a jet ski accident in June 2010 during a trip to Miami, needing open-heart surgery and then getting fined for the whole ordeal.

He also recently started a rappers boxing league, presumably hoping to get some of the profit from other organisations that have pitted celebrities against each other – let’s get Drake v Kanye on the cards.

The Zutons

It must be so painful writing a song like “Valerie”, only to have another artist come along, do a[n arguably] better version, and be falsely attributed to writing it by everyone since. Unfortunately, the band disbanded in 2009, three years after Amy’s version of their hit, and have had reunions in 2016 and 2019.

Vice recently reported that they had spoken to the subject of the song, Valerie Star, who dated The Zutons’ frontman Dave McCabe at the time of writing: “I got arrested the week before I was going to go to Liverpool to be with him. It was my, I want to say, seventh felony driving on a suspended license.

“I got a speeding ticket and I thought the policemen were dumb, so I thought well, by me not paying the ticket, that’s me sticking it to the man. Clearly not, because then they put a warrant out for your arrest. It becomes a whole ordeal. And also I might not have stopped immediately, which apparently is evading the police. And I might have spat on the officer because he was very rude – and that’s assault.”

Their last album was released in 2008, and Dave McCabe is now in a new band called Silent K.

Daniel Bedingfield

Garage king Daniel Bedingfield is still often heard on many British nights out, but not a lot has been heard from him as of recent. Why? It’s not actually that easy to tell.

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Four people deeply enjoying the same night

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He’s clearly not a fan of posting selfies, and prefers instead to make his Instagram feed heavily political – the last clear photo of himself (above) is from 2016 (booo).

He does writing for lots of artists now, including recently producing single for a K-pop group, but really we want to see a bit more of him. Daniel, if you’re reading this, do a Craig David and come back with some garage bangers. The only chart garage we’ve got is AJ Tracey at the moment, we need you.

Mika

I wanna be like Grace Kelly, OOOOOOOOH!

Mika has released a lot of music since then, and Spotify shows that he still gets well over four million monthly listens (I wonder where 90 per cent of them are coming from), but it’s in the other areas of his life where he’s doing the most impressively.

Firstly, the man speaks English, French, Spanish and Italian fluently, which has allowed him to work on a number of international television shows, such as a judge/mentor on The Voice France and The X Factor Italy. He also has his own television show in Italy, which won the 2017 Rose d’Or Award for Entertainment.

Mika is in a long term relationship with his fiance, Andreas Dermanis.

Johnny Borrell from Razorlight

Razorlight gave us such bangers as “America”, “Golden Touch” and “Before I Fall to Pieces”, which were the soundtracks to some of the best televisions series at the time. In fact, the nostalgia of watching noughties shows such as Gavin and Stacey and hearing Razorlight in them is the best part.

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Day 20 of the #shoutaboutit30 photochallenge Razorlight @abconcerts 2019 Nostalgic sounds of Razorlight last year..great show guys! Do you miss concertlife as much as I do? Feeling sad not to see and hear livemusic? Let s take part in our 30 Day Photo Challenge! Just post your concertphotos on facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the #shoutaboutit30 and tag @shoutaboutituk#shoutaboutituk @shoutaboutit30 @borrellmusic @razorlightofficial #razorlightofficial #frontman#bluesrock#bluesband #singer#guitar#vocals #lyricist#unitedkingdom #guitarplayer#indierock #newwave #livegig#concertphotography #photography#live#concert #liveconcert#gig#vocals #livemusic #nikonshots#concertjunkie #instamusic#concertlife #gigshots#livemusic #concertmusic#livegig #concertphotographer

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Not a lot has changed since. Razorlight is still making music, releasing an unreleased track “Burn, Camden, Burn” in May. In an interview with The Guardian, Matty Healy spoke about Johnny, the lead singer of Razorlight, saying: “We’re not worried about becoming a bunch of wankers because the people who become wankers were always gonna become wankers. Johnny Borrell is a wanker because he’s a wanker, not because Razorlight got massive”?

Wanker calls other wanker a wanker. Wanktastic.

Dido

Dido was known for her drippy easy-listening tunes such as “White Flag” and that one that Eminem used, so you’ll be disappointed to hear that we haven’t heard anything less drab than that from her since.

Since her heyday, she’s been keeping pretty busy making music, as an added kick in the teeth (depending on how you look at it), she stays well out of news headlines which is frustrating. Either way, she’s looking really healthy and happy and is happily married with a nine-year-old son.

Amy MacDonald

Ooooohhh so that’s the girl from the main article image! Amy Macdonald has some bigguns, from “This Is The Life” to “Mr Rock and Roll”, and she still has just under 1,500,000 listeners a month on Spotify.

Since she shot to fame, Amy has been engaged to two footballers, and fully lives a life of ABSOLUTE GLAM. Her Instagram is full of nice pictures of her extensive (and I mean extensive) collection of supercars, as well as pictures of the kitchen in her mansion of a house.

You know when I said she was into her cars? Yeah, she recently sold 30 of her collection of 32, which includes Ferraris, a McLaren and a Bentley.

Lady Sovereign

Lady Sovereign was always on the music channels after school, and it was always this song. I mean, was there ever any other song than Love Me or Hate Me?

Probably, but unfortunately for the Lady Sovereign fandom, the queen has not released any new music since 2009. According to her Wikipedia page, she has suggested that medical issues.

Anyway, if there’s any tweet that makes us excited, there it is above for you. You can just hear her spitting over a naughty Shy FX tune.

Tinchy Stryder

You couldn’t go on a school trip without someone putting this on in the back of the bus – “Hello minger, can you Bluetooth that one to me it’s absolute wazaaaap right now! Also your mum haha ;D” – that’s how people spoke in the noughties, right?

He’s done some music that you don’t care about, but here’s the biggest surprise of the whole thing – the economy has been fully punched in the balls by the last few months, but Tinchy Stryder is still going strong by producing StarInTheHood apparel. STILL. The man is a bloody inspiration.

Taio Cruz

Taio been real quiet since throwing his hands up in the air sometimes saying eyoah gotta let go 😳

Very little on social media from our guy Taio – he fully seems to have stepped out of the spotlight, however, his writing credentials have been anything but quiet. He has written for Jennifer Lopez, David Guetta, Usher and Cheryl, and seems to be living in Los Angeles currently.

Plan B

If this article has proved anything, it’s that there is so much talent in the UK that isn’t heard of nearly as much as it should be, and that’s on this guy’s chart bangers. Lil bit of la high singing, lil bit of la rap – it’s a genius combination.

What’s he been up to since? A few bits and pieces to report. He wore a white supremacist band’s t-shirt on the cover of Shortlist mag in 2o12 and had to apologise.

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#Mood

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In 2017 he released a single called “In The Name Of Man”, followed by an album in 2018. Then he became a father and decided to take some time off music to become more connected with his friends and family after fame, and that’s pretty much where it ends.

Akon

Mr Lonely himself has always been one of the more eccentric figures in pop music, whether it was throwing a fan offstage or sexually dancing with a 14-year-old girl, but he has since put that behind him and is working on some really good projects – such as a city called “Akon City” with the currency “Akoin”.

While it seems slightly egotistical to name an entire city and currency after yourself, Akon has always been involved in projects to better the lives of others, and it seems like there’s really good intention to make this something incredible and benefit many people. In June, it was announced that a firm had been awarded $6 billion to build the city, and phase one will be complete in 2o23 with roads, a hospital, houses, hotels, police, a school and other facilities.

He’s also got a reality TV show in the works, which sounds like the kind of idea you come up with when you’re really stoned. It will be called My Brother’s Keeper and will be centred around his two nearly identical brothers going around Atlanta tricking people into thinking that they’re Akon in order to try and get freebies and VIP treatment. Lol.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• Okay, for real now: Where is Paolo Nutini and why haven’t we heard from him?

• We asked boys what’s on their sex playlists and now all music is banned, forever

• 69 lyrics from your favourite childhood songs that you didn’t know were wildly inappropriate