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Labrinth holds the distinction of being the first act signed by Simon Cowell in six years not to come from a talent show. The fact that Labrinth signed to Cowell's Syco Music label as a performer surprised many who tipped him to find success as a producer, but the transition has been almost seamless. Labrinth's first entry into the UK singles chart was the hit Pass Out recorded in collaboration with Tinie Tempah in March 2010. The single topped the chart and the subsequent collaboration with Tinie Tempah reached the top three in both the UK and Ireland, paving the way for his solo debut into the singles chart, Let the Sun Shine, which hit number three in the UK.
Prior to his bow as a performer, Labrinth was groomed to work on the other side of the mixing desk by his older brother, Mac.1 who is also a producer. In 2009, Labrinth got his big break producing Dead End for British artist Master Shortie, which gained him wider exposure and even earned him a publishing deal. Collaborations followed, with Labrinth working behind the desk for artists such as Maverick Sabre and Devlin. Labrinth featured on Gary Barlow's cover of Teardrop which assembled an all star cast of artists, and was released in support of Children in Need, with live performances taking place during the telethon and at the Children in Need Rocks gig in Manchester.
Labrinth's second solo single featured Tinie Tempah. The track, Earthquake sold 115,530 copies in its first week, but only reached number two, and also hit number 12 in Ireland. A remake of Charles Watts and the 103rd Street Rhythm Band's classic funk track, Express Yourself, almost made the top 10 in the UK, but was also featured prominently in other media, widening Labrinth's appeal, before a collaboration with Emeli Sande produced the track, Beneath Your Beautiful, which hit the top of the charts in the UK and Ireland.
In addition to Labrinth's performing and production credits, he is also an accomplished writer, working with artists such as Professor Green, Pixie Lott, Loick Essien and Preeya Kalidas. Labrinth was recognised for his innovative approach to music with an award at the Silver Clef ceremony in 2013, following in the footsteps of artists such as Emeli Sande. While a nomination at the BRIT Awards left Labrinth empty handed in 2013, he picked up the MOBO award for best song in 2012 for the hit Earthquake.