Simon Cowell’s charismatic boyband Rak-Su claimed “The X Factor UK” season 14 crown after a star-studded two-night season finale which aired in the U.S. on Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 on AXS TV. The four-piece band of childhood friends beat out Girls solo contender Grace Davies, who finished in second place with French native singer-songwriter Kevin Davy White claiming third place.
Rak-Su performed their Latin-flavored original single “Dimelo” in an epic collaboration with Wyclef Jean and Naughty Boy while the live crowd danced, screamed, and cheered. Rak-Su members Ashley Fongho, Jamaal Shurland, Myles Stephenson and Mustafa Rahimtulla grew up together near London in Watford. They immediately impressed “The X Factor UK” judges with their upbeat original song “I’m Feeling You.” They performed mostly original songs throughout the competition, including “Dimelo” which they wrote specifically for Latin week.
Per Rak-Su’s website, the band describes their sound as a mix of future R&B, hip-hop, grime, spoken word “and all the in between." They also explain the group's name “Rak-Su” represents “tracks vs. suits,” meaning “music and fun vs. adult life.”
Rak-Su reprised “I’m Feeling You” for the Semi-Finals and “Dimelo” with Wyclef Jean and Naughty Boy as their Winner’s Single in the Finals. All “Dimelo” Winner's Single proceeds will be donated to UK children’s charities Together for Short Lives and Shooting Star Chase. The "Dimelo" collaboration shot to No.1 on the UK iTunes Songs Chart, over Ed Sheeran and Beyoncé’s new “Perfect” remix at No. 2. The newly-crowned “X Factor UK” champs claimed the next four spots on the chart with their original songs “I’m Feeling You” at No. 3, “Mona Lisa” at No. 4, “Dimelo” (Rak-Su-only version) at No. 5 and “Mamacita at No. 6.
Rak-Su tweeted a screen capture of the chart ranking and thanked all of their fans saying, “Rak-Pack! Look what you made us wake up to this morning... are you bantering me looool! 😅You lot are taking over the iTunes chart right now 😂 you know this isn’t supposed to happen right.”
"X Factor UK" season 14 runner-up Grace Davies’ wistful original song “Too Young” also made the Top 10 at No. 9. Davies performed her original audition song “Roots” in a stunning duet with Paloma Faith during the Finals. Despite losing the title, Davies received huge praise from all of the judges, for both her keen songwriting skills and emotive performances. Superstar performers at this year's Finals included Louis Tomlinson, P!NK, Sam Smith and Little Mix
“The X Factor UK” judge and show boss Simon Cowell mentored Rak-Su to their win, dubbing them “stars” during the finale. Rak-Su is the second group ever to win an “X Factor UK” title, behind Little Mix’s 2011 victory. 2010 third place finalists One Direction became the biggest group to ever hail from “X Factor UK ranks, even though they didn't take home the title.
Rak-Su has plenty of material for an album, though no official album release date has been confirmed. Rak-Su is slated to perform at Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball on Dec. 9. Stay tuned to AXS for Rak-Su and "X Factor UK" information and updates.
“The X Factor UK” airs in the U.S. on AXS TV.
Rak-Pack! Look what you made us wake up to this morning... are you bantering me looool! 😅You lot are taking over the iTunes chart right now 😂 you know this isn’t supposed to happen right pic.twitter.com/jC7FSPmtYE— Rak-Su (@RakSuMusic) December 5, 2017