On the 5th September 1996, Mike Hannides met Phil Kemish both aged 12 on their first day of school. They both shared a passion for music, and instantly became best friends. It was not long before they started a band, recruiting Mike's cousin Simon 13 and Mike's brother Anthony 9. They called themselves Four of a Kind......
The boys spent the next few years performing at weddings, parties or just about anywhere that people would listen to them sing! They started to learn covers from their main influences Boyz II Men, Michael Jackson and Backstreet Boys.
In November 2000 the guys heard about a young manager who was auditioning for talent. Not one's to pass up an opportunity 4 of a Kind auditioned and made an impression. Within the next few months Llewellyn Lloyd signed the young act under his management.
Over the next two years the band worked closely with their manager developing their vocal abilities, their sound, while nurturing their song writing and image. The process wasn't easy; they had to go back to basics.
This meant a decision from all band members to go full time, which meant giving up their education and making many sacrifices in order to follow their dream. The boys started to practice 7 days a week, running their own "boot camps" with their manager. After 2 years of constant hard work and after going through so much together, the boys' determination to become the best had made them more focused and brought them closer together.
During this period the boys had spent a lot more time and effort developing their natural song writing ability, and adding more song to their catalogue. The guys had now developed their own unique style and sound.
To mark the new beginning, 4 of a Kind decided to re-brand to show the evolution of the brand calling themselves 4Tune (meaning destiny). The name summed up where the boys were now and where they were going. The launch of 4Tune began in 2004; 4Tune played to a sold out launch show, a number of shows across the country and entered the biggest T.V. talent show in Britain, the X Factor. With over 55,000 applicants and 4Tune pitching themselves against the best unsigned bands in Britain, this was 4Tune's biggest test.
Using everything they had learned in the last 9 years the boys fought off fierce competition to make it to the final 5 bands. After a controversial decision 4Tune were eliminated from the show. The group had represented themselves well, raised their profile and created awareness of their abilities within the music industry; it had also improved their growing fan base, and proved that 4Tune were the best unsigned boy band in the country.
2004 was a great year for 4Tune, but it wasn't enough. In 2005 4Tune set out to put the right team in place and join the right record company to finish the development of the group, and to help them fulfil their potential to become the best boy band to come out of Britain.
The start of 2005 was very hard after the disappointment of X Factor and after not really understanding why they had been kicked off the show, the boys started to doubt their ability and almost lost belief in themselves. But with the amazing support of their fans and a new opportunity with Sanctury Urban Records the boys decided it was time to move on.
With the help of their manager Lee, and a renewed sense of belief, 4Tune started to rebuild. The process began with writing and working on new material and also improving on criticisms X Factor had thrown at them. This meant long hours in the recording studio and practice rooms working on performance and vocals.
By June 2005 the boys were locked away in the studio with a group of local producers, working on new songs and developing their song writing and production skills.
In July 4Tune had the opportunity to showcase for Matthew Knowles (Beyonce's dad, Sanctuary Urban records). After months of hard work preparing the boys put on an amazing showcase for Matthew Knowles and he was blown away. The hard work had paid off and finally 4Tune thought they might get their break. Discussions were ongoing but unfortunately problems at the record label stopped any other acts being signed.
As one door closes another opens and the boys reached the 2005 final of the largest UK talent show - X Factor beating over 75,000 contestants to reach the final 12. Their mentor was Simon Cowell, whose advice and support was fantastic. In fact Simon was quoted on the program as saying the boys audition was one of the best he had ever seen. The boys had a fantastic experience performing in front of a weekly audience of over 13 million. They were on a high and were one of the favourites.
Life has a funny way of bringing you back down to earth and against all odds and the views of all the pundits; 4Tune found themselves in the bottom two acts in the second week. Sharon Osbourne, one of the judges, had the deciding vote and picked the other act, Chenai because she is a woman. Such is life!!!
Although the boys were devastated, there were no hard feelings towards Chenai who had become a good friend and did not deserve to be in the bottom two. In fact the 2005 and 2004 shows suffered from The Rule of 4, which is that the act eliminated each weeks is one of the first four performers!!! Strange hey.
4Tune received fantastic and overwhelming support from their family, fans and the press and decided to put the disappointment behind them and made them even more determined to succeed in this difficult business.
They began gigging all over the UK appearing in front of over 110,000 people and have now started working on their album so the story goes on
Boys To Men, Backstreet Boys, Michael Jackson and many others.