Syco Music (2007–2009)|
Same Difference was an English bubblegum pop duo from Portsmouth, England, made up of siblings Sean and Sarah Smith. They came to prominence in 2007 when they finished third in the fourth series of the ITV talent show, The X Factor. Their music is targeted mostly at people who are 13 and under. Their debut single, "We R One", was released on 24 November 2008, and their debut album, Pop, followed on 1 December 2008. In November 2009, it was announced that Same Difference had signed a new record deal with PopLife Records, and their second album was released on 7 February 2011. On 24 December 2014 Same Difference broke the news that they had disbanded but were still considering as to whether to release their third and final album, Superheroes. London Records stated it was fun working with them and that they were disappointed they couldn't share more musical memories together.
The two siblings were brought up in The Dale, Widley, in the Borough of Havant. At the time of their appearance on The X Factor, Sean (born 24 September 1985) was an entertainer in Portsmouth while Sarah (born 4 November 1988) was a student. Sean left home at the age of 17 to perform on cruise ships and appeared in a number of pantomimes. Together, they performed at a local retirement home. Sarah left home at 16 to attend the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts and completed her diploma in 2007 the year they entered The X Factor. Sarah has also worked as a model and acted in the show Genie in the House but claims that singing has always been her big passion. In her VT during the third live show of The X Factor finals, she revealed that she was bullied whilst at Purbrook Park School for being overly interested in singing and that in her head she pictured her tormentors telling her she wasn't good enough. A friend, Harriet Templer, said that she had been witness to the bullying and that these girls were yelling abuse and even attacked her. The school's headmaster, Keith Clark, admitted he was unhappy that the bullying, which was "resolved overnight," had become a big subject on national television.
The X Factor
Same Difference did a song and entered the fourth season of the British talent show The X Factor in 2007. They auditioned in London, where judge Simon Cowell described them as "potentially two of the most annoying people I've ever met." However, he went on to champion the duo as mentor, later calling them "genuinely nice people." During the live shows, the siblings came in for particular criticism from judge Louis Walsh, who described them as "cheesy" and suggested that they would be better suited to children's parties and pantomime. In response to Walsh's comments, Cowell and fellow judges Sharon Osbourne and Dannii Minogue all disagreed, praising Same Difference for their upbeat performances.
They were tipped to be the first to be voted out of the competition but turned out to be a surprise hit of the show, remaining outside the bottom two sing-off places throughout their entire run.
The duo reached the final of the show, largely thanks to their performance of S Club 7's song "Never Had a Dream Come True" which received an enthusiastic reception from the studio audience. They eventually finished in third place; Rhydian Roberts was the runner-up and Leon Jackson was the winner.
Performances on The X Factor
Post X Factor
2008: Debut Album
After leaving the show, Same Difference initially signed a one-single contract with Simon Cowell's label Syco. During the X Factor Live tour the pair confirmed that their intended debut single was a cover of "Breaking Free" from High School Musical, which they had performed in the live shows of The X Factor. An original B-side to the single was also planned, entitled "The Miracle". The tracks were recorded in Poland in early March 2008.
In April 2008 it was reported their original one-single deal had been replaced by a better full album deal, still with Syco, rumoured to be worth around £1 million. This was to give them the chance to work with a variety of writers and producers including Mike Stock and Pete Waterman and some of the writers behind Leona Lewis and High School Musical.
On 19 July 2008 they headlined the "My First Festival" show at Legoland Windsor, appearing alongside Chico, Fireman Sam, Angelina Ballerina, Bob the Builder, and The Groovie Movie Band. They also performed many gigs at various places throughout 2008, mainly at Butlins, summer events and festivals and Christmas light switch-ons.
Sarah and Sean made many television appearances after leaving the show, including spots on Blue Peter, Basil's Swap Shop, GMTV and Noel's Christmas Presents. They also made several appearances on the children's television channel Nickelodeon. On 22 November 2008 they returned to The X Factor as special guests and performed their debut single "We R One". On Sunday 14 December 2008 Same Difference appeared as guests on CITV kids' show Toonattik.
In a newsletter sent to their fans, the duo confirmed that their debut single, "We R One", would be released on the Syco Music/Sony BMG label on 24 November 2008. It was written by J Elofsson and P Westerlund, produced, recorded and mixed by Quiz & Larossi for XL Talent, and published by Universal Music Publishing AB: Elofsongs. It was also confirmed on their official website that their album, released on 1 December 2008, would be called Pop.
One of the new tracks recorded for the album and a potential single is a cover of the Stock Aitken Waterman-penned hit "Turn It Into Love". The song was originally recorded by Kylie Minogue for her first album and was released in Japan where it was Number 1 for 10 weeks. Hazell Dean released it in the UK in 1988, where it reached number 21. Later it was covered in Japanese by the group Wink.
Another of the new tracks recorded for their debut album, "I Need A House", was previously recorded by Swedish popstar Marie Serneholt and released as a single in 2006.
2009–11: Rest Is History & New Label
Same Difference announced a 21-date UK tour for March and April 2009, but this was subsequently cancelled. Instead, the duo decided to co-headline a 21-date joint tour with fellow X Factor graduate Leon Jackson,Same Difference co-headlined the joint tour at Ipswich and Birmingham.They also played a solo one-off concert in Portsmouth.
It was announced in The Sun on 3 April 2009 that Same Difference had been dropped by record label Syco following disappointing sales of their debut album (a month after a similar fate befell Leon Jackson). The lack of sales was partially blamed on the demise of Woolworths, a major supplier of music for younger children.
Following their departure from Syco the pair also decided to leave Modest Management, and whilst under the guidance of Jamie Wilson at Heights Management the duo signed a new management deal with Wayne Russell at Do One Music Group. It was under Russell’s management that they signed a new album deal with PopLife Records, whilst Wilson negotiated the deal and also co-organized and coordinated a 66-date UK tour of Pontins Holiday Parks. The Duo are now represented solely by Heights Management.
In December 2009 Same Difference announced on their Facebook Group the launch of their new-look website, sporting a quirky new look. The first single from their new album, "Shine On Forever (Photo Frame)", was released on 29 August 2010, with music video directed by Lauren Pushkin and produced by PMA Digital. "Shine On Forever (Photo Frame)" entered the official UK Top 100 at Number 100 on 5 September 2010. The duo released their second album, The Rest Is History, on 7 February 2011.
On 10 September 2011, Same Difference announced on their Facebook and Twitter pages their "Same Difference Pop Academy", a course on singing and dancing for young fans. The course begins in October in Portsmouth.
In late September 2011, Same Difference submitted an entry, "Music", to the Swiss national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2012. (Although Eurovision entrants are usually from the country they represent, the rules do not actually require this, and, in particular, Switzerland has previously entered several non-Swiss acts into the competition.). The bid failed, along with a separate one from Series 2 UK X Factor contestant Maria Lawson.
2012–2014: Superheroes and split
In spring 2012 Same Difference confirmed they had begun recording their third album, they stated that they had matured and a new sound would feature on their new album. They worked with producers such as Benny Blanco and Pharrell Williams in the hope of chart success. On 6 January 2013 London Records and Same Difference confirmed they had agreed a new record deal.
On 24 December 2014 Same Difference broke the news that they had disbanded but were still considering as to whether to release their third and final album, Superheroes. London Records stated it was fun working with them and that they were disappointed they couldn't share more musical memories together.
Same Difference were invited again to The X Factor in 2008 to perform their debut single, "We R One". In 2009, they received a minor acting role in CBBC television sitcom Dani's House, in which they played brother and sister "Erik and Erika", two all-time winners of game shows. In 2009 Same Difference appeared in The DPK Gameshow.(Danny, Pearse and Kevin) They also appeared on Celebrity Juice in 2013.
They also played Lilac Fairy and Prince Robin at Weston-super-Mare, in the pantomime Sleeping Beauty December to January 2012 – 2013.
|Title||Album details||Chart positions (UK)||Certifications|
|The Rest Is History||
|Year||Single||Chart position (UK)||Album|
|2008||"We R One"||13||Pop|
|2010||"Shine On Forever"||100||The Rest Is History|
|June 2015||"Love & Hate"||N/A||Superheroes|
- Can nice guys Same Difference really win The X Factor?, Daily Mail, 14 December 2007
- Same Difference out of X Factor, BBC News, 15 December 2007
- "The final three groups revealed!". The X Factor. 7 October 2007. Retrieved 7 October 2007.
- "Leon Jackson takes X Factor crown". BBC News. 16 December 2007. Retrieved 16 December 2007.
- "The X Factor – News – Same Difference sign record deal with Cowell". Digital Spy. 26 December 2007. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
- X Factor losers get £1m deal, The Sun, 24 April 2008.
- Hak, Anneke (13 December 2008). "The X Factor: Where are they now?". Handbag.com. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
- "Stardoll virtual world in deal with pop group Same Difference", New Media Age, 12 November 2008
- "Same Difference: 'We R One' – Music Singles Review". Digital Spy. 18 November 2008. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
- Details from the "We R One" CD single sleevenotes
- "Same Difference". Discopumper.de. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
- "Cowell drops Same Difference", The Sun, 3 April 2009
- "Same Difference dropped", The News (Portsmouth), 3 April 2009
- "Same Difference – Official". Samedifferenceworld.com. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
- Archived 12 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Director, producer & editor". Lauren Pushkin. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
- "Award winning digital creative agency". PMA Digital. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
- "Eurovision Song Contest" (in German). Eurovisionplattform.sf.tv. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
- "Christmas extravaganza in the marketplace has X Factor". Burton Mail. 22 November 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2010.