Mini Viva (unreleased debut album; 2009-2010)

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Status: Lost

Mini Viva was a nu-disco/synthpop duo with members Frankee Connolly (now of the R&B girl group M.O) and Britt Love, produced by critically-acclaimed production team Xenomania, managed by Simon Fuller’s 19 Entertainment, and signed to Geffen Polydor. Their first single, Left My Heart in Tokyo, charted at #7 in England and Finland.

Their debut album was originally slated for release on November 30th, 2009. However, to account for a second single, it was pushed back. The resulting single, I Wish, failed to make Top 40 (peaking at #73). Following this, the duo decided to refine their material and record new songs in the hopes of recapturing the success of their first single. Their plan was to release their third and fourth singles, with the debut album to follow - however, after their third single, One Touch, failed to make even Top 100 (peaking at #124) the group disbanded and their album, which was reportedly finished and in the final stages of planning before release, was ultimately shelved.

Known Information and Song Titles

Version 1.1

The first version of the album was scheduled for a November 30th 2009 release date and had at least 11-12 tracks, with the group members themselves citing as many as 16 tracks on their web show, Viva Mini Viva. In a November 25th, 2009 interview with Eqmusic, Frankee said "[the album] is actually going to be delivered next week but it won’t be out until March 2010 … It’s going to be like a big bag of treats – every song will pull in a different crowd.”[1]

This incarnation of the album had a 5-track sampler that was sent out to music press outlets. There is possibly a full-length press promo copy of the album that was also sent out, though this has not been confirmed.

Version 1.2

In a December 18th interview with The BBC (before the groups' hiatus was announced), Britt said that the album was finished by that point.

After I Wish was announced, the album was now tentatively scheduled for March 2010 (with Play.com listing the date as August 6th, 2010). The album was to be distributed stateside by Interscope Records[2].

A late OMGmusic writeup from 2010 that was posted before the group's tour with Diversity states, "At the moment the girls and [the production team Xenomania] are judiciously selecting from a wealth of hot pop what will make the final cut of their as yet untitled first album", meaning that the album was likely finished before the girls' tour with Diversity in March of 2010.

In April 2010, Britt told the Glasgow Sunday Mail: “The album is just about finished, we have one more track to write. It will be out around August so there will be another single then the album[...]I can’t wait for it to be on the shelves so my friends and family can go buy it and see what we have been working hard on for the last three years.”[3] A title had also been selected by this point, although it was never revealed. It is unknown if any album samplers or promos that reflected this incarnation of the album were sent out for review.

Song Titles and Official Releases

In 2009, album samplers were sent out in press kits explicitly meant for music journalists, radio stations, and DJs. Two samplers are thought to exist, both only comprising of material from the first version of the album. A 5-track sampler was leaked online in December 2009, and physical copies of this sampler later appeared on sites such as eBay for purchase through third-party sellers. This album sampler is the only way to listen to the bulk of Mini Viva's studio material and is still occasionally listed for sale on sites such as Discogs and eBay.

Below is a list of confirmed recorded material either released or mentioned by Mini Viva.

  • (I) Left My Heart in Tokyo: first single, available on album sampler, performed live
  • I Wish: second single, available on album sampler, performed live
  • (I’m) Hooked: originally slated to be the duo’s third single (teased on the 2010 press compilation New 2010: Forthcoming Tracks From Universal Music) but ultimately relegated to b-side status. Available on album sampler, performed live
  • One Touch (Do You Want A Candy): third single, only available on digital platforms and on limited 1-track CD copies intended for press use only. Performed live
  • Say What You Feel: available on album sampler
  • Emotions of Love: available on album sampler, performed live
  • Bedroom Viber: offered as a free download through the group’s website. A short demo was also available on the group’s Myspace page for a time. Performed live
  • Breakfast Club: short demo snippet available only on the group’s Myspace page.
  • Here 2 Party: demo that leaked in 2011; according to last.fm scrobbles from a Xenomania affiliate or intern, "Here 2 Party" was recorded in 2008. Leaked under the title Here 2 Party (Sacha Mix 1 29.8.8), with "Sacha" presumably referring to frequent Xenomania collaborator Sacha Collisson[4].
  • Abuser: title leaked by Xenomania affiliate or intern. "Abuser" was also recorded in 2008. The last.fm leak was titled Xenogirls 27-28 Feb 08 – abuser.pt1.brit, with another track entitled simply abuser.pt1.brit+0.new.’. Unreleased
  • Da Ho Chain: title leaked through a Xenomania affiliate or intern on last.fm under the name "dahochain-frankie-4". Unreleased
  • Another Dance With You: mentioned in OMGmusic interview[5] ; Unreleased
  • In A Heartbeat: mentioned in the same OMGmusic interview as above; Unreleased
  • The Boy Does Nothing: the duo revealed [6] that they had recorded this track before it was ultimately offered to and released by Alesha Dixon. BMI copyright records show that it was originally named “The Boy Does Plenty”, but it’s unknown if MV recorded it under this title. MV’s reportedly “laid-back”, Jazz-influenced version is unreleased.

False Information

Some internet users claim that they discovered titles of unreleased Mini Viva songs through their album samplers, these song titles being Let Me Feel It, Stick, Love Landslide, and My Existence. These song titles are actually from a 1994 EP by punk band Koma Red. What likely happened was, as Mini Viva's album sampler was played through Windows Media Player (or a similar media player,) the program attempted to download information about the album through the internet based on the runtime of the songs and the number of readable tracks on the disc. Because Koma Red's EP also has five songs and similar runtimes on the tracks, WMP likely matched the information with it on these merits, leading to misinformation and confusion about the content of Mini Viva's album.

Fate of the Material

Xenomania, the production group behind MV's music, is no stranger to recycling old material. As little information is known about the finished tracklist of MV's album, it's likely that some of MV's unheard tracks were later given to Xenomania's next pet project Florrie, or any of the other groups/musicians that Xenomania worked with post-MV, such as Amelia Lily (whose debut album was also cancelled before release,) Girls Aloud, Little Mix, or Rebecca Ferguson.

References