Naughty Boy

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Naughty Boy
Birth nameShahid Khan
Born (1985-01-01) 1 January 1985 (age 35)
Watford, England
OriginWatford, England
  • DJ
  • record producer
  • songwriter
  • musician
  • rapper
  • singer
Years active2005–present
Associated acts

Shahid Khan (Urdu: شاهد خان‎; born 1 January 1985),[1] known by his stage name Naughty Boy, is an English DJ, record producer, songwriter and musician. In 2012, Shahid Khan signed a three–year publishing deal with Sony ATV, as well as a recording contract to release one album under Virgin EMI Records. Shahid Khan launched himself as a record producer under the moniker "Naughty Boy" and runs his own production company called Naughty Boy Recordings.

He has produced two records for UK rappers Chipmunk and Wiley, both featuring Emeli Sandé. Naughty Boy and Sandé later formed a writing and production partnership, leading to Sandé landing her own record deal with Virgin and EMI. Sandé went on to be named the Critics Choice for the 2012 BRIT Awards, and release her debut album Our Version of Events (2012), a record co-written and produced with Naughty Boy. Shahid Khan spent the 2011 and 2012 working on records for Leona Lewis, JLS, Cheryl, Jennifer Hudson, Alesha Dixon and Tinie Tempah, among others.

In 2013, Naughty Boy released his debut album Hotel Cabana. The set features prominent collaborator Sandé, as well as Ed Sheeran, Gabrielle and others. It was preceded by the release of the top-ten single "Wonder" (featuring Sandé), the number one hit "La La La", featuring Sam Smith and "Lifted", another collaboration with Sandé. His debut album peaked at number two in the UK.

On 19 October 2013, Naughty Boy's "La La La" was awarded 'Best Song' and 'Best Video' at the MOBO Award's 18th Anniversary.[2]

Early life[edit]

Shahid Khan was born on 1 January 1985 in Watford, Hertfordshire.[1] His parents being originally from Pakistan,[3] and explaining the importance of his Pakistani identity, having also been into a school near Rawalpindi for two years, he says that he grew up listening to Pakistani music and watching Pakistani movies more than being influenced by Western culture, admiring the likes of Sultan Rahi and Mustafa Qureshi, ultimately professing that "I am a very proud Pakistani and I celebrate that".[4] Initially, Shahid Khan was studying Business and Marketing at London Guildhall University (now London Metropolitan University), but during his first semester, he decided to drop out and did various part-time jobs in Domino's Pizza and Watford General Hospital.[5][6] He won £44,000 on Deal or No Deal and spent the money on a studio in his parent's garden. He "decided to follow his ambition to write and produce his own music, under the name Naughty Boy Recordings."[6] In the background, Shahid Khan was recording songs in his parents' garden shed in Charlock Way in Watford, Hertfordshire.[6] The finances allowed Shahid Khan to upscale production from the garden shed to a studio in Ealing, West London. Eventually, he got a three-year contract with Sony ATV, and a one-album record deal with Virgin Records (EMI Records).[5][6]

Shahid Khan applied to The Princes Trust in 2005, where he was awarded a grant of £5,000 to help start up his business. Speaking to the Watford Observer in 2009 about the opportunity, Shahid Khan said "The Prince's Trust has a scheme where they want to help people who they feel can set up their own business. I wanted to make music but I didn't have any equipment. They said they wanted to help me."[6] That same year, Shahid Khan appeared on Channel 4's hit day-time gameshow Deal or No Deal, where he won £44,000, further enabling him to purchase equipment and begin recording.[5] The producer now bases his recordings at his studio in Ealing, West London.[6] He also provides the voice for Gecko, in the popular YouTube children’s series Gecko’s Garage.[citation needed]

Music career[edit]

2009–12: Beginnings and producing[edit]

Emeli Sandé frequently writes with Naughty Boy.

The producer burst on to the music scene in 2009, by co-writing and producing Chipmunk's hit single "Diamond Rings", featuring Emeli Sandé.[5] Shahid Khan would once again work with Sandé, this time on Wiley's "Never Be Your Woman" (2010), a cover of White Town's "Your Woman" (1997).[5] Sandé later earned a record deal with Virgin Records, with Shahid Khan co-writing and producing her debut album, Our Version of Events. Naughty Boy was formally introduced and credited as an artist on Sandé's second single "Daddy", though he doesn't actually perform on the track.

Shahid Khan has also worked with Alesha Dixon, JLS, Lily Allen, Alexandra Burke and Jennifer Hudson.[5][6] He also produced records for Professor Green, Cheryl Cole and Tinie Tempah.[7] Shahid Khan worked with Sandé to produce and co-write Leona Lewis' 2012 comeback single "Trouble" which features Childish Gambino.[8] Shahid Khan also wrote and produced "When It Hurts" and "Mountains" for Lewis' album Glassheart; However, "Mountains" was re-recorded by Sandé and put on her own album Our Version of Events.[9] He also worked on records for Rihanna including "Half of Me" (co-produced with Stargate),[10] "Side Effects of You" for Fantasia Barrino[11] and co-produced "Craziest Things" with for Cheryl Cole.[12]

2012–14: Hotel Cabana[edit]

Shahid Khan also spent time, throughout the development of his career, working on his own debut album titled Hotel Cabana, which was scheduled to be released under his moniker "Naughty Boy" by Virgin EMI Records in 2013.[7] The album's first single "Wonder" features frequent collaborator Sandé on the lead vocals.[13] It was released on 30 September 2012 and also was the leading single from the re-release of Sandé's debut album, Our Version of Events, after already appearing on the US version of the album.[14] It peaked at number ten on the UK Singles Chart.[15]

British singer Gabrielle also worked with Naughty Boy for Hotel Cabana on a song called "Hollywood", which was initially tipped to be the album's second single, with the album following in February 2013.[16][17] Gabrielle also revealed that fellow British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran and British rapper Tinie Tempah will also feature on Hotel Cabana.[16] Both Tempah and Sheeran have worked with Naughty Boy on previous records. It is the album's title song, "Hotel Cabana" which features Tempah.[18] A trailer for Hotel Cabana was premiered on Naughty Boy's Vevo account on 20 September 2012. It states Hotel Cabana is "directed by Naughty Boy, starring Emeli Sandé, Tinie Tempah, Professor Green, Gabrielle and George the Poet".[19] Of the album, Shahid Khan's opinion of it was "It has a concept to it, so it's more like a film in some respects", claiming "I'm not just a producer – I'm a director too".[20] However, it did not happen until May 2013, that the second single "La La La" featuring Sam Smith was released. It reached number one in the UK,[21] three in Ireland[22] and three in Scotland.[23] The album was released on 26 August 2013.[24] It peaked at number two in the UK.

After completing work on his own album, in 2013, Shahid Khan resumed production for other artists. He worked on pop records for American singer Britney Spears, as well as joining Spears' sessions with producer William Orbit.[25] British singer Lily Allen also asked Shahid Khan to produce records for her upcoming album.[26] Additionally, he teamed up with Sandé and Katy Perry in New York to work on a song for Perry's then upcoming album, Prism (2013).[27]

2015–present: The X Factor and second album[edit]

In March 2015, it was confirmed that Naughty Boy had worked with then-One Direction member Zayn Malik for one of the tracks of his second album.[28] Malik exited the band shortly after this announcement, which led to many One Direction fans blaming Naughty Boy for Malik's departure.[29]

On 16 September 2015, Naughty Boy announced that he would release a song titled "Runnin' (Lose It All)" featuring Beyoncé and Arrow Benjamin. On the same date, he shared the artwork for the single, its lyrics, a 15-second sound snippet along with a video through his Instagram account and began a countdown until its online release.[30][31] The following day, on 17 September 2015, "Runnin' (Lose It All)" premiered online. It was available for digital download on the iTunes Store on 18 September 2015.[32] "Should've Been Me", featuring vocals from Kyla and Popcaan was released as the second single on 18 November 2016. The song has peaked at number 61 on the UK Singles Chart. "One Chance to Dance", featuring vocals from Joe Jonas was released as the third single on 20 October 2017.

On 13 September 2017, Naughty Boy released a reworked edition of the Jackson 5's song "Dancing Machine" featuring vocals from Laura Mvula under the name of "Naughty Town", from an upcoming Motown covers album.[33] According The Evening Standard, Naughty Boy has also collaborated with Justin Timberlake and Dua Lipa on the album.[34] In December 2017, Naughty Boy along with Wyclef Jean appeared on the final of the fourteenth series of The X Factor, guest performing "Dimelo" with contestants Rak-Su, his fellow Watford natives. Rak-Su won and the performance was released as the winner's single.[35]

In January 2018, Naughty Boy announced his second album had experienced some delays due to legal issues; he wanted to call the album Now That's What I Call Naughty, but was legally challenged over its similarity to the Now That's What I Call Music! compilation album series.[36] Describing the album as a playlist, he said "with my new album I wanted to make a real sick playlist that anyone and everyone can listen to."[37] At the time of writing, he had completed studio sessions with Dua Lipa, Mike Posner, MNEK, Ray BLK, Joe Jonas, WizKid, Bebe Rexha, Paloma Faith, Tom Walker, Miguel, Calum Scott, Shenseea, Popcaan, Kyla, Ray BLK, Wyclef Jean, Craig David and Julia Michaels but refused to confirm which were for his own album.[36][38]

On 18 April 2018, he released his collaboration with artist Ray BLK and Wyclef Jean titled "All or Nothing".[39] On 7 December 2018, "Bungee Jumping" was released featuring vocals from Emeli Sandé and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. On 22 March 2019, "Undo" was released featuring Calum Scott and Jamaican dancehall artist Shenseea.[40] At the time of writing (April 2019) Naughty Boy's second studio album was set for release in Autumn 2019.[38] From 9 - 15 December, Naughty Boy appeared was part of the 'industry' panel for The X Factor spin off series, The X Factor: The Band, launched to try and find the UK's next biggest band.[41]


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
Hotel Cabana 2 [A] 30 25 78 46 8
"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.


As lead artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
"Never Be Your Woman"[B]
(Naughty Boy presents Wiley featuring Emeli Sandé)[57]
2010 8 Hotel Cabana
(featuring Emeli Sandé)
2012 10 8
"La La La"
(featuring Sam Smith)
2013 1 5 2 6 2 1 3 4 4 2 19
  • BPI: 2× Platinum[49]
  • ARIA: 2× Platinum[58]
  • BVMI: 3× Gold[59]
  • FIMI: 2× Platinum[60]
  • IFPI DEN: 2× Platinum[61]
  • IFPI SWE: 2× Platinum[62]
  • RIAA: 2× Platinum[63]
  • RMNZ: Platinum[64]
(featuring Emeli Sandé)
8 55 21 63 61
"Think About It"
(featuring Wiz Khalifa and Ella Eyre)
(featuring RØMANS)
2014 45
"Runnin' (Lose It All)"
(featuring Beyoncé and Arrow Benjamin)
2015 4 22 1 85 59 12 19 9 23 90 Non-album single
"Should've Been Me"
(featuring Kyla and Popcaan)
2016 61 61
"One Chance to Dance"[67]
(featuring Joe Jonas)
"All or Nothing"[68]
(with Ray BLK and Wyclef Jean)
"Bungee Jumping"[69]
(featuring Emeli Sandé and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan)
(with Calum Scott and Shenseea)
"Live Before I Die"
(with Mike Posner)
"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.

As a featured artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
(Emeli Sandé featuring Naughty Boy)
2011 21 58 5 20 Our Version of Events
(Rak-Su featuring Wyclef Jean and Naughty Boy)
2017 2 2 Rak-Su
"Stay Here in the Sun"
(TALA featuring Naughty Boy)
2018 N/A
"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.

Writing and production discography[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

In January 2015, Khan was nominated for the Young Achiever award at the British Muslim Awards.[74]

At The Asian Awards in 2016, Shahid was honoured with the Outstanding Achievement in Music Award.[75]

Brit Awards[edit]

Year Award Work Result
2014 Single of the Year "La La La" Nominated
British Video of the Year Nominated
2016 "Runnin' (Lose It All)" Nominated

iHeartRadio Music Awards[edit]

Year Award Work Result
2014 Dance Song of the Year "La La La" Nominated

MOBO Awards[edit]

Year Award Work Result
2013 Best Song "La La La" Won
Best Video Won

YouTube Music Awards[edit]

Year Award Work Result
2013 YouTube Breakthrough "La La La" Nominated




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  3. ^ Savage, Mark (16 August 2013). "BBC News – Naughty Boy: From Watford to number one". Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  4. ^ Murtaza Ali Shah (3 January 2019), "'Pakistan defines me but I wanted Western audience to know my music first', says British-Pakistani DJ Naughty Boy", Geo News. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
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  10. ^ RihannaUnapologetic. [album credits]. SRP / Def Jam Records.
  11. ^ Fantasia BarrinoSide Effects of You. [Album Booklet]. 19 / RCA Records
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  13. ^ Digital Spy. Digital Spy (13 August 2012).
  14. ^ Corner, Lewis (13 August 2012). "Emeli Sandé features on new Naughty Boy single 'Wonder' – listen – Music News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
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  20. ^ "Naughty Boy Releases 'Hotel Cabana' Album Trailer Feat. Professor Green, Tinie Tempah & More – Stereoboard UK". 25 September 2012.
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  22. ^ GFK Chart-Track.
  23. ^ 1 June 2013 Top 40 Scottish Singles Archive. Official Charts (1 June 2013).
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  28. ^ "Naughty Boy confirma que ha trabajado con Zayn Malik". Los 40 Principales (in Spanish). Spain. 3 March 2015. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
  29. ^ Cox, Lauren (27 March 2015). "Zayn Malik: Fans Furious He's Making New Solo Music With Naughty Boy". Hollywood Life. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
  30. ^ Renner Brown, Eric (16 September 2015). "Naughty Boy teases new song with Beyoncé". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  31. ^ Strecker, Erin (16 September 2015). "New Beyonce! Naughty Boy Previews Their Song 'Runnin' (Lose It All)'". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
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  33. ^ "Naughty Boy wants to bring Motown to millennials with new album". Evening Standard. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  34. ^ "Naughty Boy wants to bring Motown to millennials with new album". Evening Standard. 6 October 2017.
  35. ^ "X Factor 2017 winner announced". 4 December 2017 – via
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  39. ^ "Naughty Boy debuts 'All Or Nothing' with Ray BLK and Wyclef". The Fader.
  40. ^ "Naughty Boy teams up with Calum Scott and Shenseea for new track Undo". 23 March 2019.
  41. ^ Furn, Daniel (9 December 2019). "Who is X Factor: The Band industry expert Naughty Boy". Radio Times. Immediate Media Co. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
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  45. ^ a b "Discography Naughty Boy". Irish Charts Portal. Hung Medien.
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  54. ^ Peak positions in Italy:
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  57. ^ Production
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  62. ^ "La La La - Naughty Boy feat. Sam Smith". IFPI SWE. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  63. ^ "Gold & Platinum: Disclosure". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  64. ^ "NZ Top 40 Singles Chart – 23 September 2013". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
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  67. ^ "One Chance to Dance (feat. Joe Jonas) - Single by Naughty Boy". iTunes (UK). Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  68. ^ "All Or Nothing - Single by Naughty Boy, RAY BLK & Wyclef Jean". iTunes (UK). Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  69. ^ "Bungee Jumping (feat. Emeli Sandé & Rahat Fateh Ali Khan) - Single by Naughty Boy". iTunes (UK). Retrieved 7 December 2018.
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  72. ^ "Discography Naughty Boy". Finnish Charts Portal. Hung Medien.
  73. ^ Peak positions for the featured singles in Scotland:
  74. ^ "British Muslim Awards 2015 finalists unveiled". Asian Image. 23 January 2015. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  75. ^ "Naughty Boy: 'I didn't just want to be known as the brown guy in music'". 10 April 2016.

External links[edit]