All of the members of N-Dubz attended school in St John's Wood (Quintin Kynaston School), and came together as a group under the management of Dino Contostavlos's father, Byron Contostavlos (formerly of Mungo Jerry), who died on 12 April 2007. Members Dino (Dappy) and Tula (Tulisa) are cousins. Each appeared on Channel 4's Dubplate Drama after they began to get noticed as a group. Performing as the Lickle Rinsers Crew, they released the singles "Bad Man Riddim" and "Life Is Getting Sicker by the Day", which became hits on English pirate radio stations. Before their first single release, when they were known as NW1, they made a music video for the track "Everyday Of My Life" which received airplay on Channel U, they also recorded more demos as NW1 such as "Don't Feel Like Moving", "Girl On Road" and "Livin Broke". Their first single to be released was "You Better Not Waste My Time" available for download only until their 2006 self-released single, "I Swear", won them their first mainstream notice. It wasn't until 2007's "Feva Las Vegas" (also self-released) that the group appeared on the UK charts, peaking at #57.
After winning a MOBO for Best Newcomer, the group signed to Polydor Records and re-released their first single "You Better Not Waste My Time" on the label, which debuted at #26 on the UK singles chart. In mid 2007, Dappy released "Love for my Slums" with fellow UK artist Baker Troble. This song was number one on Channel U for many weeks, and was a big hit with the UK underground rap scene. Dappy appeared on the television show Never Mind The Buzzcocks on 29 November 2007, and wore a trademark floppy eared hat which Simon Amstell also sported as part of a gag. He appeared for a second time in late 2008.
In May 2008, a song entitled "Ouch" surfaced along with a music video. The video for "Ouch" attracted over 4 million viewers on networking site YouTube, in just over a month after release. On 6 August 2008, it was announced that the group had left Polydor Records and had signed to All Around the World records. The label predominantly specializes in dance music, however, they have occasionally released hip-hop records such as Ice Cube's You Can Do It. The press release stated that the label would be releasing "Ouch" as the group's first single on the label in September 2008. The group's first album, Uncle B, was released on 17 November 2008. The album features all of the releases that made N-Dubz famous, including "You Better Not Waste My Time", "I Swear", "Feva Las Vegas", "Love for My Slums", "Ouch", "Defeat You" and "Papa Can You Hear Me?". Strong Again was touted as the third single to be released from the Uncle B album on 16 February 2009 and a music video was made, before the physical CD released of the song was cancelled for unknown reasons. The song charted for five weeks in the UK Singles Chart, peaking highest at number 24. Group member Dappy was featured in Tinchy Stryder's 2009 #1 single tentatively titled "Number" 1, the video also featured cameo appearances from all N-Dubz's members. Due to the success of their debut album, the group embarked on their first headlining tour Uncle B Tour. The tour was originally planned for 16 dates but due to extreme demand 5 extra dates were added. The tour was supported by grime superstar Tinchy Stryder with whom N-Dubz collaborated on his #1 single "Number 1". The tour sold out within days.
During a band performance, Tulisa fainted on stage. Multiple news sources have reported that it was due to suspected swine flu. Jonathan Shalit, the band's manager, stated that Tulisa "was taken ill on the flight out to Greece on Thursday" and that "her bandmates are all very worried about her.". The group were due to perform at Radio 1's Big Weekend on 10 May 2009, but their participation was placed in doubt while Tulisa was hospitalised. It was later confirmed that Tulisa had tested negative for swine flu and the group did perform.
The song Wouldn't You was then announced to be the seventh, and last, single to be released from the Uncle B debut album. The song has been a fan favourite since the albums release in 2008. The song was released digitally on the May 25, 2009 and peaked at #64 in the UK.
Tulisa and Dappy both reprised their roles in the third and final series of the Channel 4 show Dubplate Drama, the story for the third series was mainly set around Tulisa's relationship with her music manager and lead singer of an R&B group while tackling a drug addiction to Cocaine. Dubplate Drama finished with Tulisa kicking her addictions and leaving in a Taxi for pastures new.
N-Dubz are currently working on their second album since finishing the Uncle B tour. The group has stated this should be released either late 2009 or early 2010 according to a statement made on the groups facebook page by band member Richard "Fazer" Rawson. The band have confirmed that they have recorded a new song entitled "I Do Not Want To Go To Sleep" for their new album. Judging by the title of the song this solidifies Dappy's statement in an interview with 4music about a possible change in direction to making their Sophomore release an album of "Club Bangers". Dappy has since confirmed this and said they are currently living in a cottage with a studio, recording their new album for four months, they also stated their sophomore album will have 14 songs on it. N-Dubz have revealed that they are making good progress on recording their second studio album. The group have been working on the follow-up to multi-platinum Uncle B in rural Surrey, but took time out to pick up the Digital gong at the Silver Clef Awards in London. "We've just taken a quick break," Tulisa told the Daily Star. "We're having fun and the album is sounding good." The singer added that the group have adopted unusual work patterns while making the new record "We normally work till 5am - I come alive at midnight, like a vampire.".
N-Dubz have joined forces with the likes of Tinchy Stryder and Pixie Lott to record a charity song for War Child. The Noisettes, Chipmunk, MPHO, Ironik and Kid British have also signed up for the project under the name The Young Soul Rebels. The music stars will release 'I Got Soul', a rewritten version of The Killers's 'All These Things That I've Done', to raise money for marginalised children in war zones. Tulisa has admitted she felt privileged to record the charity song. "It's an issue that hasn't been looked at enough. And you know, even until I found out about this event, I didn't really know that much about it, and that's saying something you know. And the fact that I'm only finding out now is not really good enough. So that was every reason for me to get involved." She told BBC Newsbeat.
The group will be will be embarking on a Chistmas Party Tour from the November 17, 2009. They will visit 10 cities across the UK performing a couple of songs from their album "Uncle B" and some songs from their as-yet untitled second album as a taster for its release, as confirmed by their official MySpace page. The tour poster can also be viewed on their MySpace.
Tulisa has revealed that the group have recorded a song called 'Who Do You Think You Are' about teenage pregnancy for their new album. It is about a young couple arguing whether to keep their unplanned baby. "It's not something any of us have been through personally," Tulisa told the Daily Star. "But everyone knows someone who has. The three of us wrote down our different perspectives and we based the song around that. It's our favourite track on the album.".
The group filmed a 6 part documentary, "Being... N-Dubz". The series is sponsored by Adidas Originals and premiered on 21 June 2010 on 4Music.
After speculation, it was confirmed that US label Def Jam signed the group and the first release will combine material taken from Uncle B and Against All Odds and brand new songs. The 4 new songs from the compilation will be released only as singles in the UK in the summer.
On 1 September 2010 N-Dubz announced via Facebook that their new single that had the video shot in France will be called "Best Behaviour" and will be released on 3 October 2010. They later pushed the date back to October 17. The music video premiered Channel AKA and Clubland TV on September 8 and was uploaded on YouTube by AATW Records later that day.