With a refreshing take on R&B influenced by music stars of the late 90s and early 2000s, rising London-based girl group FLO brings a fresh energy to the music scene, picking up where girl groups over time have left off. Their debut EP, The Lead, introduces the world to this trifecta of stardom.
Members Stella Quaresma, Renée Downer, and Jorja Douglas formed FLO back in 2019, and takes a new approach to the typical girl group formula. No one seems to be the lead or background vocalist. Each girl has a chance to shine and does so beautifully, adding their own flair and style both visually and vocally. They also engage with fans frequently and consistently, as social media presence is prominent on the group’s shared account as well as individually. Their footage spans from behind-the-scenes content to goofing around the London streets.
The trio had all formed a connection amid performing arts school and auditions, clicking almost instantly. “I saw the girls and we screamed across the room. I knew from that moment we were about to start something big,” Douglas shared with Dork Magazine earlier this year.
Breaking out with their debut single, “Cardboard Box,” the trio brought back what the music scene has been missing: Black girl groups in R&B. Reminiscent of late 90s and early 2000s R&B units such as TLC and Destiny’s Child, the song took off on social media earlier this March. The song discusses no longer putting up with a lover’s lies and dishonesty, packing all their things and changing locks on the door to seal the done deal. The theme has a similar air to Beyoncé’s “Irreplaceable” or JoJo’s “Leave (Get Out)”. Lyrics take ending things even further, including this line:
“I’ma put your gold chains down the drain and your Rolly/Might just drop a text to your homies”
With an influx in attention, the girls wasted no time churning out a new project. Within three months, the ladies released the follow up single, “Immature,” a moody track with punchy rhythm calling out their significant other for lacking communication and never seeing eye to eye. The Lead was announced the day that “Immature” released, dropping that Friday as a surprise release.
The EP features three new tracks, with the fun, girl-power anthem “Summertime,” the sultry 90s-inspired “Feature Me,” and vocally focused “Another Guy”. The project features executive production by Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter, and producer MNEK. Since its release last week, the project has received over 6 million streams on Spotify alone.
Downer expressed that the release of the group’s music was “perfect timing.” She shared with Essence Magazine’s Girls United that due to delays and changes, releases hadn’t come out when planned. However, this powerhouse trio was worth the wait. FLO is on the right track to becoming the future of true girl groups.