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GRAMMY PERFORMERS: WHO'S ON? WHAT'S UP?
The incremental rollout begins. (1/26a)
A TASTE OF RAINMAKERS:
JACK SUSSMAN
Nobody's got more experience in putting music on the tube. (1/25a)
RIHANNA, GAGA LEAD OSCAR SONG NOMS
David Byrne and Diane Warren have noms as well. (1/24a)
HIPGNOSIS NABS
BIEBER CATALOG
Merck's a belieber. (1/25a)
HITS' BLACK HISTORY MONTH SPECIAL: NOT EVERY WOMAN, BUT SEVERAL
Sisters doin' it for themselves (1/24a)
HIP-HOP AT 50
The astonishing first half-century of a world-rocking genre.
THE NEXT BIG PLAYER
in the catalog game is...
INDIE BREAKOUTS
More independent music rises at the DSPs.
THE GOP CONGRESS
At last, America can focus 24/7 on Hunter Biden's laptop.
Blighty Beat
U.K. ACT TO WATCH: FLO (UMG)
12/7/22

UPDATE: FLO wins BRITs Rising Star Award.

Island Records girl group FLO—consisting of Jorja Douglas, Stella Quaresma and Renée Downer—released their debut EP, The Lead, earlier this year. Island A&R/FLO co-manager Rob Harrison first came across the members individually via videos they’d posted online. After meeting each one in person, Harrison got them together to see if they’d click as a trio. “As if by magic, it transpired that they were already connected to each other—Stella and Renée were at college together, and both knew Jorja through social media,” he says. “Their chemistry was instant, and FLO was born.”

The trio spent more than a year working on demos before inking with the label in September 2020. During that time, they created a close network of collaborators, including MNEK, who executive-produced The Lead. After the group signed to Island, their development process lasted longer than anticipated due to the pandemic—but by the time their debut single, “Cardboard Box,” dropped in March 2022, FLO had built a sizeable TikTok following and were raring to go.

“There isn’t another act like FLO—we’ve been waiting for an R&B superstar to come out of the U.K. for a long time, and in Jorja, Stella and Renée, we are lucky enough to have three,” says Harrison. “Girl groups have the power to tell stories and inspire music fans in a way that is completely unique, and the world needs to hear the voices of young women, especially united young Black women, more than ever.”

FLO was named Apple’s Up Next artist for September and has received nominations at the Rated Awards and the Guap Gala, which celebrates creative excellence. Rapturous reviews have come from Pitchfork, Complex, Rolling Stone and The Face. FLO is aiming to bring back “feel-good girl-group music and are determined to be the best group in the world,” adds Harrison. Next year, expect lots more music and visuals, their first collaborations with other artists and live shows and festivals around the world.

STATS

  • 60m streams on debut EP, The Lead; nearly 30m from “Cardboard Box” alone
  • 166k Instagram followers, 127k YouTube subscribers, 70k Twitter followers and 270k followers and 6.2m likes on TikTok
  • 1.7 monthly listeners and 100k followers on Spotify
  • Playlist support from BBC Radio 1, BBC 1Xtra, Capital Xtra, Kiss Fresh and Apple Music

TEAM

  • Management: Rob Harrison at Listen Generously and Sam Eldridge at UROK
  • Label: Island Records
  • Live: Alex Hardee, Marty Diamond, Tom Windish and Lauren Marker at Wasserman
  • Publishing: TBA