The Lead (Apple Music Up Next Film Edition) - EP
If you've been missing the R&B girl groups from the late ’90s and early 2000s, look no further than FLO. The London-based trio—Jorja Douglas, Renée Downer, and Stella Quaresma—have been gaining traction with their debut single, "Cardboard Box," a catchy breakup anthem laced with lush harmonies and strong vocals. The single amassed about two million streams within a month and received praise from Missy Elliott, SZA, and more. "It's kinda weird because people are like, 'These girls popped out of nowhere,' and we've been together for three years, we've been making lots of music together," Downer tells Apple Music. Produced by MNEK, "Cardboard Box" is reminiscent of when R&B groups dominated the pop charts, and much of that sound flows throughout their five-track EP The Lead. On the group's follow-up single, "Immature," FLO explores the lack of communication within a relationship over Timbaland-style beats. "Summertime" is a euphoric tune à la Destiny's Child about not letting anyone (specifically a former boo) steal your joy and enjoying time with your girls. "Know you see me/On some real heat/With my crew, looking cute in my two-piece/Don't even bother bothering me/I'm catching flights without the feelings," Downer sings as the trio harmonizes over a smooth bass synth. FLO shows their sultry side on the seductive track "Feature Me" as they sing about taking control in the bedroom over an instantly nostalgic beat. Closing out the EP is "Another Guy," an acoustic-guitar-driven ballad demonstrating their impressive vocals. Before forming FLO, Downer and Quaresma knew each other from school and only knew Douglas from social media; it wasn't until meeting each other at an audition that they hit it off. "Chemistry-wise, it's always been there, from the beginning; that's what made us become the three of FLO," Quaresma says. "Obviously, you have your whole team, but it's not the same as having two people who are like your sisters doing it at the same time." Even though the girls all have different backgrounds and upbringings, what brings them all together is their love for their chosen genre of music. "I grew up listening to R&B. A lot of R&B from my mum. I love R&B. I only listen to R&B," says Douglas. With the rerelease of the trio's EP The Lead, the Up Next stars added one new track, "Not My Job," which blends more early-2000s nostalgia with a modern twist, singing about how their partner's emotional maturity, or lack thereof, is not their responsibility. With powerful vocals and fearless girl power, FLO is the next generation of girl groups, and they have just begun.