British girl group M.O. rode the early-2010s nostalgia for all things '90s, evoking the look and close-harmony pop-R&B sound of U.S. trios like TLC and SWV. They are best known for scoring several Top 20 U.K chart singles, including 2016's "What Do You Think Of?" and 2018's "Bad Vibe."
Formed in 2012 in London, M.O. originally featured the talents of singers Frankee Connolly, Annie Ashcroft, and Nadine Samuels. Wise to the vagaries of the music industry and determined to be true to their own musical influences, the group members wrote, choreographed, and self-financed their own material, working with a succession of hip underground beatmakers. They first came to prominence on the popular online urban youth video channel SBTV, performing an acoustic version of Brandy and Monica's classic hit "The Boy Is Mine" with Lady Leshurr. Further appearances were followed by a slew of singles including "Hot," "Wait Your Turn," "Ain't Got Time," and "For a Minute," each of which racked up hundreds of thousands of YouTube hits and repeated plays on BBC 1Xtra radio. In 2014, M.O. signed a publishing deal with Universal, and had their first taste of chart success with the single "Dance on My Own." A pair of EPs, Good Friends and Who Do You Think Of?, arrived in 2016, and the title track of the latter entered the U.K. charts. The following year, Connolly left the group to pursue a solo career. Singer Chanal Benjilali, who had competed on The X Factor in 2016, stepped in as her replacement, appearing live with the group through 2017. She was also on board for their 2018 single "Bad Vibe," with Lotto Boyzz and Mr. Eazi. The song landed at number 18 on the U.K. charts. The group's activities were also put on hold for much of that year while Samuels served an eight-month prison sentence. M.O. reconvened following her release in 2019 and returned in June 2020 with the EP Modus Operandi, which included the song "Going Out of My Way" with Mr. Eazi. ~ John D. Buchanan