“The way it all came together – why can’t it be 100%?”
– Renee Downer
Although the girl group’s auditions recall a very X Factor way of building a musical unit, the three members of FLO had prior experience with each other prior to their reunion at Universal HQ. Renee and Stella went to school together, while Stella and Gorga met “in a group setting”; When the three got together at a mixology workshop, they all chose the same songs, realizing immediately that their tastes were a natural match. “The way it all came together, why can’t it be 100%?” says Renee.
Their hits today seem to fall naturally into two columns: American R&B greats (Faith Evans, Mary J Blige, Brandy) and classic, attitude-driven girl groups (Spice Girls and Pussycat Dolls). At the center of the Venn diagram is Destiny’s Child – considered a perfect example of what the genre can be. “The standard they hold is what we value there,” says Yorga. “In my opinion, no other girl group has this level of dancing and singing, and the way they carried themselves is as close to perfection as a girl group has seen before.”
FLO clearly holds themselves to the same high standards; Recently, they posted a training video on social media, showing them exercising while singing to practice breathing exercises in preparation for any future intense choreography. It’s also worth noting how clearly the trio embrace the girl group concept and all that it entails. They don’t want to be a band, they want to be a group – with an emphasis on unity. “In a band, people do different things, but in a girl group we have to work together to make it perfect,” notes Gorga.
Female solidarity is also a recurring sentiment throughout FLO’s productions to date, particularly in the gal pal bop ‘Summertime’ and its accompanying video, which sees the three rocking out in Greece. “We were raised by our mothers and always grew up with the same message of female empowerment and strength,” says Stella. “I suspect [what we want to represent is] To go with your intuition and be strong in what you believe in, and that your voice carries weight.” At one point during today’s conversation, after a spirited foray into the “passion, persuasion, and passion” found in US R&B, Renée suggests that the Spice Girls’ message was calling for the same Thoughts.” All of their songs give off a lot of energy and that translates to whoever listens to them. You just want to get up and have fun and go crazy, and be Baby Spice or be Mel B. It’s the same effect. “
FLO’s aren’t concerned with nurturing the odd aesthetics their hot-headed predecessors were known for; Instead they want to defend their cohesion as a trio. “It’s more about becoming more of a like than something that grows and stands out,” Renee says after trying to tease out girl group personalities that lead to the notoriously unmarketable “Organize FLO” and “Chill FLO.” And as they gear up to release an upcoming single in December (all we can say is that, as Stella notes, it’s “period-appropriate” for a Christmastime release) and 2023’s biggest hit, the six-legged pop juggernaut merges into one unstoppable whole.
There are plans for guest stars, a new live show and a debut album — none of which are set to reveal yet today aside from the fact that the new material “isn’t going to be all about boys all the time.” But although details are scarce, the excitement around FLO’s future is palpable. Brandi knows that. Kelly knows that. The global audience that already watched their US TV debut on Jimmy Kimmel knows that, and the 2.6 million people who made TikToks for their songs are very on board. Going with FLO, then, seems like a no-brainer.
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