FLO wins BBC Sound of 2023 and Rising Star

FLO have won the BBC Sound of 2023 and are the first band ever to win the Brit Awards Rising Star Award.

The Sound Of 2023 was voted for by over 130 music industry experts, including representatives from Spotify, Apple Music, Glastonbury Festival, the BBC and former nominees including Dua Lipa, Stormzy, Sam Smith and Foals.

The list was open to new artists who had yet to achieve a top five album or more than two top 10 singles by 31 October 2022, however, artists who had appeared on TV talent shows within the last three years were ineligible.

Flo are also the first group of any kind to win the Rising Star Award since Florence + the Machine won it in 2009. Previous winners were Adele, Ellie Goulding, Sam Smith and Celeste. The London-based group who are signed with Island records achieved huge success when they dropped their debut single Cardboard Box via social media in March 2022.

The single won immediate praise due to the layers of harmony and their old school retro-styled girl band sound. It was produced by famed British producer MNEK. FLO then dropped the music video for “Cardboard Box,” reaching almost one million views in a matter of days.

The trio who formed in 2019 are Jorja Douglas, Stella Quaresma, and Renée Downer. Stella and Renée knew each other previously from their studies at Sylvia Young Theatre School. They then discovered Jorja from viral singing videos on Instagram. Jorja joined the group and they became FLO.

FLOs message according to BBC is “to be strong in yourself, to be confident”. “There is female empowerment – but everyone who listens should feel supported, inspired, independent,” says Stella. “We want them to feel the way music used to make us feel.”

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