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Flo speaks on new music, new vibes, and Marsha Ambrosius

"ONCE, PRINCE said to me that ‘owning myself is what I should be aiming for." He told me that it would take five to 10 years, but to not worry about it as it’s a part of the journey. That’s where I stand now. I own myself.”

Flo takes the concept of owning oneself extremely seriously – and understandably so. After 16 years in the industry, millions of records sold as half of influential R&B duo Floetry, three acclaimed solo projects – and a very public spat with former band member Marsha Ambrosius – she is now an independent artist in a place of peace and positivity, and is ready to share that with her loyal fans through the release of her first project since 2014’s Rise Of The Phoenix Mermaid.

“This new album for me is by far my best work. I think as artist we get better, we grow in our craft and understanding,” says the 38-year-old. “I’ve got a really beautiful selection of grooves to give, and I’m just really excited about it.”

Flo’s eclectic journey began when she was born in Germany, lived in Hong Kong and settled in London at the age of seven with her Jamaican parents. She recalls: “I was born into a service family, as my dad was in the army, so we travelled around a lot. This exploration of different cultures was instilled in me early on and helped fuel my creativity.”

“I became a poet at the age of 19, but I used to study as an actress. I got a bit bored with the same roles, the same voices, and I had things that I wanted to say – and that’s what I get from poetry.”

Flo’s poetic talents are impressive. Her calming presence and lyrical prowess is undisputed – something she credits her family for. “Jamaicans are very poetic people,” says Flo. “It’s funny because I’m often asked who my favourite poets are, and for me it’s my grandmother, my mother and my aunts – they’re incredible narrators."

“My dad is also a great storyteller and gatekeeper, so the creativity really comes from within the family more so than outside of it.” This creativity and Flo’s ability to tap into it forged a successful career, from her days in Floetry to her own solo endeavours.

“My creativity is based on my intentions and wanting to be the difference that I want to see,” she says. “So even with my own work, I write first for myself to gain understanding and insight. It was during my career that I realised as a poet, you might be writing for other people but you’re also writing for yourself. You have to realise the constant drip of force that is within and let that flow.”


NEW MUSIC: Flo's new track Good Life

Amid Flo’s positivity, which radiates effortlessly during our conversation, recent news regarding her relationship with former band member Marsha Ambrosius has come to light. During an interview on The Breakfast Club on Power 105.1 FM, both Ambrosius and ex-Floetry touring member Amanda Seales shared some controversial claims about Flo
during their time on the Floetry reunion tour – claims which Flo doesn’t agree with.

She says: “When Marsha’s interview came out, I was just in my house, and my phone started blowing up. The last time I saw Marsha we were like, ‘Yo, everything’s good’, we talked about if we want to tour again, she was expecting a baby and I wished her all the best –
so I don’t really know what changed.”

She continues: “I find that these types of comments usually happen when Marsha has a project she wants to release or something like that, so I don’t really know – I’m not involved in these things. And I don’t actually know Amanda – I’ve never met her. I find it interesting to me that Amanda refers to herself as a former member of Floetry, because I don’t know anything about that."

“It’s a shame because in this day and age, negativity sells – but I just don’t ascribe to those things. I never have,” she adds. “I think that Floetry was such a beautiful success and I feel very deeply about those who took us to that level of success."

“So I just refuse to do anything but honour that movement because that’s what it was.”
Despite the chatter surrounding her Floetry days, Flo is intent on moving forward - starting with her feel-good track Good Life. “The first single was released on August 15, and we’re about to drop the visuals soon,” she tells me excitedly."

She adds: “I’ve also got a show coming up at the Hideaway which I’m so happy about. “I’m overjoyed to be launching a new project and a new era in my career from home. We’ve got a lovely presentation, and the band and our relationship together is great."

“Hideaway is a beautiful, intimate venue where we can be up close and personal with the audience, and I want that because I’m celebrating renewal, continuation and I’m celebrating with those I represent wherever I go.”

A limited number of tickets to see Flo live at Hideaway on September 23 are still available: hideawaylive.co.uk/floacist- saturday-23rd-september-2017

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