Flo win BBC Radio 1’s Sound of 2023

R and B group Flo have been named winner of the BBC Radio 1 Sound of 2023 poll.

The London-formed three-piece girl group, which includes Jorja Douglas, Stella Quaresma and Renee Downer, were chosen by a panel of more than 130 industry experts and artists, including Sir Elton John, Dua Lipa, Celeste and Sam Smith.

Flo beat other shortlisted upcoming artists electronic music DJ Fred again…, Nia Archives, a DJ and producer specialising in jungle and drum and bass, singer-songwriter Cat Burns and soul band Gabriels.

In a joint statement, Flo paid tribute to 2022’s winner and their “gal” TikTok star PinkPantheress and expressed admiration for the artists that came before them.

Previous winners include Smith, 50 Cent, Haim, Ellie Goulding and Adele.

Flo also said: “Wow, we did it! To win this accolade not even a year after we released our debut single Cardboard Box is wild.

“We feel so connected to our British music roots winning BBC Radio 1’s Sound Of…Thank you to everyone who voted for us and put girl groups back on the map.

“To be recognised for our music and people to believe in our vision inspires us to go further this year! 2023 we’re ready.”

Last month, Flo were named named the winner of the 2023 Brit Awards Rising Star award.

Winning the accolade, saw them beat Burns and Nia Archives and join the ranks of hit makers and winners Adele, Florence + the Machine and Smith.

Flo started when childhood friends Downer and Quaresma met Douglas at an audition.

They went on to release Cardboard Box, produced by Little Mix and Dua Lipa-collaborator MNEK, in March.

The breakout anthem won praise from rapper Missy Elliott, American singer SZA and former Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland.

They have also performed the song on late night US TV show Jimmy Kimmel, the UK’s Later…with Jools Holland, and The Glamour Women of the Year Awards.

Flo released their debut EP The Lead at the height of summer 2022 to critical acclaim, and it has since amassed more than 70 million global streams.

The band said on Twitter this month that a remix of Stormzy’s Hide And Seek is “coming soon” and will see them collaborate with the grime star.

DJ Jack Saunders
DJ Jack Saunders (Ian West/PA)

BBC Radio One DJ Jack Saunders said: “Flo are a revelation to the scene and a worthy winner of the sound of list this year.”

He also paid tribute to the “vibrant, creative and exciting artists that want to push the boundaries” that were nominated.

The longlist also includes pop singer Dylan, drum and bass duo Piri & Tommy, Nigerian Afrobeats singer and songwriter Asake, Indie singer-songwriter Rachel Chinouriri and Irish singer and rapper Jessica Smyth, known by the stage name Biig Piig.