British girl group M.O. (not to be confused with Danish singer/songwriter MØ) 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. The group was formed in London in 2012 by 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?, followed in 2016, and the title track of the latter entered the U.K. charts. ~ John D. Buchanan
- London, England