SXSW Artist Spotlight: Flohio, UK Rap and Grime

Written by on January 29, 2019

Thanks to skilled UK rappers such as Stormyz, Roll Deep, Skepta, Dizzee Rascal, and many more, the genre UK Rap/UK Grime is finally getting the shine it deserves. In 2002, the genre was created by Richard Kylea Cowie Jr, who was frustrated with UK garage music at the time. Known as the Grandfather of Grime, Cowie created “Eskimo” which is considered the first form of Grime in the UK. Taking styles from earlier UK electronic music, UK Garage and Jungle, Grime is a special sub-genre of Hip-Hop/Rap. It is typically characterized by super fast, syncopated breakbeats; usually around 150 beats per minute. Paired with rapping, a significant element to this genre, you have a gritty depiction of UK urban life.

Hailing from South London, Funmi Ohiosumah also known as FLOHIO, was born and raised in Nigeria. Her family moved to London in the early 2000’s, around the same time Richard Cowie first discovered Grime. Dealing with cultural shock, London’s weather, and a growing dysfunctional family, she turned to music to express herself. Being inspired by OG female rapper EVE, at the age of 13, she started writing her first set of lyrics. FLOHIO is a highly experimental artist, it is because of this it’s hard to really categorize her music. Although most would categorize her music as a Grime, like many grime musicians, her punchy yet poetic lyrics are often confessional, telling the stories of their lives. Her track My World,” produced by London duo God Colony, is about an important friend that passed away.

Before deciding to pursue music full-time, Funmi Ohiosumah was a graphic designer for a record label called Ninja Tunes. She often performed and toured while still working a regular 9-5. In 2016, she hopped on the map by collaborating with prominent London producers, God Colony. Releasing standout single, SE16. Her collaborations with God Colony put FLOHIO on UK’s map, they were entirely impressive. FLOHIO absolutely dominates the duo’s scattered-brained beats leaving fellow Grime MC’s shook. Afterward, she decided that her happiness trumps all and decides to leave Ninja Tunes. That same year, FLOHIO releases her debut EP Nowhere Near in 2016 an EP with a wide array of sounds, and lyrical spits hinting at a form of self-discovery.

With this self-discovery between late 2017 and half of 2018, FLOHIO has been more selective with her appearances and outputs, making an appearance on the L-Vis 1990’s collab Yeah Yeah and the Youtube show, Colors. On November 2, 2018, she dropped her second EP, “Wild Yout,” by also dropping a single by the same name. The four-track EP is filled with hard-hitting lyrics and cadences, two ingredients needed to solicit cheers from raucous crowds.

Check out FLOHIO at SXSW, March 17-18, 2019.








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