Flohio is tearing up grime’s template
“Growing up in South London, I don’t think I could have escaped listening to grime,” says Flohio, the Bermondsey MC whose recent single, SE16, was a murky dissection of her surroundings set against the visceral productions of beat-making duo God Colony. The fittingly lo-fi video for the track was directed by London-based Mixpak-signed artist GAIKA. “He’s such a boss,” she told us over email. “I would like to interact with him more on a chilled level ’cause he is a very smart guy.” GAIKA captured Flohio’s home borough through a grainy lens, flickering with emulsion and malfunction.
SE16 is a truly addictive listen, where Flohio’s hook rings out like an infectious mantra of fury and aspiration. She’s one of those remarkable MCs who makes the whole operation look totally effortless. She’s part of the TruLuvCru, a South London collective of young talents who are growing together and supporting each other at every milestone. “It’s a family, we all grew up together. There’s a rapper, producer, photographer, videographer and graphic designers. We are always around each other if we need that extra support, whether we are at shows, videoshoots, in the studio, we make sure the love is always around.”
This cross-disciplinary approach to music-making has brought about an eclecticism in Flohio’s sound which can’t be missed on Nowhere Near, her debut EP. On some beats she’s practically flown off the grid – spitting with a reload-chasing fever which can only be traced back to the grime she grew up on. Elsewhere in her music she’s got a laser-sharp focus; an intimidating level of unfazed concentration. “‘I’ll go on a beat that sounds subtle yet so edgy and raw, or a beat that sounds grounded and gives me the opportunity to run loose on it.”
As it stands, Flohio doesn’t see herself as part of London’s rap scene. “Next year if you ask me this again I’ll probably say yes though.” She’s still firmly in the early, exploratory stages of her work. Heads have been turning in her direction because of the energy she exudes on record, a kind of indefinable hyper-confidence. She’s got a handful of shows lined up and plans to record and tour as we head into next year. “While creating the track we knew others would get the same vibe we did while listening to it for the first time,” she says of the ferocious God Colony collaboration, unaware of her own transfixing flow. “I didn’t know it would get this much love though.”