Interview : M.O, Awesome group
M.O are Annie Ashcroft, Frankee Connolly and Nadine Samuels. The UK’s hottest girl group’s awesome summer single ‘Who Do You Think Of?’ is a UK Top20 chart hit and has amassed over thirteen million Spotify streams. You may be familiar with their breakthrough singles ‘Preach’ and ‘Dance On My Own’.
How would you describe the band in five words?
Annie : Cool, fresh, laid-back, tomboy, and fierce!
We’d love to know more about the origins of the group
Nadine : We all met while we were in other groups, at festivals and other industry events and just started hanging out. We realised we all wanted to honestly make the same kind of music. When our other groups came to a natural end, we decided to get together and it’s been a serious ride since, haha!
Frankee : The name came from a Drake song ‘The Motto’. We heard it in there and just thought it was cool…You can’t help people confusing us with Mø, though, she’s sick and we love her so sometimes we just go with it.
If you could go back to the time of releasing your first single and have a word in your 2014 selves ears, is there any advice you’d give yourselves?
Annie : Don’t give up, it will come. There will be hard times, there needs to be! But it will all be worth it.
Were you musical growing up?
Annie : I was very musical when I was growing up, I was obsessed with anything musical. I loved all the Disney films with songs – I knew all the words. My dad loved the Rolling Stones so they were always playing around the house too.
Nadine : I grew up with a lot of reggae, old-school garage, and the Spice Girls!
Frankee : I had a lot of Motown and reggae playing around me growing up too. I was always encouraged to be musical by my family. It’s so important to have parents that want to push you to find your own lane in life, whatever that might be.
“Don’t give up, it will come. There will be hard times, there needs to be! But it will all be worth it.”
Who were your musical role models growing up?
Nadine : Whitney Houston and Destiny’s Child for me. Whitney was so strong in the public eye for so long. Destiny’s Child taught me it could really be a sisterhood with a musical group.
Annie : Lauren Hill for me! She was such a smart woman, she was always rapping about real relationships that you just weren’t hearing anywhere else.
Frankee : And we all love Beyonce and Rihanna. They really inspire us to be comfortable with ourselves.
You’re awesome new single ‘Who Do You Think Of?’ is getting a great response. How does it feel to be a part of M.O at the moment?
Annie : It feels amazing at the minute, we have finally got to a place that six months ago, would’ve been a dream.
Frankee : We feel we’ve worked so hard, so it’s really a pleasure to see it starting to pay off.
You’ve released some fantastic singles already. Did you expect the new single to get the reaction it’s getting?
Nadine : We were really excited by Who Do You Think Of? We really love this track and just hope everyone else loves it as much as we do.
What can we expect from your album?
Annie : We have some excited collabs coming up but we can’t say anything yet! There are so many UK artists that we want to work with too like Stormzy, Boy Better Know, and Lady Leshur. Watch this space!
The awesome video for M.O’s new single ‘Who Do You Think Of?’. Available to download and stream now.
You were a part of Global Goals’ campaign for women’s rights by recreating The Spice Girls’ ‘Wannabe’ video. Why was it important for you to be a part of the campaign?
Annie : We felt honoured to be part of such an amazing charity. The main thing we want to put out there is that we want women to fight for their rights. The thing is, you can’t fight for your rights until you know what they are. That kind of education was our main reason for supporting it.
Nadine : It’s something we feel really strongly about. Equality as a woman is still something that in 2016 we’re still struggling to achieve, so anything we can do to put it out there in a way that’s able to get some much needed attention and love on a global level, is just incredibly important.
What’s your favourite Spice Girls song?
Annie : ‘Say You’ll Be There’ – I’m giving you everything!
Nadine : That song has such a great r&b melody.
Frankee : I love that song too, but I really love ‘Mama’ too. I’m into that tempo and melody so much!
Do you think there is more work to be done to ensure gender equality in all areas of the music industry, and wider entertainment industry?
Frankee : It’s a male-dominated industry at the very top, we’ve experienced… It would be so good to see more females in CEO roles.
“You take in the most when you’re a child. It sets you up, it can either be a foundation or another hurdle to get over.”
How important do you think positive and diverse role models are to encouraging kids of all backgrounds to aim high and follow their dreams?
Nadine : It’s pretty simple, you take in the most when you’re a child. It sets you up, it can either be a foundation or another hurdle to get over.
Annie : It’s great that we have people like Stormzy around who’s showing young people that it doesn’t matter what background you come from or how you have been brought up, that anything is literally possible if you work hard and stay focused on what’s important. He’s such a genuine guy, it was a real pleasure to perform with him at The Great Escape this year and we know he’s got a lot more inside him in terms of social influence!
We saw you perform at Manchester Pride a few years ago. What do you enjoy most about performing at LGBT+ events?
Frankee : The crowds are always the most fun.
Annie : Last year when we performed we actually had a music malfunction and the crowd started signing along – they were so cool!
Nadine : We’re playing again this year and cannot wait!
What’s your proudest moment in the group to date?
Annie : Getting our first ever top 20 has got to be it! There’s nothing that can describe the feeling of reacting with so many different people.
BEFORE ‘WHO DO YOU THINK OF?’ THERE WAS….