Devonshire Green. Saturday — 19:15
Since forming in 2012, M.O's - wait for it - modus operandi has been to take their time getting things just right. So way back in October of that year Annie, Frankee and Nadine, aka M.O, filmed their first A64 session for the hugely influential music site SBTV. Rather than perform a straight cover of an R&B classic, they decided to do a unique re-imagining of Brandy & Monica's 'The Boy Is Mine' , with a little help from UK rap upstart Lady Leshurr. The performance went on to become SBTV's most viewed debut A64 ever, with over a quarter of a million views.
With Twitter support from the likes of Ed Sheeran and Wiley, a 2014 MOBO nomination for Best Newcomer, massive support from 1Xtra (DJ MistaJam reckons they're "the only girl group you need to worry about") and Radio 1 (last year's 90s R&B inspired single 'Preach' found its way onto the A-List), as well as a roar of online buzz from the likes of Noisey, Fader, The Guardian and Dazed, you'd think most bands would start to rest on their laurels.
For M.O, however, a band who started out completely independently, scoring two Top 40 hits on the independent charts off the back of their own blood sweat and tears, things have only just started.
New single 'Who Do You Think Of?' - their first since joining the likes of Mabel and Mura Masa at Polydor is a head-spinning, straight up summer anthem, all steel drum lilt and double time drum claps, the chorus to which will be blaring out of every car window come June.
The key to M.O's success so far has been their patience. Rather than rush headlong into a definitive sound, they've experimented with the reaches of R&B and pop. From their debut single, the playfully aggressive, Show N Prove - produced banger 'Wait Your Turn' , via the dancehall-tinged 'Hot', the summer jams 'For A Minute' and 'Ain't Got Time' , 90s dancetinged banger 'Dance On My Own' (which soared into the iTunes Top 25) and the throwback R&B stylings of 'Preach' (the video to which has already racked up over 1.6mplays) and now the full-on rush of 'Who Do You Think Of?', their discography already reads like the template for forward-thinking pop music. There are well-crafted nods to the past too, with 'Who Do You Think Of?' lyrically influenced by early noughties R&B.
"'Who Do You Think Of?' is about someone you keep going back to and was inspired by big R&B songs from the likes of Ashanti, Ja Rule and Ne-Yo," explains Annie. "We've all been there and we want everyone to be able to relate to it the same way we did with those songs," adds Nadine.
While the band are passionate about taking elements from the underground scene, such as house, garage and UK bass, they also know their way around huge pop melodies, as evidenced by the fact they've been in the studio writing with five-time UK number 1 artist Jess Glynne. A recent trip to LA not only saw them sign a publishing deal with Universal / Rondor off the back of their songwriting talents, but also had them working with Kendrick Lamar collaborator Rahki.
More recently, they've continued to explore their genuine love for the UK underground scene by working with the likes of exciting new talent such as Bless Beats, Smasher, Yungen, Krept & Konan and The Heavytrackerz. Alongside that they've also collaborated with American production legend Dallas Austin, Rihanna and Beyonce collaborator James Fauntleroy and LA-based newcomer Prince Charlez (Usher).