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Flohio wears sleeveless denim jacket by Calvin Klein JeansPhotography Hanna Moon, styling Ibrahim Kamara

Raw, punchy and poetic, SE16 rapper Flohio spits transcendent rhymes that defy easy description

LocationLondon, United Kingdom

Flohio, a devilishly intelligent rapper who grew up in Bermondsey, isn’t a natural introvert – she loves performing live. “But I was quite a loner child, I guess,” she says of her upbringing. “I’m the youngest and everyone kind of did their own thing… I think that’s where my introverted tendencies derive from.”

With her older sister away at boarding school in Nigeria for much of her childhood, and her pilot dad always “flying off”, Flohio – real name Funmi Ohio – was left to navigate the world on her own. She describes how her family moved from Nigeria to south-east London just before she would have been sent off to boarding school herself. “When I came to the UK I was exposed to a different genre of music and I just fell in love,” she says.

Flohio’s rhymes are not easily categorised – she’s not a grime artist, for instance, even though she’s been described as such – but like many grime artists, her punchy, poetic lyrics are often confessional. Her track “My World”, produced by London duo God Colony, is about a close friend who passed away. “Sometimes when I perform it, I try not to cry,” she says. “I feel like she should be here right now.”

The rapper released her debut EP Nowhere Near in 2016 and, although at the moment she still has her nine-to-five as a graphic designer for a record label, her career in music looks bright. “I always wanted to write stories and stories,” she says. “I do that through music.”

Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff