So this week the FO&O boys have announced that they will be embarking on a bit of a break. Officially, they’ll still exist as a band, with live performances to come. But individually, Felix, Oscar, and Omar have already started working on their own projects. So for the time being, it’s going to be rather quiet for the boyband.
Starting off as a foursome called The Fooo (which then changed to The Fooo Conspiracy) back in 2013, the guys quite quickly built up a large fan base – thanks not just to their tunes, but also their use of YouTube to showcase themselves and their guerrilla performances all around Sweden. And it’s the latter that got the rest of Sweden and its music industry talking about them and heralding them as – at the very least – genuine innovators in the pop genre.
MTV EMA awards and sold out arena concerts followed, as did singles, videos, EPs, and albums. And it all contributed to the band being justifiably considered as one of the biggest acts in their native Sweden, with one of the most loyal fan bases. As a result, a few attempts were understandably made at pushing them internationally – though unfortunately nothing ever came of it in that respect. Original member Olly left in November last year – the day before the band were announced as competing in Melodifestivalen 2017. And it’s since then that their popularity has experienced something of a contradictory dual direction. On the one hand, their most recent singles (Gotta Thing About You, My Girl, Summer Love) have clocked up some of their biggest streaming figures to date. But on the other hand they’ve gone from having their first album reach number 1 in 2014, to their second album only scraping it to number 33 this summer. And really, something was very much amiss when their normally rabid fan base weren’t enough to send them DIREKT to the Melodifestivalen final back in February.
So as it stands now, the present really does seem like the ideal time to go on a break after four intense years. Especially when you consider that four years later, two of the band’s members have yet to hit 19 years of age.
To mark the impending break (however long it may last), we’re looking back over what’s thus far come from the band in those first four years. Without a doubt they’ve been one of the most creative and consistently top quality boybands on offer in their time. And not just in Sweden either. The rest of the world’s failure to get on board with these guys is everyone else’s loss.
But whether you loved them from their very first YouTube vid, or you’re one of those that never fully investigated beyond the big hits – we’ve got something for you.
Here, we count down the Top 10 best songs to have been brought to us by those chaps in The Fooo.
The first song they ever released, and the first upload to their YouTube channel. This hyper track about how awesome one’s new footwear is, is the one that started it all. And four years later, it still manages to sound as fresh and exciting as it did back then. There’s not been anything else on offer from the popstars of the world quite like this;
09: TEENAGE TALKING
An album track from their current record. It’s a shame that this song never got more exposure, as not only is it an exceedingly well crafted bit of synthpop and one of the most mature sounding songs they’ve ever put their name to, but it’s a great deal better than the last two singles lifted from that album.
08: THE LINK UP
We always loved the 90s boyband feels of this track, one of their first releases. Though we imagine *NSync would probably have declined the lyric “said she’d follow me on YouTube, said it’s a shame they don’t do nude”. Three of the four were yet to turn 16 at the time of this song’s release. *insert face palm emoji here*
07: SUMMER LOVE
Going all deep house for the Sommar Fest season. One of the best things about FO&O was always the fact that every new single sounded so different to its predecessor. This was one of their most unique, and was most definitely one of their best along with it. And we stan hard for Omar’s Spanish verse in particular.
06: KING OF THE RADIO
“I don’t want MTV or download streams, want a late night show playing Zane Lowe”. That line might not have got them playlisted on BBC Radio 1 at the time, but it did cement their status as legends in the annals of pop lyricism. And has anyone been checking Beats 1 for any sign of this? Anyone?…
05: BUILD A GIRL
The signature hit of their early days. A cute track about using ice-cream, cake, and a drop of DNA to build the perfect girl. Which would be just like you. Cos you’re the perfect girl. And this is the perfect pop song.
04: MY GIRL
The band got their label mate Erik Hassle to pen them a hit. And he perhaps unwittingly provided them with one of the Top 5 best Erik Hassle songs of all time. Which also makes it to the Top 5 FO&O songs of all time too. The sax in this song is heavenly. And the purposely understated vocal was a genius move.
03: GOTTA THING ABOUT YOU
For their Melodifestivalen debut, the boys teamed up with Shania Twain’s former hitmaker Mutt Lange, and one of our favourite Swedish composers Tony Nilsson. The over-zealous choreography undoubtedly detracted from the performance itself. But the song lying at the heart of it all remains an undeniable tune and an absolute half.
Bizarrely, this actual boom-bang-a-bang-a-boom-bang-a-bang-a BANGER was never released as a single. And was only finally made available tacked onto the end of their second album, released this summer. AKA one of the best days of the year so far, as far as we’re concerned. Do not sleep on this – one of 2017’s best pop offerings.
A cover that was executed so well, that in the last four years we’ve not once listened to ‘Freestyler’ by the Bomfunk MCs. Which is incredible in itself. But yeah – these boys managed to improve upon one of the best song of all time. Which in our eyes makes them one of the best bands of all time.