Stewart (left), picture alongside Marsha Ambrosius
|Birth name||Natalie Stewart|
|Also known as||The Floacist, FLO|
|Born||13 February 1979|
|Origin||South London, UK|
|Genres||R&B, soul, spoken word, neo-soul|
|Occupation(s)||Singer-songwriter, rapper, poet, music producer, actress|
|Labels||Shanachie Records, DreamWorks, Geffen|
|Associated acts||Floetry, Marsha Ambrosius, Raheem DeVaughn|
Natalie "The Floacist" Stewart (born 13 February 1979) is an English singer-songwriter, rapper, poet, and actress. Born and raised in London,[contradictory] she performed in various singing and dancing competitions as a child, and rose to fame in the early 2000s as part of R&B girl-duo Floetry. Their hiatus saw the release of Stewart’s debut album, Floetic Soul (2010), which established her as a solo artist worldwide; which featured the singles "Forever" and "Let Me".
Following her establishment of her solo career, she released her second solo album, Floetry Re:Birth (2012), which contained singles "Say Yes", "Soul", and "Speechless". In 2014, Stewart released her third solo album Rise of the Phoenix Mermaid.
A self-described "modern-day poet", The Floacist creates songs that are often characterized by themes of love, relationships, and inspiration, as well as problems and solutions. Throughout a career spanning 16 years, she has sold over 2 million records.
The Floacist is the daughter of Jamaican immigrants. With her father in the British Armed Forces, she was born into a travelling family. The youngest of three children, she was born in Germany,[contradictory] started school in Hong Kong. After her father left the army, the family settled in London. She attended the BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology, where Marsha Ambrosius was studying Business and Finance. The Floacist studied Performing Arts, Media and Art. She attended Middlesex University, and later transferred to the University of North London. She was a founding member of the performance poetry group 3 Plus 1, which was critically well received in London, Birmingham, and Manchester. The Floacist found her true calling on the performance poetry scene, where she was able to natural merge all of her artistic expressional outputs as a writer and performer. This led to the manifestation of her Floetic ethos of 'poetic delivery of musical intent'.
Floetry was formed after Ambrosius joined her on stage in 1999 to perform at a spoken word night called Poets vs MC's, where they debuted a piece that they had written together called "Fantasize", combining spoken word and singing. In 2000, the duo traveled to the United States to perform on the poetry circuit. After frequenting spoken word/poetry spots in Atlanta, such as Yin Yang Poets' Cafe, they moved on to Philadelphia. There they met Darren "Limitless" Henson and Keith "Keshon" Pelzer of DJ Jazzy Jeff's Touch of Jazz studio and began recording.
In 2002, they signed with DreamWorks Records and released their debut album Floetic, which featured the singles "Floetic", "Say Yes" and "Getting Late". The album was also released in the UK with additional tracks, one of which featured the British singer-songwriter and record producer, Sebastian Rogers. Due to the success of Floetry's live show, Floacism, a live album/DVD was released in November 2003
2006–2013: Solo career
In 2006 the duo parted ways, and The Floacist returned home to London but still moved back and forth between the UK and The United States. During the next four years she focused on her craft and continued to explore her Floetic ethos of poetic delivery with musical intent.
In mid-2010, she released the EP "Spoken Soul". In November 2010, she released her first solo album, Floetic Soul on Shanachie Records. The album charted at number 95 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart and number 20 on the Top R&B Albums chart. The album also spawned the singles "Forever", "Let Me", and "Keep It Going".
In 2011, The Floacist began recording her second album. In August 2012, she released a new version of the Floetry hit "Say Yes". In November 2012 she released her second album "The Floacist presents Floetry Re:Birth" and has stated that its title and theme represent a celebration of the tenth anniversary of Floetry's breakthrough as a recording act.
2014–2016: Rise of the Phoenix Mermaid and Floetry reunion
In March 2014, she released her third solo album, Rise of the Phoenix Mermaid. The album spawn the singles: "Feel Good" and "On It". In December 2014, Stewart reunited with Ambrosius during Ambrosius' concert and performed "Floetic" at The Clapham Grand in London. In February 2015, Stewart confirmed that duo would be touring in 2015. On 16 May 2015 Floetry reunited and performed their first show in nine years at Pepsi Funk Festival in College Park, Georgia. The duo continued to tour throughout 2015 and eventually announced plans to record a new album. Despite announcing they would be recording a new album, Floetry subsequently split after the second leg of their reunion tour in August 2016.
2017–present: Good Life
In August 2017, Stewart (under the stage name "FLO") released a single titled "Good Life". She is also scheduled to headline her first UK tour in November 2017 called the "Let It FLO Tour".
The Floacist is known to speak of the ultimate focus of her life being the continual development, evolution and growth of her person; spiritually, mentally and artistically. When asked about her spiritual practices she simply responds that her spiritual practice is memory; remembering the peace before the confusion!
In 2017, Stewart became engaged to former Stone Roses drummer Robbie Maddix. She currently resides in the southern coast of England.
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions||Sales|
|US||US R&B||US Indie|
|Rise of the Phoenix Mermaid||
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
|Spoken Soul Volume I||
|"Forever" (featuring Musiq Soulchild)||—||—||Floetic Soul|
|"Keep It Going" (featuring Raheem DeVaughn)||—||—|
|2012||"Say Yes"||—||—||Floetry Re:Birth|
|2014||"Feel Good"||—||—||Rise of the Phoenix Mermaid|
- 2003: Floetry Experience (with Marsha Ambrosius)
- 2014-15: Floetry Reunion Tour (with Marsha Ambrosius)
- 2017: Let It FLO Tour
- 2004: One on One (as herself)
- 2008: Reasonable Excuse (as Laila)
- 2010: Remaindered (as the Background Performer)
- 2010: The Creepy Doll (as the Waiting Room Patient #2)
- 2012: Spirit Stalkers (as the Restaurant Patron)
- Takiff, Jonathan (18 July 2014). "2 artists, 2 journeys toward bliss". philly.com. Archived from the original on 19 July 2014. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
- 'The Floacist' Talks New Album, Neo Soul & Possibility Of Floetry Reunion. Vibe. Retrieved on 1 October 2012
- The Floacist Album & Song Chart History | Billboard.com
- The Floacist interview by Pete Lewis, 'Blues & Soul' January 2013
- Kyles, Y. (25 February 2015). AllHip-Hop.com. Retrieved from Natalie Stewart Talks Reuniting With Marsha Ambrosius For Floetry Tour (VIDEO)
- Marsha Ambrosius Talks Motherhood, Music and Where Things Stand With Floetry - 3/31/2017
- Good Life - Single by FLO on Apple Music. iTunes. Retrieved on 22 October 2017