In this digital age where we’re fed carbon copies of the same-looking and sounding popstar, it’s refreshing to see a brown-skinned concept artist stand out in a predominantly white Latin music scene. Utilizing her experiences as a woman of color and of Indigenous and immigrant descent, R&B singer-songwriter Flores is thriving singing the best asset she has to offer – her rich culture.
The story of Flores is a lot to unpack. For starters, she has always been involved in politics in one way or another. Although she does not consider herself an activist in her own right, her first-hand experiences over the years show otherwise. Growing up, politics was a strong part of her life, helping her mother lead “Ni Una Mas” campaigns for the women killed in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. But what really influenced this strong togetherness she exhibits in her music was what she would see living near the border of El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez.
“I grew up two minutes from the border. You can see it from my house. You can see the border wall. I think it influenced my music because it’s part of your whole story that politicizes who you are. You are Mexican American,” she told Remezcla during a Zoom video chat from Los Angeles, California, where she will be staying for a week. “And then you grew up in one of the busiest people-carrying areas, one of the busiest borders in America. So that definitely influenced my music tremendously.
“I think nobody’s looking at our communities…Nobody’s giving us those opportunities…And I just think being myself and being the best I can do is what’s going to open the door to being able to give me more visibility.”
Her upbringing as a member of the Tigua Indian Reservation and her knowledge of the issues facing the Native American Puebloan tribe helped create who she is now as an artist. Between all of these identity challenges, Flores can’t help but feel empathy for what she’s seen around her community. “It’s really difficult when you see mothers and children handcuffed and thrown into the back of cars, and you just think, ‘That’s me, that could have been me. That could have been my family,’ said Flores, “I’m no different from those people. I don’t look any different from [them].”
In his next EP, In the lives they left, scheduled for May, she will reveal her soul by singing these experiences, and those of her ancestors before her. It is a conceptual project that will serve as an ode to its past. It’s about her experience growing up as a second-generation immigrant and the complexities that come with it.
The EP’s newest visualizer and single, “Exito,” debuting exclusively today on Remezcla, features Flores in a desert landscape, showcasing the beauty of resilience that comes from living in a harsh environment. – which, in a way, corresponds to a metaphor as a resilient woman. Her ethereal voice on “Exito” instantly captivates you and delivers a new form of intimacy alongside a sweet poetic ballad produced by Maths Time Joy. It also hits a softer tone than its previous versions”American dirt” and “Fool’s Gold.”
“I was in love, so it was just a sigh of relief that I wanted to put out at the end. A lot of the album is this painful argument through some of the times you go through,” she says of the soft R&B track.”My sister said it was like a lion and like a lamb.”
Influenced by R&B artists like Kelela and Mahalia, what makes Flores’ music so special is the goal behind her work. “I don’t think anyone is looking at our communities. Nobody helps us, nobody supports us, nobody gives us these opportunities, opens these doors,” she says of the purpose of the upcoming EP. “And I just think being myself and being the best I can do is what’s going to open the door to being able to give me more exposure.”