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INTERVIEW: Burgeoning Rapper Floco Torres Discusses 21st Solo Project

Floco Torres is no stranger to starting from scratch, having gone back to the basics, to envision and revise the creative focus of his solo career. The Ohio native’s 21st solo project, again EP, mixes alternative rock and hip-hop beats to create what may be the burgeoning artist’s best record yet.

Salute Magazine recently caught up with Torres, via e-mail, to talk about his latest self-released solo album, his process and his plans for the future.

SALUTE: What was it that inspired you to record such a multi-faceted EP?

TORRES: Thanks for saying that. If it comes off that way, I think my influences being spread across so many genres and visual platforms may have something to do with that. It’s definitely not an attempt, for the most part, to say “we need a ______ record” for this to be done.

A major focus of the new EP is self-improvement. In what ways do you feel your process (writing, recording, mixing, editing) has evolved from when you first began to now?

Just understanding what and how I want to say it. There’s was a time that I only focused on being a good rapper and then other things lacked sonically. I’m just as equally concerned with being good lyrically as I am with being a good songwriter/creator. Hov didn’t just make it into the Hall because they needed a rap quota (at least I hope not). He made it in because he crafts GREAT songs, our avenue is just rapping. I can always be better so that’s what I’m going for.

So far, you have put out 21 self-released solo albums. I want to know if you have ever had any doubts about releasing your music? What were some of your biggest obstacles?

Yea I doubted this one the other day. And last month and a few months before that when we weren’t done. I always joke that with the internet, they’ll always find some stupid video of you but as an indie, unless someone has your CD, you can wipe the net of your music and with how fast stuff moves, people CAN forget you were a thing. I’ve toyed with doing that a bunch. Just quit and delete everything. No one would care haha. Curiosity of seeing how this all plays out keeps it going for the most part.

What made you decide to end the album by re-recording “Floco’s Joint,” with R&B singer Charles Davis?

I have no idea. It just came to me in the studio. I thought that it would be cool and “James Joint” on Rihanna’s last album was tight so she inspired that. Charles is dope and I knew we were in a similar headspace with some things so we asked him to come through. I like that the EP starts and ends with the same message. With being black specifically but this also goes for everyone at some point in time, sometimes that’s all we got. Just keeping your head up there.

Who are some of the biggest influences on your music?

Biggie, Cudi, Hov, St Vincent (of the last year or two), Stevie Wonder, Megan Jean (just as an artist as a whole), Charles Hamilton, Trevor Horne, Curtis Mayfield, Royce Da 5’9, so many man. Kanye West, Early Dipset stuff, Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis. Who knows man, it could go on forever at this point haha.

You recently tweeted about how people tend to lecture you about weed, and how even though you don’t actually smoke, you are in support of legalizing marijuana. Just wanted to know what your views are on cannabis? Has it been influential to the industry? In what ways has it influenced your own music?

I just want folks to leave me alone about it, so my views are kinda selfish haha. It’s a plant that isn’t hurting anyone as far as I know of, so just make it legal all over and be done with it. It sucks that we have people locked up for it and now people are moving to where it’s legal, opening up shops and getting rich. Good for them, but we need some sort of regulation for those folks that are locked [up]… know what I mean? I don’t know. It’s just another strange thing out there. I don’t smoke because being high makes me feel like I’m standing on a kitchen counter while everyone is at the dinner table and I can’t get down. It’s wild. I think if it’s clinically helping people and making everybody chill, let people smoke. ‘Cause I like whiskey and that shit isn’t making no dude calm down ever haha.

What’s next for Floco Torres? Any plans for a studio LP? Tour??

The LP is next up. I think it’s time for that to happen in the story, so we already had that plan, whether this record did well or not. I’m going to do a small run of shows later this year and then a real tour after that. We just need the fans to keep showing up like they have been. I want to do a real tour where I can put on the type of show I’ve always wanted to visually. So I’m going to sit down and really talk with the fans and see. Even if it’s four straight shows, let’s really give people a “SHOW.” From there, we’ll see what happens.

Thanks for this interview and thanks to anyone that’s here now and along for the ride. Please come out to a show soon so I can meet you all.

Be sure to check out Floco Torres and his 21st EP, again, available now on iTunes and Bandcamp.

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