MEET THE BAND: Floco Torres (vocals)
A JERSEY BOY: A New Jersey native, Torres went to college for journalism but dropped out after he got a job working as a writer. "Music was what my friends were doing, and I would freestyle and my friends said I was good and should keep at it," he says. "Fortunately, it turned into something." He moved to Georgia in 2008 and has recorded and performed steadily ever since. Earlier this year, he moved to Akron to work at the arts and culture magazine The Devil Strip.
PART OF A THRIVING LOCAL SCENE: In 2011, he released his first full-length, Floco's Modern Life, an album he recorded with a full band. "It was a great learning experience," he says. "I think everyone should have to put together a band and make an album. It's one of my favorite records I've ever done." Citing influences such as Kid Cudi, Tame Impala and St. Vincent, he draws from a wide range of musical sources. "I think that comes from my parents," he says when asked about his eclectic set of influences. "Anyone who grew up in the '80s is exposed to lots of different types of music. I'm really curious too. You can get me to listen to your album if the artwork is good. I like Harry Styles' new album. I think it's amazing and I never listened to One Direction. There's a band from Akron called the Dreemers and they have an EP I can't stop listening to."
WHERE YOU CAN HEAR HIM: flocotorres.com
WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR HIM: With his forthcoming album Again, he set out to make a record about "the process of renewal" and "the obsession of wanting to be better —
for wanting the opportunity to top what you did last time." The Akron library has a free studio and he would hole up in there. The single "You!" features soulful vocals and an infectious piano hook. The punchy music recalls old-school hip-hop acts like De La Soul and Tribe Called Quest. "I record lots of music because I just like doing it. I wanted to make something positive," he says. "That's my whole MO. I wanted to make something socially conscious and fun and not make it feel like I was ignoring that the world is fucked up. I wanted something as good as it could be and see if people would give a fuck."
WHERE YOU CAN SEE him: Floco Torres performs with Humble G Tha Fiddla at 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 3, at the Akron Civic Theatre.