Akron is slowly building a hip-hop music scene with the help of an artist who’s new to town. Last year, Floco Torres relocated to Akron at the advice of his friends – who moved here from Macon, Ga., and started The Devil Strip magazine.
For this week’s Shuffle, WKSU’s Amanda Rabinowitz talks with Floco Torres about his new album and life in Akron:
Torres has been performing shows around the area since moving to Akron -- officially since January.
And he says the response has been interesting.
“Usually it’s like, ‘Who is this?’ It’s been very positive but the first two songs are like, ‘Really?! I didn’t know we had hip-hop here.’”
Torres says he puts a lot of effort into perfecting his live show, which he describes as high-energy. And he says his words are as important as his energy.
“I was going to school for journalism before I decided to go into music. If you can’t hear what I’m saying, the show is useless. So I spend a lot of time on my diction. I’m like a high-energy English teacher.”
Starting over 'again'
Torres has been a busy recording artist, with 21 projects already in his discography. They’ve all been recorded, produced and mixed on his own or with a few friends.
Most of his new album, Again was recorded in a studio at the Akron-Summit County Public Library downtown.
“The whole EP is just (about) starting over,” Torres says. He describes the first single, “You,” as a happy break-up song.
"The theme of the album is the space between leaving a situation and getting to the new situation and that day or so where you’re like, ‘I am better off.’ After that is when it sets in and you start eating ice cream, or whatever. This song is that moment of that happy pep in your step.”
Torres says his favorite song on the album is “Age of Comfort” because it describes the place he’s at in life.
“Being 30, I don’t have a mortgage or kids. In the hip hop world, not being signed or being famous at this point is kind of weird. And I still have that fire that this is going to reach a certain point.”
But Torres says he’s happiest when he can create. “You don’t need a record deal to do that. People are famous from Instagram accounts today and are gone on Monday. We’re all famous now.”
But, Torres is getting some recognition from the industry and his peers.
Torres has been given a slot to perform at the largest hip-hop festival in the country, A3C Festival in Atlanta. The festival launched a fan vote for the opportunity for some up-and-coming artists to perform this October. “They have told me ‘no’ seven straight years.”
Future in Akron?
Torres isn’t sure yet if he will make Akron his home permanently. “I’m trying not to overwhelm myself because I still have that, ‘If I get a house I can’t be an artist,” he says.
But, he says he’s signed a lease for an apartment that keeps him here at least another year.