Meet Wyatt Flores: The Rising Face of Country Music
by Shi Bradley
Photos by Angelea Yoder
With artists like Morgan Wallen and Jason Aldean topping the Hot 100, country music is reaching more people now than ever, and 24-year-old singer-songwriter Wyatt Flores is slowly but surely securing his place in the rising country music scene.
Born and raised in Stillwater, Oklahoma, Flores grew up with constant exposure to music. From his mom who loved to play music on her iPod, to his dad who played the drums, to the cover bands he grew up listening to, Flores soon realized he too wanted to be a musician.
“Every single weekend, I would just sit around with all these old cowboys around campfires and listen to their stories and, and I just wanted to learn how to play (music) at that point, Flores shares. “I was like, ‘Man, I just, if I'm gonna sit here with all the old folks and not go hang out with all the young kids, I might as well learn how to play guitar’ and that's where it all kind of started for me.”
Flores thinks of music as a way to express himself and have fun, rather than just a vessel to find commercial success.
“When it comes to songwriting, I don't ever sit down and go ‘this needs to be a hit,’” he says. “I'm just here to write songs and have fun with it. Because as soon as you're not having fun with it, then what are you doing?”
Flores enjoys having freedom to experiment when making music. His approach to songwriting includes finding new chords and trying to be as creative as possible.
Flores released his debut single “Travelin’ kid” in 2021, and since then his career has been thriving. With his debut album “Losing Sleep” coming in September, as well as several sold-out performances, Flores is still continuously amazed at how far he has come.
“We did a sold-out show in Oklahoma and there were a whole bunch of kids there, and they had skipped prom. They were screaming so loud, the band and I all lost hearing that night,” he says. “It sounded like a trash can was beating inside of our ears and, and they just came to support and it was like a weird moment of like, oh my gosh, like people actually give a crap about us. It's a weird thing when you go from having just a couple people that like your music to having a crowd that is absolutely obsessed with it. It’s an amazing experience.”
However, a successful music career does not come without its challenges. Flores, like many artists, often struggles with dealing with negative criticism and the ups and downs of being a professional musician.
“I want to be as open hearted as possible,” the Island Records artist says. “And to do that takes a lot because you never know what someone's gonna say about you. Now when I hear criticism I'm like, ‘Bring it on.’ Because all it does is fuel me. I mean, I just want to be better every single time, man. And honestly, I love hearing those comments, that shit talk, because it inspires me to be even better.”
Fortunately, for every negative comment, Flores receives twice as many positive messages and support from his fans. Flores says he makes music that he hopes people will connect with, especially during hard times.
“I want to reach the people that are struggling and have no one else to talk to you. They might feel like they have nothing but that one song or one artist that they always listen to just because they (the artist) understand. And I want to be that person. And I want to be a part of those lives, I want to change lives.”
To Flores, music is a way to heal and understand yourself better. The moments that stand out the most to Flores are the moments where he truly feels he has helped someone heal with his music in some way.
“I sang my song ‘313’ in Chicago one time and there was this kid that wanted to meet me so I sat there and talked to him and he just started crying. He told me that he just lost his two best friends and his grandpa and he came because wanted to hear that song so badly. And it’s, of course, a very sad situation, but also it was a beautiful moment, getting to play the song and help him through this hard memory and help him heal through it. These types of interactions are the best part of my career because I know that my music is actually doing something besides just being white noise.”
Going on tour this year, Flores has been able to create these connections and have these truly special moments with his fans at every single show. While performing, Flores curates setlists that he believes will resonate with fans and the true essence of the human experience.
“Life has a lot of ups and downs and I try to do that in my show,” he says. “There are songs to laugh with, songs to cry to, songs to learn from, and songs to dance to. I want there to be a feeling of we're all in this room together. We're all going through problems. And I want them to have an experience that is truly moving.”
From signing his first record deal to touring through many cities across the country, Flores has had several groundbreaking career moments. But the moment Flores describes as the most unbelievable was supporting Willie Nelson last March at the Capital City Amphitheater in Tallahassee, Florida.
“That moment was like an out of body experience,” he says. “Like I was out there in front of, I don't know, four or 5000 people and they actually cared and they were clapping, whistling. And that was just a weird moment of like, oh my gosh, this is happening.”
Outside of music, Flores is a family guy through and through. He credits his family for shaping him into the person he is today.
“If it weren't for my parents, I would not be who I am today,” Flores says. “They've taught me so much of just how to talk to people, how to care, and really give a shit. My parents are the most awesome people in the world.”
As much as Flores enjoys the thrill of performing in front of a crowd of people screaming his lyrics and the rush he gets from creating new music, in the future, Flores sees himself settling down and living a more simple life. But for now, he’s in his element, doing the thing he loves most: making music that brings people together.
“I hope that I've done enough to where (one day) I can at least have a small little plot of land, and start a family and hopefully I can just be a great father. That's kind of all I can think about as far as the future goes. Right now, the goal is just keep writing great songs that are going to help people.”
So what’s next for Wyatt Flores? Flores hopes his music continues to inspire others on a more intimate level and that he’ll keep getting to perform the music he loves across the country and across the world.
“I would love to someday sell out the Red Rocks Amphitheatre. I just want to travel the world and continue to reach people and move people.”
To catch Flores on the road, purchase tickets to his North American tour at wyattfloresmusic.com/upcoming-shows.