Ryan Flores, known for his solo classical guitar, didn't actually play one until he was 21 years old. His first guitar was a large, hundred dollar "thick-neck guitar" which was not only difficult to play but "showed all my mistakes," he says.
Today, Flores is nearly-flawless and captivates audiences in Colorado Springs with his narrative sensibility. He commands the stage and turns every chord into a story, alone or with various ensembles such as Leopard and the Vine or Moonhoney.
"As a writer I want to make every character nuanced and rounded, and so the chords are the same way. These are the painter's palate," Flores says.
Being a full-time musician and artist is, in a word, "a hustle," Flores says, and he enjoys playing different styles for gigs at wine bars, restaurants, weddings, and small venues. "It's not glamorous. I always tell people about 80 percent of what I do is loading and unloading my car, or rolling cables or re-stringing my guitars," he says.
Flores has other people book for him now because he doesn't like selling himself, favoring the process of creating what is authentically him: a mixture of Eastern European and Latino, "Czex-Mex" guitar.
"We are informed by our heritage to some degree or another," Flores says.
Listen to the full interview above from this month's episode of Air Check to hear Ryan Flores talk performing, multi-tasking, and making things. For more words, music, and design by Flores visit Heart Shaped Records.
Thanks to Hannah Fleming for help with this story.