Last October, when singer-songwriter Aggie Flores opened for local guitarist Johnny Holliday at Tobin’s Market, a seed was planted that bloomed into an eclectic ensemble: Aggie Flores & the Wildflowers. After playing several shows joined by Little Bird’s Oleg Terentiev and Little Stranger’s John Shields, the Wildflowers will gather again to perform with indie outfits Tennis Courts and Hotel Fiction at The Royal American July 24.
While Flores’ songwriting has been influenced by international musicians like Natalia Lafourcade, Jorge Drexler and Zoe Gotusso, she considers local acts Damn Skippy, Little Stranger and Loser Chris to be her mentors. It’s no surprise she wants to infuse rap and electronic elements into her sound going forward. “My folk music is lullaby-esque, and it served me for a long time because I needed my music to breathe. But now I want to dance.”
As part of the team at Woodlands Nature Reserve, Flores helped conceptualize and launch its newest venue, Buddha Beach. In addition to hosting sunset dance parties, she’s been putting together Artcelium Fest, a cross between an artist workshop and vendor market with over 15 artists on site creating and teaching to be held July 11 and August 15.
Flores finds the network of musicians in Charleston to be similar to the community she was a part of in Buenos Aires, Argentina, when she was studying industrial design.
“The community down there was just having fun and doing things because we had the energy to do it. I see that same hunger for creation in the activity here. There’s something about the way that people create here — not from an ego standpoint. There’s a sense of, ‘We will take off together. Let’s come together and join forces.’ I think this city has adopted that vision early on and has fostered it for everyone else who has come along.”
Flores has learned the value in playing more and working less after what she calls the “2020 intermission.” She went from working 60 hours a week traveling the U.S., Canada and South America to being jobless. “All of a sudden, I didn’t have to prove myself anymore. I wanted to prove that I was worthy of my green card — you literally have to prove that no other American can do your job. And being a woman and a Latina, I was trying to do it all.”
“That’s what the void of 2020 gave me: the realization that I never did art for fun or for love or just because I was bored. Before, art was my function. It was my golden ticket. The pandemic gave me the opportunity to do art and express myself without anything in exchange.”
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