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New Jersey native Floco Torres is a 25-year-old emcee who parlayed an early bad break with the music industry into an award-winning extended stay down South. After learning—on the tail end of his 15- hour drive—that a record label internship had evaporated, he couch surfed with family in Macon, Georgia, once the home of music legends like Otis Redding, Little Richard, James Brown and the Allman Brothers. No stranger to tough luck, he immediately went to work and earned his first award for Best Local Hip-Hop less than a year later. This past summer, he came out on top of the Gateway Project music competition, taking home a grand prize package worth $50,000 and later releasing a new EP, "10,000 Hours," to celebrate his victory.
The EP came on the heels of "Floco's Modern Life," a full-length album on indie label Random Family Records, which was recorded with a live band and funded by his fans through Kickstarter. His music videos—both self-made and the professionally produced "Cherry Street"—have garnered tens of thousands of views and gotten his work noticed in several magazines, blogs and websites. His most recent mixtape, "Ralph BIGhead," was presented by B.o.B's concert DJ, Shawty Slim.
A smart, provocative and playful lyricist, Floco Torres slings references as divergent as the movie "Catch Me If You Can," highlight reels from ESPN's Sportscenter, the books of Malcolm Gladwell, Nickelodeon cartoons and Petula Clark's greatest hits. And he hammers it home with a flow that glides over any beat thrown his way. As good as his studio work is, it is his stage show that has endeared him to a growing number of fans because he never holds back. He leaves it all on the field when he's done. The fact is, whether you're listening at home or at a concert, no one will work harder to make you feel the music than Floco Torres.