When people look back at the 90’s there are a handful of things they’ll name off the top of their head as “defining the decade.” Nirvana’s grunge, Seinfeld’s nothingness, Titanic’s force and of course the romance brought on by Boyz II Men. They were likely responsible for 99% of the kids made in the 90’s, as well as 99.9% of the wedding songs played – and now one of their own will be known for helping out up and coming songstress, Desireé Flores.
Not even old enough to rent a car yet, Desireé knew her history when it came to the greats in music that came before her. So when her manager happened to be friends with Boyz II Men’s Shawn Stockman and asked if he’d like to work with her – it was a dream come true for her. Working together on her song, “I Want You,” the two fused their voices to create a song that is on the rise. Desireé sat down with us to talk about her time with Shawn, her travels and more.
Kendra: You were a toddler when “One Sweet Day” came out and became one of the standards of that decade. Now, watching your video with Shawn for “I Want You,” it had that vibe. You guys are in the studio; it’s very bare bones. Was that clip from over two decades ago behind that?
Desireé: That’s actually a great observation! I honestly never thought of my music video having the same vibe as “One Sweet Day” (one of my favorite songs by the way). Honestly, we just wanted a jam out session in the studio and I remember everyone saying that it reminded them of a Prince or Michael Jackson sort of vibe.
Kendra: “I Want You” isn’t all you have going on. It’s actually the name of your EP. Was there anything going on in your life when it came time to record that really shifted the overall sound of the record?
Desireé: Actually, the opposite of a song like “I Want You” was going on in my life. “Free” on my EP will explain what I was feeling haha! But, I wanted my EP to have different themes to the songs (love, heartbreak, confidence, etc.). It’s always easy to write a heartbreak song for me, so I wanted to challenge myself and change things up with a love song that everyone could relate to. That’s how “I Want You” was born.
Kendra: In the grand scheme of things, you’ve noted you’re heavily influenced by your culture – which is more than your genetics. A self-proclaimed Army brat, how did moving about over 10 times growing up affect who you are today as an artist?
Desireé: I always think of the positives, because moving was a positive experience at the end of the day. It affected me in a way that I am more open-minded and patient and I would have had I not moved so much. Having lived in foreign countries, I am more accepting to change even with an introvert personality. An as an artist, you grow which means you change a little and that’s okay with me. I always think it’s cool when artists expand their creativity.
Kendra: Of all the places you’ve lived, what place felt most like home?
Desireé: California! This is my last official move for a very long time. I always traveled down here back when I lived in Washington, even way back when I lived in Kentucky years ago, and I always felt like I belong here. I just like the vibe and diversity and that gives me comfort. I also loved South Korea! If you were to ask me if I had to pack my bags and move to a different country ASAP, where would I move to…I would say Seoul, South Korea. I lived there my high school years and it was an amazing experience.
Kendra: You’re in LA now which is great for your career. With that, are you taking full advantage of all this city has to offer?
Desireé: I am trying my best! I sing at open mics and perform and I am currently looking for a modeling/talent agency since I do love to model as well.
Kendra: Speaking of LA and whatnot, you made it to the last round of Hollywood week on American Idol during season 14. I’ve talked to contestants from there and The Voice and they always say it was a great experience. Same for you?
Desireé: As much as I’m grateful for the opportunity and I learned a lot about my potential as a singer/performer and myself during that whole process, I would be lying if I said that I agree with those contestants. And I am a pretty positive person so at the end of the day, I try to see the best in everything. But I can write a novel on my experience during Hollywood week haha!
Kendra: Stepping away from music for a second, you recently retweeted a tweet that said, “people who preach about being nice & a good human on social media but are some of the meanest and worst people irl.” I just wanted to note that because I 100% agree. Why do you think people have developed these two personalities; online and real life?
Desireé: I think some people want to put a front for strangers on the Internet so that others would think they are completely different than who they truly are, thus boosting their ego. I know they are really just insecure with themselves, which is why they do that. I know PLENTY of those kinds of people, which is why I retweeted that (sorry not sorry for subtweeting shhhh haha).
Kendra: On top of all the music, you’re also a student. What are you studying?
Desireé: I was going to school for Elementary School Education, but I recently switched my major to Integrate Marketing Communications. When I began studying Education, I honestly didn’t know if I really wanted to study that. As much as I love working with children, I became disinterested in the courses I was taking. I’ve been interested in marketing, especially through social media for a while now. I figured since I like and am active on social media and enjoy the work of marketing my music, why not study it and make that a potential career? I don’t ever want to do something I do not enjoy doing…that sounds like torture!
Kendra: Music, school and…what’s coming up for you?
Desireé: I am currently putting out more music, I have a new song and music video in the works. I plan on graduating sometime next summer so that’s exciting to me. What’s coming up for me? Just grinding and enjoying life as much as I can and taking everything one-step at a time. I want to look back in like 20 years and think that my 20’s were spent productively and having fun.
Kendra: You seem like a pretty in tuned person. Young and vibrant online, have you come across any up and coming artists you are loving right now?
Desireé: I’m weird, last week I made a playlist of different artists from different decades. Threw in lots of 80’s and 70’s tunes. The up and coming artists that I have been loving are Sabrina Claudio, Khalid, and Gallant. Also, these artists aren’t really “up and coming” to me anyways, because I’ve been following them for a very long time now but I love Chance The Rapper’s new album and G-Eazy. I have been a fan of G-Eazy since 2009 and it’s cool to see how much he is grown as an artist and it’s exciting to see how big he has gotten.