“I’ve got to say that I’ve never heard another artist from Arkansas that sounds quite like Jacob Flores.” — Arkansas Roots, KASU 91.9 FM

 

Former American Idol contestant and Hot Springs’ own Jacob Flores is an award-winning one-man band beloved by residents and visitors alike. AY About You readers can also attest to Flores’ talent, having voted him among AY’s Best of 2024 in the local musicians’ category, in addition to multiple “Reader’s Choice: Best Local Performer” awards in a row from the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record newspaper (2019-2024).

 

Flores’ passion for performance is almost as old as he is, thanks to the family mariachi band started by his late grandfather. After a childhood spent living and loving music, Flores came into his own while attending Henderson State University, where he won the 2013 “Henderson Idol” singing competition. He put his winnings to good use, buying his first speaker and microphone before promoting himself to all manner of local restaurants and venues. His tireless efforts paid off, as restaurant gigs turned into larger venues and opportunities to perform at festivals, pageants, fairs and more. With his exposure growing by the day, it was time to take the ultimate leap of faith — Flores auditioned for and was featured in season 14 of American Idol. Following the experience, he wrote and co-produced his debut album, No Borders (2015), followed up by Cupid in 2021 (both of which are available on all digital streaming platforms).

 

Locally, Flores is a prolific presence throughout Hot Springs and can be found performing most nights of the week, including during Sunday brunch at the historic Arlington Hotel. Viewers can also catch Flores on THV 11’s “The Vine” Morning Show during the “Flores Friday” bi-weekly segment. Just as undeniable as his talent, it seems, is his business acumen. The success of a one-man band can be considered nothing short of miraculous on account of all of the marketing and logistical hurdles that compound a busy performance schedule. 

 

“I believe what separates me as a musician is my commitment to professionalism and strong work ethic,” Flores said. “What people see is the tip of the iceberg. What they don’t see are the countless late nights of practice, the required discipline and the unwavering persistence. Willingness to grow, adapt and continue to work at my craft is what sets me and my business apart.”

 

jacob-flores

 

Flores’ business success has also allowed him to hold positions on the board of both the Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce and the Hot Springs Public Schools Education Foundation. Still, he said, he occasionally gets asked about his “real job,” to which all he can do is smile and say, “I guess I’m just lucky to make a living doing what I love.” 

 

“I take every opportunity to show that it doesn’t matter where you come from; all that matters is where you want to go and how you plan to get there,” he said. “The truth is not many people believe one can make a living being a musician or an artist. I’m extremely grateful to say that I am an independent, full-time musician and have been for more than eleven years. I don’t take anything for granted. I believe when God gives you a gift, it’s your duty to share it with the world.”

 

Putting together an engaging solo show is no small feat, and it is one Flores pulls off with an innovative live looping technique and a deep, multi-genre repertoire. His niche as a performer is based in versatility, allowing him to connect with audiences of all kinds. 

 

“When I’m learning a cover song, my first thought is, ‘How can I make this completely unique and different from the original, yet still keep true to the identity of the song?’ I love to think outside of the box,” he said. “In this business, it’s all about finding ways to stand out — Why just sell t-shirts and CDs when you can sell bobbleheads? Other musicians might stick to one genre of music — I have an uncontrollable urge to learn every and all genres. I love to keep the audience guessing what song or style is coming next. Unknown possibilities intrigue me, and I will always pursue innovation over the mundane.”

 

In many ways, Flores is the embodiment of the creative, hardworking spirit that seems to infuse every corner of the Spa City he calls home. Leaving a positive impact on his community, whether he is performing for nursing homes, restaurants, schools or other venues big and small, is his goal, and sharing the gift of music is his passion. 

 

“I get the chance to leave a positive impact each and every time I step in front of a microphone. I don’t care if I’m performing in front of a crowd of thousands or one,” Flores said. “My mentality is that you always bring it, no matter what; you never know who might be listening or how a certain song might touch someone. This is the legacy I want to leave behind.”

 

Visit jacobfloresmusic.com for more information on future performances, and be sure to connect on Facebook, Instagram, X and YouTube ( @Jacob Flores Music ).

 

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