Luling native recording own uptown funky sound

Bailey Flores is working on her own uptown funky sound in New Orleans.

Her mother, Laurie, who lives in Luling, calls her daughter’s sound that “jazzy rhythm and blues.” Bailey said it’s more like “mainstream soul” or a “soul R&B,” but how it’s described isn’t as important to her.

She’s about keeping it genuine.

“It’s timeless,” Flores said of what drives how she writes and sings her songs. “I really want my music to be true to my sound. I want timeless pieces that’ll you’ll hear 30 years after I’m gone.”

Her sound comes from the heart and, many times, from her own experiences.

“When I perform it’s very therapeutic to me,” the Luling native said. “It helps me cope with things I’m going through in life. When I’m singing it’s a reminder to me what I’ve been through and how I overcame it.”

It’s a snug fit for the 23-year-old determined to make her own sound in the fiercely competitive world of music. She likes to write songs about what people are going through, seeking to evoke legitimate emotion.

“I like to have a sex appeal, but I want to be a role model for young women,” Flores said. “I want to be an artist inspirational to all people. I don’t want a quick buck.”

But her mother enthusiastically explained that her daughter has business sense about what she is working to achieve.

Flores does have a plan.

This week, she started recording an album in New Orleans, which she said should be distributed in October.

Like many of today’s recording artists, she’s using social media to generate listeners and, hopefully, a recording contract.

Calling it huge, a very practical Flores said artists have to use Facebook, social media or the Internet to hopefully get that big break in the music business.

“If you’re waiting to be discovered, you won’t,” she said. “You need to put your face on there every single day.”

Her Facebook is loaded with professional images of her, as well as many showing her on stage performing. A test run of one of her videos generated 4,000 hits.

“You have to be all in because it takes up your whole life,” Flores said of what she believes it takes to make it as a singer and musician. “You have to be all in – that’s what I did. It’s worked for me.”

Her work has focused in New Orleans with one of her gigs at the Royal Sonesta New Orleans, and the Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse for Halloween.

But Flores has her eye keenly on going national and beyond. Her ultimate goal is to win a Grammy.

Flores also plays “keys,” otherwise known as piano, but she prefers to sing, which she’s also been doing with her own band, as well as often sings with Urban Mayfield.

Her singing roots go back to church, where she sang as a child and learned to overcome her shyness.

“I could sing since I was a little kid, but didn’t have the guts to sing in front of anyone until I was 16 years old,” she said of overcoming her fears but getting the encouragement to stay with what she loved. “When in college, I had the attention span of a squirrel so I wanted to pursue what I want to do in life. This is my talent and I really want to see if I can do something with it.”

With that idea springing in her head, she decided school wasn’t for her – it was music. New Orleans was a logical place to give it a shot.

“Music is everywhere in New Orleans,” Flores said of starting her career on Frenchman Street and the Crescent City’s impact on her. “You can walk on every street and there’s music.”

Recording her own songs is giving Flores a confident sense of direction in her life and career.

“2016 is my favorite number so it’s all happening at the perfect time,” she said of booking a tour opening for a bigger artist and getting some radio play on her new album, which she won’t name until it’s finished, and stepping forward with big plans. She’ll also perform with Papa C & The Slammin’ Horns in the super lounge with the Krewe of Endymion celebration.

Of advise for those coming behind her in the music business, Flores advised making sure parents are on board with the move.

“It’s nice to have the support and financial support if you have the luxury to have a family like that,” she said. “Don’t be afraid of criticism. Don’t be afraid. If this is something you really want to do – practice.”


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