Wyatt Flores Proves He’s A Star in the Making During Sold-Out Stop On These Times Are Getting Hard Tour
Country Now caught up with the Oklahoma native before his Kansas show to talk about his touring success, music, and more.
Wyatt Flores; Photo by Lily Nelson
On Saturday, September 16, rising country artist Wyatt Flores performed a sold-out show at The Hat in Manhattan, Kansas.
Known for his live performances, the Stillwater, Oklahoma native brought high energy, intensity, and passion to the concert hall. His innate down-home, unapologetic country sound resonated with the ‘small town’ crowd, leaving them with great anticipation for what was to come.
Flores put his poignant and eloquent lyrics on full display across a 21-song setlist, which also established his ability to explore various genres. He revealed everything from newly released songs, to unreleased songs, to cover songs.
He sang his recent single “Holes” as well as his most popular songs “Please Don’t Go,” “Break My Bones,” and “Losing Sleep.” As he sang, voices filled the air and the captivated crowd repeated the songs back to him.
Knowing that he was in Manhattan, Kansas, home of the Wildcats, he also unveiled an unreleased song titled, “Wildcats.”
“This song goes out to y’all specifically. There was a time when I went to a different school instead of Stillwater, Oklahoma. It was about 15 minutes north in Morrison, for high school, and I played football there. You could catch me on the sidelines at every game watching the sun go down. As you can probably tell, I’m a tall, lengthy fella and I can’t catch a football to save my life. A position came open to be the varsity Wildcat mascot, so I said yes to it,” Flores said before he played the crowd favorite.
Flores recently recorded a cover of The Fray’s “How to Save a Life.” He stated in an Instagram post how important mental health is to him and how this song continues to spread that message for him.
Introducing the song during his live show, Wyatt said, “This is the first cover I have ever done. I recently just lost my grandpa, and the reason I keep sharing this story is because I had no idea he was hurting. I don’t blame him for what he did though. If you’re struggling through something, you’ve got to be courageous enough to fight that, even though it’s hard and it sucks.”
Following an encore, Flores thanked his fans for showing up and allowing him to play.
Flores will continue to headline his Times Are Getting Hard tour throughout the fall, but he will also provide support for Charles Wesley Godwin on two select dates. In addition to his cross country journey, Flores will work towards releasing a debut album.
Before taking the stage in Manhattan, Kansas, Wyatt Flores caught up with Country Now to discuss his wildly successful tour, live performances, new releases, and more.
Why did you decide to name your tour “Times Are Getting Hard?”
For one we are still trying to release music and get this project out. That was the main thing we were trying to do though is work that song even more than it already has been. Also, for me, it’s the first ever tour where things are going somewhere and there’s a lot of things happening. It’s been pure chaos, so this just seems like the most fitting thing to say. Even though the fans don’t get it, the title is more for us.
What is your favorite part about going on tour and performing live?
It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. Being a great songwriter is one of my goals as well, but I’ve always just wanted to play live music. Whether it’s making people cry, or making people laugh, that’s always been the greatest thing to see from my point of view. That is what my entire show is for is to hopefully heal someone. Whether they need to laugh, or cry, or whatever it is, it’s great to see it from where I am and know that it is actually working. Going on tour is the best thing ever.
What’s been going through your head as you continue to sell out show after show?
It’s crazy. I mean 750 people are going to be here tonight in Kansas and that is wild to me because I’ve played to crowds of nobody so many times. All of a sudden it just made a turnaround and the fact that we keep seeing fans come back is the best thing ever. It means the absolute world to me and I can’t believe that the music has gotten out that far to where we are selling out. It is a dream come true.
Do you have any pre-show rituals or anything that you do to prepare for your set?
I haven’t quite got that one down yet because time slips by so fast. However, right before we go on, I go around the entire room saying ‘I love you,’ ‘I love you,’ ‘I love you.’ I already have my in-ears in, so I can’t hear them respond, but I’ll give them fist bumps, and hugs right before I play. This is something that I will absolutely continue to do too.
What is your overall goal for your live performances? How do you want the audience to feel during the show and after the show?
I want them to be moved. I hope that my songs and what I’m trying to say moves them in some way, especially for college kids right now. Most of these songs were written when I was in their shoes. I just want them to know that it’s alright if they don’t want to go to college and it’s alright if they don’t have everything figured out. As long as they live their life to the fullest and never settle for content. I also hope that they go home and question some things that they could do better for themselves.
Can you talk a little bit about the song “Holes” and where the inspiration for that song came from?
Really it was just looking out the window. I was watching grass come up through concrete and everyone was telling me that I was just watching paint dry. That’s what I felt like I was doing too, but I just thought it was crazy to see how much grass grows up through the concrete during the wintertime. That was the first thing that struck me. Then, I looked down at my shoes and I had holes in them. I’ve always had holes in my shoes because I wear them out fast as all get out. I also kept thinking about my ancestors. I looked at my father and I thought ‘I’m going to live out my dream and I’m going to chase it down.’ I know that’s what he would’ve wanted to do if it wasn’t for him wanting to go to school, which I was lucky enough to where I was just going to go for it. I knew that I’d be alright, but that if I really needed anything, I could call someone. That’s where the inspiration came from knowing so many generations came before me that played music and never really got the full opportunity to chase it.
You released a cover of The Fray’s popular song “How To Save A Life.” Why did you choose to cover this particular song?
I love that era of music. I have an older sister that is four years older than me, so most of my music influence comes from her. She’ll show me songs all the time. From a young age, I knew who The Fray was and I always loved this particular song and the message behind it. It just correlates so much with everything that I’m trying to do. I also wanted to show people that I’m not sticking to one genre and that I listen to everything. It felt like the right move to finally show people a little bit of where I get my music taste from and why my music sounds the way that it does.
In your opinion, what makes you stand out from other rising country artists?
That is a tough one. A lot of people got to know me through TikTok, but I don’t really see myself as a TikTok artist because I am able to play live. I’ve been doing this for a long time and I have enough skills to know how to run with a full band. I think what sets us apart more than anything is the fact that we can play a live show. We are still working on our live shows because we haven’t had time to sit down with it, but I think that is what separates us from a lot of other folks. Also, the music that I’m putting out separates us. The variety is so expanded. We aren’t selling one product or one sound.
Fans can keep up with Wyatt Flores on Instagram.
I am a senior at Kansas State University, where I am majoring in Communication Studies. Throughout my time at college, I’ve had the opportunity to publish a few of my pieces in the University’s newspaper, The Collegian, and I’ve created my own website. I’ve previously interned for Country Insider, an iHeartMedia-owned country music industry newsletter and I am currently interning for CountryNow, a Red Light Management owned publication. I’m very passionate about music and writing, so I hope to find myself in a career that incorporates both of these passions.