Film fans might best know songwriter Gabriel Flores from his signature song, “Para Que Regreses,” recorded by regional Mexican star El Chapo de Sinaloa and included in the soundtrack to the epic film Babel.
An astoundingly prolific songwriter and a sensitive and evocative singer, Flores, who makes his home in Monterrey, N.L., Mexico, performed with his siblings in a mariachi group until a tragic accident took the lives of his two brothers, Victor and Alberto, while Gabriel spent three weeks in a coma and a subsequent year in recuperation. Prior to the accident, Flores had balanced his musical pursuits with two years of studying medicine, followed by a budding career in banking.
Finance’s loss has been music’s gain: Since devoting himself to songwriting, Flores has racked up an astonishing number of covers: regional artists like Bronco el Gigante de America, “Huella Digital,” the group’s CD title track; and the massive hit, Quédate Callada,” which garnered a Billboard Latin Music Award for Regional Mexican Airplay Track of the Year for vocalist Jorge Luis Cabrera. Additional songs have been recorded by Mexican star Yahir and a song for Puerto Rican star Ednita Nazario — penned with frequent collaborator and close friend Claudia Brant — became an improbable hit in Portugal.
Flores, who is affiliated with powerhouse Maximo Aguirre Music Publishing, will no doubt add to burgeoning list as a writer as he launches his career as an artist. Writing songs for others to interpret is a fine alchemy; creating melodies and lyrics that define a singer is a powerful art. Gabriel Flores is the rare songwriter who excels at both.