José Flores Pérez
Jose Flores Perez, better known as Chevy El Pitirre De La Salsa, is a salsa singer who was born in the town of Cidra, Puerto Rico, but currently resides in Georgia. We have had a very pleasant conversation with the salsa exponent, in which we have touched on certain various professional and personal tissues never mentioned before. It is a real pleasure for us that he has agreed to talk with us and tell a little more of his personal story on this platform, which is International Salsa Magazine.
Origin of his artistic name
”Chevy” is a nickname his parents and friends always gave him and ”pitirre” refers to a Puerto Rican bird with very short dize, but a very strong character. Maestro Felix Ortiz name him ”El Pitirre” because of the way he sings and improvise in the stage and the trust between them was such that he even became the music director of his orchestra. This combination of nicknames was what made Flores start to become known by that way during the last four years of his career.
Influences and predilection for salsa music
The reason Chevy opted for salsa was the great influence from his family. His father was a salsa singer for local orchestras in Chicago, which made him listen to various Puerto Rican genres such as salsa, bolero, jibaro music and trova throughout his childhood.
There were years when he really enjoyed listening to hip hop and rap in the late 80’s and early 90’s, but it didn’t take long for him to reconnect with salsa when he started listening to Héctor Lavoe, Ismael Rivera, Sammy Marrero, Bobby Valentín, Cano Estremera, among others. Listening to all these idols and what they achieved led him to take salsa much more seriously.
His time in the military and formal beginnings in music
During his time in the military, he performed in different orchestras and accompanied various artists throughout Atlanta. Although this was a demanding career, he organized himself to pursue his interest in music. When he leaves the armed forces, he went to Puerto Rico, where he lived for a great deal of time until he moved to Georgia in 2016.
His current residence is still in this state for professional reasons totally unrelated to music, but he had been there around the time he served in the army, so this part of the United States was not unknown to him. It is there that he resumesd his musical career after so many years.
In 2017, he began to compose, but it was not until two years later when he decided to launch as a soloist, make his first single ”Instrumento de amor” and carry out his first independent musical project entitled ”Entre el amor y el vacilón”.
In this same year 2019, he took advantage of the internet and social networks to become known at an international level and released his second record production during the pandemic, but the singer does not think this situation has hurt his carrer. On the contrary, he believes that social media and digital platforms gave him the push he needed to promote his artistic proposal.
One of his most recent projects was carried out in 2019, is titled ”Atacando en Navidad” and was born from the songs ”Arbolito de Navidad” and ”Compay no se me raje”. The first is written by Chevy, but the latter was composed by the legend Johnny Vega. At some point, the artist decided that these two singles were not enough, so he created a full album based on the Puerto Rican parranda he always enjoyed as a child. The result is a mix of nostalgia, sadness, love and joy. He tells how Christmas was celebrated at home, his childhood dreams, what this time meant to his family and the sadness when a loved one dies that year.
One of the most significant songs is ”Navidad Sin Parranda”, which was written a year before Chevy’s mother died. She was so ill at the time that the whole family thought she suddenly would lose her life, but fortunately she did not. Back then, the salsero was beginning to imagine a life and a Christmas without his mother, as she kept the family together and her house was the meeting place for all the important dates.
It just so happens that Venezuelan musical arranger Willy Melo lost his father within a few days of receiving the song, so he was very connected to that same pain around the same time.