There’s a lot of passionate Filipino-Canadian artists and rappers out there but rarely do they get any recognition.
For the Toronto artist, Resflo, he started rapping not to get any acknowledgement but just as an outlet to express his life’s experiences.
Paulo Flores, also known as Resflo is a Toronto-based hip-hop artist who was born in Balic-balic, Sampaloc, Manila. At age 10, he moved to Pasig, another city in Suburban Manila. At a young age, he was surrounded by family members who were passionate about hip-hop music. He attended Rizal High School where he experienced his first rap contest. His rap group at that time, BB Clan performed their single, Mabanges. “I started rapping when I was in high school. I just wanted to try to join a rap contest at that time. I ended up liking it but I didn’t know how to write rap songs at that moment. I was just winging it.” Resflo mentioned this in an interview with FTV Spotlight, a show that showcases local artists in Toronto.
Back home, Restflo focused on his studies and initially forgot about rapping. Then, his family moved to Canada. The move was a total culture shock for him. He realized that Toronto is a peaceful city compared to the cities in the Philippines, particularly where he came from. “I feel so lonely over here because I wasn’t used to being alone. I grew up on the streets, I have a lot of friends and always partying in the Philippines.” he says. For a few months, Resflo felt homesick but music played a huge role in helping him cope with his wistfulness. “I think it was my outlet that got me excited to write again. It was my inspiration to write about experiences and hardships over here,” Resflo added.
Eventually, he followed his dreams and became one of the biggest Filipino-Canadian artists in Canada. In 2018, Resflo helped create the group called HI6HRAW. The group consists of Resflo, Teej, Lux, Orum and Xavier. By 2021, Resflo was nominated to the first-ever Fil-Can Music Rap Awards presented by VIBEANT, an organization that empowers Filipino-Canadian music and youth across the globe. He was nominated in four categories (Collaboration of the Year, Solo Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Music Video of the Year). The song, Trenches by Resflo ft. Raygee, Young John Q and Teej, earned them an award for Music Video of the Year.
With all the obstacles and detours, Resflo never forgets how his humble beginnings shaped him to be more determined and focused on his goals. His persistent attitude proved that anyone can follow their dreams through passion and hard work.
“As a Rapper, I just want to be known as someone who writes about their surroundings and the reality of their experiences,” Resflo says.