Richard Cortez
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Richard Cortez


Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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"new artist - richard cortez"

Needless to say, I am impressed with this beautiful song. Over, Again touches a place in my heart, and it is quite pretty. So I guess I have some research to do. Cortez is from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, he founded Wollenberg Records in 2004, and is an out and proud performer. - soundtrack to my day blog

"gay folksinger richard cortez searches for love, finds sex"

Certainly “gay folk singer” might be considered a niche genre, a mouthful of a proper adjectival phrase. Richard Cortez wears the banner proudly, though, having produced a couple records in which he traces the loves and loves lost of a twenty something gay singer/songwriter. Sleeping with Strangers, his new CD available at Wollenberg Records, finds Cortez in fine form, using his strong vocal abilities to weave various stories exploring heartache and isolation in our post-queer, highly sexualized society.

Read more at Suite101: Gay Folk Singer Richard Cortez Searches for Love, Finds Sex -

"heart on his sleeve"

ML: How would you describe your style?

RC: Refined and focused. I was still finding out how I sounded because how you sound is different from what you hear. At first – I was an acoustic, screamo sort of artist. Now, it’s more orchestral and experimental, and emerging more in the experimental rock, but still with a true acoustic heart. It’s a little edgier and darker... I’m still growing as an artist and still continuing to find my sound. - mark's list magazine

"broward singer richard cortez to gay youth: we 'deserve the respect and the love and the tolerance of every single person on this earth'"

Singer-songwriter Richard Cortez, 25, has posted a YouTube video of himself describing the pain he suffered after coming out as gay in middle school.

“I’m here to tell you that it gets better,” says Cortez, who grew up and lives in Broward County. “I love my life today and if you were to ask me how I felt about it when I was in grade school, I would have told you a much different story.”

Watch Cortez’s video, made in reaction to the recent suicides of Tyler Clementi and other gay young men. - the miami herald

"richard cortez inside his mind behind his music"

While he attended the American Musical & Dramatic Academy in New York City, Richard frequently played local venues. Over time, he attracted a strong gay following. “I used to borrow $50 from my mom to purchase blank CDs.” He adds, “I’d hand out my music to fans who attended my shows in the East Village.” Richard attributes these free give aways to his success.

Richard’s grass roots efforts paid off. He caught the attention of a production company who wanted to work on his album. The only negative is the company wanted to change Richard’s identity. “They wanted to send me to do speech therapy to teach me how to speak ‘less gay’ and they wanted me to get a girlfriend for public appearances and photos.” He ultimately decided to reject the offer.

Drawing from his musical influences, Joni Mitchell, Carole King and Ani DiFranco, Richard created a unique sound. The resulting style incorporates his love for theatre and folk music. -

"richard cortez has lover lips"

I don’t know if you have had the opportunity to meet the wonderfully sweet and talented Richard Cortez, or met someone that uses the phrase Folk Singer as a title…well, that would be him. If you have not met him, then definitely be on the lookout for someone that will be taking the Southern Florida Gay community by storm. He not only has had a Jewel-esque struggle to get to where he is, but has made something of his life, and is more than willing to honor his roots and give back to the community that has helped. -


craving something beautiful - (wollenberg records, '05)

live @ the red room - (wollenberg records, '06)

he loves me not (wollenberg records, '08)

sleeping with strangers (wollenberg records,'10)

lived in : a live richard cortez recording (wollenberg records, '12)

(rec)ord (wollenberg records '12)



singer-songwriter richard cortez weaves a unique blend of his off-color humor, heart-wrenching ballads and upbeat anthems for an unforgettable show that surprisingly can please just about any audience.

since founding his independent record label, wollenberg records, in the fall of 2004, folk rocker richard cortez has been taking the indie music scene by storm one busted guitar string at a time. named best of south florida’s male entertainer of the year ’07, cortez has appeared most recently at ft. lauderdale, charlotte, south carolina and milwaukee pride festivals with legendary musicians and television personalities like rupaul, kathy griffin, joan rivers, bruce vilanch, patti labelle and melissa ferrick. from his 10 years of experience performing his original material live in front of captive audiences nationwide to his in-house brand management team that handles all graphic design, richard cortez is truly a musical package that can’t be missed.

when richard cortez takes the stage, he doesn’t just “sing” his original material— he performs it! recalling every bittersweet heartache or laugh-out-loud life experience with an earnestness and sincerity as if it had just happened to him, richard cortez truly raises the standard for what an audience member should expect in a world filled with aspiring singer-songwriters. having played both intimate coffee house stages and power house festivals with crowds by the thousand, richard cortez’s versatile and unique presentation of his award-winning and critically acclaimed material (and the occasion unexpected cover song) is perfect for nearly every venue.

richard’s albums

known mostly for his infamous first single, craving something beautiful, which appeared on cortez’s first full-length studio album, it was clear from the get-go that richard cortez was not your average recording artist. the record, appropriately entitled “craving something beautiful,” started appearing for sale online and in small gay retail shops in the summer of ’05, and has become somewhat of a gay folk cult classic. lyrically raw and uncensored, the album showcases the voice of a heartbroken but determined cortez striving to find meaning in the crowded streets of new york city as he leaves the only love hes ever known.

almost immediately after releasing his debut musical effort, richard embarked on his first tour with friend and cellist greg bortnichak of sparta philharmonic. the tour consisted of an intimate array of coffee houses and dive bars along the east coast. it was this high level of intimacy and performance quality that brought to the table the idea of recording a live album similar to the likes of these shows. on june 16th, 2005, in a room filled with only his closest friends, richard cortez recorded his sophomore record, live @ the red room. this personal and musically profound follow up to his debut record showcases new and improved renditions of pre-wollenberg records compositions, songs off craving something beautiful, and raw first takes of songs off “he loves me not.” with material spanning his entire career as a writer and musical arrangements that will leave you breathless, this high-energy album is the perfect introduction to what richard cortez really has to offer as a live performer.

in the spring of 2008, the folks at wollenberg rediscovered tracks from a five-song EP entitled he loves me not, which was shelved due to a loss of essential music files. a burned cd of the five songs in their rawest form luckily resurfaced and the low-fi tracks were released as a free download—a “gift” to all of richard’s loyal fan base. we are proud to announce that hundreds of people have downloaded the album all over the world and the album is still receiving extremely positive feedback.

in 2010, richard cortez explored the darker side of his music on his highly anticipated second full-length studio album sleeping with strangers—with a rock n’ roll flare. from its catchy and radio-friendly pop songs like “be alright” to the dark depths of its heart-wrenching title track “sleeping with strangers,” this all-encompassing autobiographical memoir tugs at the heart strings of anyone who has ever woke up hung over, heart broken and alone.

in 2012, richard cortez rocked the pride festival circuit, performing with well known “out” artists like tom goss ( and eric himan ( along the way, he was able to put together a small intimate house concert where he set up his recording gear and thus came the birth of “lived in : a live richard cortez recording”, cortez’ 1st live album in 6 years.

wollenberg records catapulted into multi-media full force with the release of "for the record."

for the record follows the making of [rec]ord in documentary format. filmed and edited by wollenberg records founder, richard cortez, this fast paced & fun high energy footage includes tell-all interviews with the wollenberg records team, footage of the tumu