It's been a while since a Fresno rapper has had as much success on the radio as L ! Z
Yes, that's an exclamation point in his name, but more on that later.
L ! Z (real name Dominique Marquisse Harris, 20) and his party-starting, radio-friendly single "Bounce" recently moved into regular rotation on local hip-hop station B95 (KBOS, 94.9), graduating from the Sunday night locals-only Homegrown show, a rare feat that only a few local artists can claim.
His song is also getting played on a handful of radio stations around the West and even internationally.
L ! Z is busy on the performance front too -- including two shows tonight, first at Star Palace with Roach Gigz and then at Skye Nightclub. Saturday he's performing at The Glasshouse with The Starting Six. Later this month, he has shows in the Bay Area, Las Vegas, Seattle and Canada.
We talked to L ! Z about his single, getting radio attention and that exclamation point.
How did you get started rapping? Growing up I always wrote poetry but I was way too obsessed with football, basketball, etc. Once I stopped playing sports, because of complications from Type 1 diabetes, music kind of became my medicine.
Describe your style? Who are your influences? My style is very unique because I don't limit myself. It's whatever I feel or what appeals to me at that moment. My influences are Kanye West, J. Cole, Alicia Keys, Lauryn Hill. My favorite rappers right now are Nipsey Hussle and Kendrick Lamar.
Have to ask about the name. What's the backstory? How it is pronounced? My stage name L ! Z (pronounced elle, eye, zee) to me it stands for "Look! I'm Zoning," is just something I took from my mom, Lizette Harris, who has been my rock in my career and life for two decades now.
So "Bounce" has been big for you. How much of an honor is it to get in rotation on B95? I felt blessed just being able to hear my song every Sunday night on the B95 Homegrown Show with DJ Kay Rich, but to be able to say I am one of the very few, if any, artist from Central California to get their song into full rotation is such an honor. Special shoutout to G-Man & the B95 Crew, and also (producer) Draft for the beat!
Besides here in Fresno, what stations have been playing the record? Right now "Bounce" is being played on 15 radio stations. 106 KMEL & 99.7 Now in San Francisco, Hot 104.7 in Modesto, Q-97 in Visalia and stations in Honolulu, El Paso, Los Lunas, N.M.; Santa Maria, Riverside, Oxnard/Ventura, Salisbury, Md. It has also made its way overseas and is currently being played in Germany, Sweden, France and Switzerland.
What sort of attention/recognition have you gotten from the industry because of the song? I'll just say I've got to shake some pretty cool and important hands because of my music and song "Bounce." I don't want to do much name-dropping, but I certainly feel like I'm on the right path and I am blessed to be able to record with some of the artists I have got in the studio with. Recently I got in the studio and performed alongside West Coast legend Kurupt, who is a very cool dude.
What's coming up next for you? Album? Next single? I'm more focused on my single "Bounce" right now, which is still in a very early stage. In the big leagues, singles are pushed for 6-12 months minimum. But, I guess you guys can be expecting a project from me sometime later this year. Maybe as early as November/December. No promises though. I want to push "Bounce" as far as it can go, which will open up the door for a long career for myself and hopefully get some attention for my fellow Cen Cal artists.
For music and more: Go to @FlyKidLiz on Twitter or minutetillsix.com.
Know a local musician more people should be familiar with? Send details to Mike Osegueda, firstname.lastname@example.org.