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Exclusive Interview: Doza

June 12, 2024

Rising artist Doza is a rising Filipino-American rapper from the San Fernando Valley, now making waves in the Los Angeles Hip-Hop scene. As a first-generation American, Doza merges his Filipino heritage with the vibrant West Coast rap culture, creating a sound that’s uniquely his own.

Now, he’s thrilled to announce the release of his forthcoming single called “Poster Child,” which hits all major streaming platforms on July 9th. This marks Doza’s first single after a two-year hiatus, reminding listeners of his roots in boom bap, while ingeniously using samples from older hits “Movin’” and “Dope Boy” to bridge the gap between different eras of his career.

“Poster Child” displays Doza’s lyricial ability, highlighting Doza’s signature sound combined with innovative production elements. The record promises to captivate both long-time fans and new listeners with its classic beats, compelling lyrics, and masterful production. This follows a string of Doza’s previous hit singles, including “Outta Here” and “Played Out,” which have garnered over 100k views on their music videos respectively.

Read our exclusive interview below!

For those who don’t know, who is Anthony Mendoza? 

Anthony Mendoza at his core is just a good ol’ LA kid. West coast culture molded me into the person you see today. I love everything about living here from the people, to the sports teams, to the way of life. Throw yourself some of that Filipino flavor in there and you have Doza; rude and brash but a man of his word.

How would you describe your sound?

West Coast swagger mixed with technical lyricism and tight flow. I’d like to think something of a cross between Snoop and Nas.

At what point did you realize this music thing was forreal?

This is a good question because I’ve honestly rapped in some capacity since I was a kid, but I never thought I would ever try to make it a career. Throughout highschool and early college, I’d always be freestyling with the homies and I was pretty good at it. Most of my friends noticed it before me, but I remember the homie Lloyd saying something like “You love this shit way too much to not give it a shot.” Being the one who always went against what my family was traditionally about, I said fuck it and booked a studio session. I learned quickly that making an actual song is way different from bullshiting in a cypher with your friends but I knew after that first session it’s what I wanted to keep doing.

Is Anthony Mendoza your real name?

Yes it is. Shout out to the Filipino Mendozas of the world. 

What can we expect from “Poster Child,” dropping 7/9?

A return to my roots where I put the majority of my focus on bars and flow. Since I was gone for a while I thought people’s last memory of me was doing more of a pop rap record. I love those kind of records as well, but I wanted to remind people that you still can’t fuck with me on that rap shit and I can more than hold my own in that space cause it was how I started.
 
Why the two year hiatus?
It was a combination of getting jaded from dealing with shady industry people and new opportunities opening up in the acting space. I got signed to a talent agency and I was enjoying expressing my artistry in that medium so I wanted to give it the attention it needed for me to be successful there. Also it was better at paying the bills. But the urge for music came back and I felt it was time to get back in the booth.
 
Will there be a video attached?
There’s short form content we plan on shooting for social media but I would love to have a full music video production. Time will tell on that.

What is it you want fans to get from your story?

I want fans to get the confidence to just go for it. There was a lot of self-doubt in the beginning and imposter syndrome that came when I started out doing this stuff but a lot of those fears eventually went away and by fully embracing myself as an artist it completely changed my perspective on life. Don’t ever be afraid of being criticized by the people on the sidelines. You’re the one in the ring fighting and making a name for yourself and that’s something a lot of those vocal critics are afraid to do because of the exact thing they’re doing to you.

How was it opening for Juvenile & DJ Quik?

Shit what can I say except a dream come true. Juvenile I’d followed since he dropped “Ha” and DJ Quik is a staple of any west coast party. So to be able to just even be in the same building as them is crazy. To be billed as a performer alongside them is even crazier. I hope I get more chances like that because at the end of the day I still am just a huge fan of hip hop.

What’s one thing fans may not know about you?

They probably don’t know I’m a huge gamer. Final Fantasy VII is my favorite game ever. In another life I’d probably be a streamer or something. Maybe I’ll build a rig and start.

Goals yourself as an artist at this point of your career?

I’d love to have my songs featured in a TV show, film, or even video game (NBA2K holla at me). Really I’d just love to collaborate with other artists that I have admiration for. Collaboration is one of the funnest parts of being a musician. I’d especially love to collaborate with a top tier emcee just to challenge myself on holding my own against them. 

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