By Jhonise Hamilton |Staff Writer|
Since his first performance at a school talent show when he was only 16, Finess has climbed steadily up the hip-hop hierarchy. He recently opened for Drake at the ASU Fox Theater, which was his biggest show to date.
Finess, who’s real name is Bruce Frencher Jr, was born in Kansas City, Missouri, where he lived on and off until he was in junior high.
When his parents separated, his dad brought him and his younger sister to California. Although California was a change of scenery for him, Finess never lost touch with his roots and can often be spotted representing his home town by wearing a Kansas City Royals hat.
“Finess” was a nickname he got while in high school for always being relaxed on the court and on the field, and for having a suave personality. He later added “-The Great” because he believes he is, and can be just that.
Music has always been a big passion for Finess. He originally started out singing because of his father, but deep down he always knew that his true passion was hip-hop.
“It has always been an escape for me, especially when things in my life weren’t going so well,” said Finess.
His musical influences include Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Daz & Kurupt, Mos Def and Nas, but he admitted to also being a fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nirvana while growing up. Finess’ biggest and main musical influence is Ice Cube.
“It was more than the music,” said Finess, “Ice Cube’s longevity and his ability to use music to break into other industries such as movies also had an impact on me,”
Finess’ parents haven’t always been supportive of his musical ambitions. He believes it is because they didn’t want him to give up on his athletic talents or to lose sight of having an education.
Despite that, Finess made it perfectly clear that education is important to him. He is currently a Communications major with a concentration in Public Relations.
Finess writes all his own music, but does not produce it. The producers who helped crank out his music include Curtis King, M3rge, Piffa and Johnny Juliano.
“Believer”, his favorite song he has written, is about his efforts to turn his doubters into believers.
Finess’ next performance is May 13 in Las Vegas, which is sure to be another memorable performance.