PORTLAND, OR – In the turmoil of Quiz Zilla‘s youth, there was one shining light of positivity that to this day continues to be a source of strength. Raised in a home that was constantly around drugs, Quiz was used to a horrible lifestyle by age 5. As the years passed, his environment got increasingly worse. But in junior high, he met a rapper from the streets of Portland, Oregon who was going by the name Chaos. He immediately latched onto young Quiz – and in fact was the person who gave him that moniker in the first place.

“He taught me everything I know,” Quiz said of Chaos’ influence on his development as a rapper. “He liked me and started teaching me how to rap, and pretty early on he told me that I was gonna be unpredictable. I remember he said, ‘You’re gonna be somebody who nobody is gonna know what to expect from you. You’re kind of like a pop quiz.’ And so he named me Quiz, and it’s been a good angle for me ever since.”

Like many moments throughout Quiz’s life, the passing of Chaos served as a spur of inspiration to propel his music career a step further. His passing happened on the night of Quiz’s first live show around the age of 15. Not long after, Quiz was adopted into a relatively loving foster family – but the moment was a turning point in his life in which he started getting serious about music.

Life took another dark turn at the age of 19 when his foster mother killed herself. This sent him into a tailspin that eventually landed him in jail for two years. When he was released from prison and looked at the lyrics he was writing, eh realized that there was a dark side to him that he’d never really acknowledged before. And so the name Zilla was born.

Today he said his music nods to both the surprising aspect of his name Quiz, and the darkness implied by the name Zilla.

“I do all kinds of music, and that dark side is my grimy side. It plays a role in a lot of areas. When I’m angry or feeling low and down and writing songs, I’ll bring that Zilla side out of me. My lyrics during those times tend to be raw, uncut and not caring what people think.”

That being said, Quiz has lighter music and inspirational music, as well. In fact, much of his music lately has been in the genre of R&B. He also recently dropped an album that features a healthy mixture of rap, rock and pop. His single “Still Have Faith” has been lighting up the charts in the Pacific Northwest, and he hopes some of his new music will have a similar impact on listeners both in his region and throughout the rest of the country.

He currently performs live all along the West Coast and has also had performances in Nashville and on the Warner Brothers City Walk. He’s currently working toward a longer tour with an artist or group that has a little more notoriety so that he can expand his fan-base.

“At the end of the day I want people to know that no matter what cards you were dealt and no matter your circumstances or experiences, you can get somewhere,” he said. “You can do something. I’m proof of that. I’ve been everywhere and done everything, but when you meet me you don’t necessarily see the pain. You just see someone who is determined and driven. I’m inspired. I’ve learned that when bad things happen, I’m drawn to moving forward. And that’s what I want people to learn from my music – that no matter what you’ve been through, you can become something and you can be something better. I’m living proof of that.”

To sample some of Quiz Zilla’s music, fans can visit kingquizzilla.com

Twitter: @Quizzilla