Creative Director | Photographer | Stylist : Steven G.
“This journey has been anything but smooth, but if it was, everyone would be able to do it right?”
We recently sat down with entrepreneur and event host Lawrence Smith to dig a little deeper into his journey in the night life scene. Lawrence is no novice to the game and is planning to be Kansas City’s hottest event planner.
Lawrence Smith, also know as L’z is a 28 year old Brooklyn, NY native. He relocated to Kansas City at a young age so he calls it home. He started doing events at a young age, 18 to be exact. “You could say, I’ve always had a passion for the nightlife, and being able to provide an experience to my people. Growing up in KC was actually an experience in itself. While KC is not my native home, I had no real ties to the city, or family so I had to create my own family and legacy, which turned out to be a blessing,” Lawrence stated. As a teenager, with some friends he consider family, he started a group known as “LjT”.
“Honestly, we were just a group of black teenage males, who loved to party, and have fun & stuck together like blood brothers. We took what we loved to do and built on it. From parks and parking lots, which moved to hotels, to house parties, and eventually venues,” Lawrence expresses. Lawrence experienced sold out events, ranging from the Sprint Center, Ararat Shrine to even Arrowhead Stadium. As the crew got older, everyone began to pursue their own interests in life, but the entertainment industry is what Lawrence always had a passion for. Furthermore, L’z had to separate himself and create his own brand, “LzWeGotOne”.
The term “LzWeGotOne” actually came from his brother Wadi. “Everytime I had a spontaneous or crazy idea I’d call him, and if it was a go he’d literally say, L’z we got one! So I kind of just took it and ran with it.” Lawrence explained. Lawrence created his brand to provide an experience for people like himself in the African American community. Lawrence expresses how he hated the way that he was treated at establishments in Kansas City. “It’s like we were never welcomed, from the demeanor of the security to the music,” he says.
Lawrence then began to create experiences and events that people could come and feel welcomed, and enjoy themselves. Unlike other event coordinators/promoters, he doesn’t limit himself with any one particular niche. Lawrence believes his versatility is his biggest strength and will try anything that works for the vision.
Lawrence tells us his journey has been anything but smooth, but if it was, everyone would be able to do it right? He’s taken many loses, and experienced so many challenges but never gave up on himself. Lawrence believes in order to be successful in anything you have to believe in yourself, and your capability to succeed. “It’s hard being a young black male in this industry. Searching and doing business with establishments to accommodate a predominately African American crowd seems almost impossible at times. Most venues don’t want anything to do with the event, but that’s what keeps me motivated,” says Lawrence.
Experiencing low points and money loss is a part of the game according to Lz. There’s never any guarantees, but in order to see a great reward, you have to take that risk. “One thing I can say is that I don’t do it for the money, and anyone that would like to get into entertainment should understand that it can’t just be about money. Don’t get me wrong, one of the goals is to make a profit, but you have to love what you do.” says Lawrence. He tells us about times where he didn’t see a profit despite his hard work, he questioned his brand, work ethic and even himself but it was the passion for his craft that allowed him to persevere. The best advice Lawrence offers to aspiring event coordinators are to be consistent.
In the next 5-10 years, Lawrence sees himself as a venue owner. He believe it’s time to create and become a staple in the community, the official brand for entertainment and nightlife in Kansas City. “Create and own, that’s all I want to do!” Lawrence exclaims. Be sure to follow Lawerence on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to keep up with him and future events. Steven G. is excited to see what’s next for him.
Post Author: Steven Green