Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide to start the band ?
There were a few moments in life that made me want to create the artist named CHOZE. One of those moments was losing a close friend, who was a massive talent, he had all the attributes to give to the world, with his art. Unfortunately he left us too soon and It gave me a perspective that in life, no-one is promised tomorrow. So we all need to make the most of it. This was the main driving force, which motivated me to work on my craft and gradually become more effective, in the art of lyricism and performance. Another moment was when I witnessed the transition of Sonics and Creativity in the Entertainment Industry. I felt there was and is a higher ratio of musicians that lacked their own identity. There seems to be a pattern, or shall I say, a continuous thread that lacks individuality, so I took it on board in some way, to change the narrative of what we hear everyday.
Introduce us all to the members and your musical history?
There is Myself, CHOZE, trending as an Alternative Grime Artist. I have been working on my craft for less than a decade, to create the album, D.I.Y (wow time flies). Performing at prestigious venues across the country, collaborated with like minded people and artists from different genres. This helped to shape my approach, presence and originality. During this process, I had to think carefully about my approach to this body of work. In doing so, I was fortunate to be connected to these two, innovative producers & songwriters, Shai Sevin and Skolz. Musicians in their own right, who are also responsible in helping CHOZE become the artist for today’s listener. Their musical ears help erupt my lyrical drive to create music that people can feel and relate to, especially living in the UK. They are both from the same background growing up and seen how the music scene has changed over the years. They apply their skills by their experiences of influential sounds and try to apply that to my background and upbringing. The synergy is like no other and I’m truly thankful for it.
It’s been a bit of a wild last year, how have you guys managed to pass time and stay sane during lockdown?
It’s been a very challenging year but luckily by the grace of God I have a special circle that keeps me sane and productive. Watching the news everyday about the circumstances the world is facing within this pandemic is heartbreaking in every way. Physically and mentally we’ve all been tested, in more ways than one. Due to the fact venues were closing down, not being able to tour with Brexit and the Pandemic that has taken place. How our government declined an agreement with the EU to give musicians free visas to tour is another salt to the wound. These are challenging times but like they say “If you’re down, there is only one direction you can go and that’s UP!”. Therapy & Writing helped me stay focused during these challenging times.
How positive are you feeling now restrictions are loosening?
To be honest it’s 50/50 because of the indecisive decisions the government have been making. To a certain degree I do understand some actions that have been taken but a lot of hypocrisy and backwards thinking has been exposed. I don’t know at this moment in time who is telling the truth and who is fuelling the lies. All I know is I’ll just do whatever it takes to help overcome this pandemic because it’s not just about me but also I could possibly put others at risk as-well. So I’ll just take one day at a time, do my part, watch closely how things unravel before making a forward decision,to help beat this pandemic. “United we stand, divided we fall”.
How has 2020 affected your mental health?
It’s had a massive impact on all of us to be fair. Personally, I had to hire a professional therapist during these difficult times. So many tragic moments which I won’t disclose have happened but therapy has given me the strength I needed. God is also by my side, so I have to keep believing he/she will make a way through these difficult moments that we’re facing.
How much are you looking forward to playing live?
More than anything in the World. Performance is so important to a musician. The energy we receive from a crowd is so uplifting. I believe we do this for the people more than anything. We’re striving and staying focused to make sure we’re still on top of our performance level when the doors open again. I know when the time comes, I’m going to perform like it’s my last. That’s the motto that I have been saying to myself for years of being a musician. Without Live, I feel we as a society have lost a department of connection. It’s what makes us engage spiritually, physically and mentally. I just can’t wait to tear the roof off. Bring it on! LOL.
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
I have never signed up but theories are theories and they are there I guess.
What’s one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed?
I haven’t been asked a repetitive question yet or a question I find uncomfortable during interviews. But if I do receive one which is on loop in the near future, I’ll tell you the next time we speak again. For sure lol
What’s your favourite song right now from another band currently on the London circuit?
“Free My People” by Greentea Peng. She/the band have a very unique sound that has been missing for a while. Love their energy, vibe and song arrangements. I also love a song called “Learn To Unlearn” by the band, Barbarella’s Bang Bang. They are amazing live and their new single is really edgy which I absolutely love. Another band that is fresh and setting the bar high.
If your fans could remember one thing about you what would it be?
At the end of each set that I perform, I always say the catch phrase “It’s been emotional” lol. They inbox me now and again with that phrase, which I laugh at but love at the same time. The reason for this phrase is because I feel emotional every single time I perform my heart out, to an audience who pick themselves out of bed, to travel and support my art. I never take this game for granted so by me saying that catch phrase is another way of actually saying “Thank you so much. It means the world”. I love the supporters, they’re the ones that keep me going.
What useless party trick /talent do you have/?
I don’t think I’ve tried to do a party trick before, I’m the one that’s usually watching lol. If I have to really think about it, then definitely it would be me trying to make something disappear. Tried it on my niece once, she told me “Stick to music uncle” lol. Could you believe it? A four and half year old telling me that lol. Well at least she rates my music. Thank God lol.
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
Playing with an Orchestra/Band is the best feeling ever. It brings out my full potential as a performer, every single time. It’s great doing shows with Dj’s especially when they rewind your song to get the crowds on their toes. But honestly performing with a Band/Orchestra is just an indescribable feeling. It gives you goosebumps, especially when you hear a violinist or guitarist do a solo as I Rap. You just can’t beat it! That’s when I’m in my element, that’s when I’m having my most fun.
What was the worst experience on stage?
The sound wasn’t working at one important gig. I won’t say where or the time it happened lol but I will say I’m glad I work with professionals. I honestly don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have a great team around me. They are so prepared for worst case scenarios like, the moment everything was clashing and sound was distorted. But the team always comes through with a solution no matter what! Their expertise saved the gig and my life lol ( thank you CHOZE team!!!).
Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about?
I’m the first rapper to headline in Union Chapel. A venue that only hosts Indie/Acoustic bands such as Oasis, Florence and the machine, Adele etc. Then I became the first rapper to headline Wiltons music hall which is the oldest music venue in Europe. As a rapper it’s a great achievement for me and my team. Surprisingly I still need to declare my Guinness Book of Records Certificate. Fingers crossed I get it sooner than later lol.
If you had to describe your band to an alien how would you describe them?
I would say “I’m Just Like you. My thoughts and ideas are not from this World” lol nah I’m joking. Or, I’d probably say “I’m very energetic on stage but very shy off stage”. My manager also says, I’m the Alchemist of Rap, if that helps.
Which one of the band is the most unpredictable and why?
Shai Sevin and Skolz always elevate and surprise me with their skills. Whether it’s production or writing, they keep me on my toes and vice versa. Shais ability to create choruses is mind blowing sometimes. As well as his production and raps. I’ve always known Shai to create magic so maybe, it’s actually Skolz that’s the unpredictable one. His production is Phenomenal but I remember one time in a listening session he was rapping on some of his production. I was like “Wow, you can rhyme as well?”. I just felt so lucky to be surrounded with a multi talented team, where we can all bring our ideas into the mix and be on the same page.
Which one of the band is the biggest nightmare? (Just a bit of fun).
To be honest I don’t think any of us have ever created problems within the circle. We want this so bad that our professional radar is always on. But we can’t help it, we are always having banter. But in-terms of anyone create nightmares that are truly non-existent. Sorry but we are really good guys and we take our job seriously. lol.
You have one phone call and you have been locked up for a crime you didn’t commit? Which member would you call first?
My manager, Fran Macmillan. She and her partner have always had my back through thick and thin. I know she would do whatever it takes to get me out of a dark situation. She knows I’m not the individual to get myself into trouble and she knows how much I don’t want to put myself in a situation like that. She is my bestie and I can trust her with my life.
What makes you stand out as a band/Artist?
Always displaying innovation to the viewer/listener. I’m always thinking outside of the box. I’m a student way before an artist and I consider myself to still be learning everyday. “How can I record better? How can I film better?.” These questions always run in my mind during production of a song/video. I stepped into this scene believing I always wanted to be the odd one out. The artist who takes risks. Whether you like it or not, you’re going to remember the product that myself and the team created.
Right now, whats pissing you of the most? (Can’t say the virus 🙂
Not being able to travel and perform. I really want to connect with the masses again. They are my inspiration to keep going in general. I truly want this pandemic to be over but in order for that to happen, we do need to play a part in making this world a better place. The sooner we ride this pandemic wave, the quicker we as a society, can be placed in normalisation.
Tell us about a time when you had a proper reyt laugh while you were all together?
I remember when we were celebrating my birthday in a historic venue called Paradise in west London. We had too many shots to the point of no return. I remember Skolz and Shai were telling me that I was trying to give out love advice, to people I randomly met and they just couldn’t stop laughing, like I was acting like a love “Guru” lol. They said I was even giving advice to people at the after party. They didn’t stop me either, because I was making everyone laugh with my random statements. “Are you sure you’re in love?”, “Do you know how long relationships last?”, “Do you want tips?”. These times I’m single lol. Alcohol can sometimes bring out the “weird” in me. I know from that experience I will live and learn, we’re only human right? Lol.
Whats your favourite song to play live and why?
Probably an old song called “Telalievision”. It’s about media propaganda. It just gets a great crowd reaction every time I perform this song. The strings, the keys, the haunting sounds, everything about this song makes me emotional and the crowd can easily see it. I also love performing “Nothing To Lose”. That track really hits a nerve with the listeners. It is basically about the state of affairs we’re living in and we must do whatever it takes to LIVE. Live in the right way. We only have one life, so we should create the best positive moments for ourselves and the next Generation to follow and lead.
I hear you have a new Album brewing, what can you tell us about it?
I wanted to create an album that stood the test of time. An album that would continue to help break down barriers and to keep the legacy of the UK music scene and its history alive. It’s also more about the belief that you can “Do It Yourself”. A lot of artists depend on labels too much. I want to be part of a system that changes the narrative. Create your own door and eventually people will follow through. I believe you’ll survive longer in this industry, if you create your own machine and other organisations that only just want to just collaborate. You will have more control of your destiny. Please believe it. D.I.Y is a statement not just a sound.
How was the recording process given the various restrictions the UK has been under of late?
The restrictions due to covid affected my recording process massively. My recording drive is immense, so for the sessions to be cancelled throughout the first year of the pandemic was tough, but yet still it kept me writing. I knew this wasn’t going to last forever. Plus, I wanted to be on top of my A-Game when the studio doors were finally open again. Eventually when the restrictions started to ease, I was determined to record new material for the next LP. I had this fire inside of me that wanted to record as much as possible, so I booked as many sessions with Shai (my main engineer) and continued creating records.
What are your plans for the year ahead,
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Continue to promote my debut record “D.I.Y” which is released via 831 Recordings /Kartel Music Group. “D.I.Y” features Shai Sevin and also Skolz who is the key producer of the album. This album for me has created a stamp that translates as Fresh, Alternative & Motivational. So I want to keep pushing this album to the masses as much as possible. I’m honoured to have household names like Skibadee, the Godfather of Jungle himself, Also the album includes Reggae & Dancehall legend, Barrington Levy and his son, Corpz.
I would love for the World to know that, this Album Is for you and YOU only.