NO RUSH: Chozen Blood has been around for a while and although he took a break to go study after his hit song Pressure Ya Love, his return was with an instant bang. But then things seem to be taking slow pace, why? Isaac Ssejjombwe spoke to the artiste. .
First things first. What was your relationship with Walden?
Walden and I were good friends who later found out that we are distant cousins. We worked together for two years.
So there was no intimate relationship between you two like it was alleged?
No. I met her in high school at a time when I was focusing on finishing my exams while she was working on a radio station, so I used to call her madam. Featuring on Pressure Ya Love was her helping me.
What happened after Pressure ya love?
We did one more song titled Nalonda Gwe and then decided to focus on solo careers. We separated after a year.
But you two were doing well. Why separate?
Walden had a radio job and also wanted to relocate to London. Considering I was still in school, there were a lot of sacrifices to make. Also time was never convenient for us; there were times we were booked for shows but her radio job could not allow her to attend those shows because she was working Monday to Friday, and other times I was in class.
Who wrote those two songs?
I wrote Pressure Ya Love and Nince Henry wrote Nalonda Gwe.
Do you regret having taken a solo career?
I am a Christian and I believe everything happens for a reason. God gave me a chance to be established again as a solo artiste so to answer your question, No I have no regrets.
There was a time you disappeared off the scene. What happened?
After university, I went to London for two years.
What took you to London?
Having been a church boy, I got linked to a charity organisation called A Child Unheard, which is based in Mityana. After university, there was a programme at the organisation to study a Post Graduate course and I used that chance to go and study in England. I went to the University of Chichester and studied Tourism because it is what I had done at university. I returned in 2015.
We have seen people stick abroad. What brought you back to the dusty streets of Kampala?
I had a dream of becoming a big musician. Yes, I would have stayed there and pursued my career but the dream was to make it big athome.
What if things had failed?
Like I said, I do not live a life of regrets. Everything happens for a reason and I returned confident that I would make it and so far so good because things are actually working out.
Did you find things different when you returned?
When I left for the UK, people were listening to music for a message but on returning, things had changed. Now you have to put a dance element to the song if you want it to get appreciated. So my first move was to look for an artiste who was literally in the driving seat at that time, to do a remix of Wadawa. And Sheebah did magic!
What had happened to the original of that song?
I left after recording the original but it had no video.
How many songs did you record before you left for the UK?
After I stopped working with Walden, I released two songs; Tebiba and Wadawa in audio so when I returned, we did a remix and shot its video as well.
Was the success of the song what got you signed to Team No Sleep?
Partly, but Team No Sleep is organised and its history speaks for it. Having been under the management, I have been able to rebrand and become a more established artiste.
But you have been in TNS for close to three years now, and yet you are not exactly established yet it took Sheebah only a year to become a household name. What do you think is the problem?
It is just a matter of time. I work on God’s time. I do not work under pressure. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but being in the system, I think there is progress. I do good music and let God decide on the timing.
How many musicians are in Team No Sleep?
There is Sheebah, Roden Y, Diamond Oscar, Topic Kasente and I.
Do you think you are all treated equally?
But we see as though Sheebah gets more priority.
It is still an opinion but everyone does their own thing and management helps in what they are supposed to do. However, it still takes me back to what I told you; timing and work plan. Same scenario is happening with Don Jazzy’s Marvin Records in Nigeria, you will not find all the artistes hitting at the same time.
Have you never been jealous of Sheebah’s success?
No. On the contrary, I am always happy for her because she really works hard for it and I am riding on her foundation. I actually feel blessed because I was not part of TNS when they were starting up.
Has it crossed your mind to leave TNS at some point?
Never and I have no plans of doing so because it is the best at what it does.
How many songs have you done while in TNS?
Five, including Wadawa, Bya Kyalo, Awunza and Damn with Desire.
First take me back through your musical background?
Having come from a religious background, I was skilled in playing drums and singing so schools used to fight for me to be part of their Music Dance and Drama groups. Music paid my school fees right from primary up to secondary. I did Pressure Ya Love in my Senior Six vacation and when I started getting paid, I did not allow my parents to pay my tuition yet we were in a family of 13 people.
Do you have any singing roots in your family lineage?
I was told my uncles were church leaders in Rwanda during the genocide days.
Where did the thought of doing music come from?
Music I would say chose me. I was a shy child who could not even stand in front of people but when I was motivated, I picked up and when music started funding my education, the shyness disappeared.
Your songs rotate around love. Who is the lucky lady?
I fell in love once but it all ended.
Well, as musicians we do not give enough time to the people close to us yet women want time so you reach a time when you have to choose either a relationship or career, so I chose career. For now career is my girlfriend, my child and my everything.
At what point will you settle down?
Only God knows.
Why do you think you have survived in this industry this long?
I am determined, patient, hardworking and respectful.
Fresh artistes are dominating the charts. Do you think it is time up for top artistes?
Their time will never end because they keep surprising us. In fact I give them a lot of credit and respect. They paved way for us.
What advice would you give a young artiste who wants to be like you?
Work hard and be patient. Even if you are in the industry for five years, your time will come. I did not start in Team No Sleep. I did not know I would sing with Sheebah so you might find yourself working with Don Jazzy in the next two years.
Besides music what else do you do?
I am a farmer. I do poultry and piggery in Mityana.
By the way, where did the name Chozen Blood come from?
My real name is Patrick Musasizi but the Chozen name came from church. I was a musician in church and I would get selected to do everything, so the lead member jokingly started calling me ‘the chosen’ guy. That aside, I also felt my blood has always been special in a way.
Tell me about your family?
I was born and raised here but my roots are in Rwanda. My father is Fred Musasizi and my mother is Maria Musasizi. We were born seven children; two girls, five boys and I am the second last born. My stepmother has six children; two girls and four boys.