Artist: DJ Chozen, aka Van Andrews
Where'd the name come from? I was running with a few crews and groups years ago that weren't going anywhere. I was down and out and in my room one day and my mom asked "Why are you so down?" I told her and then she said, "Maybe God chose you to do this." From then on, I was Chozen.
Three words to describe your sound/style: My style, relatable, my sound, original and it gives insight. I let you know you're not alone. There's nothing complicated about my lyrics. I don't spit, I deliver. I don't just hold my johnson saying "one, two, one, two." I add a little keyboard and turntables and the rest I let the mic handle.
Who are your influences? Definitely Run D.M.C. I had the chance to sit down and share ideas with Jam Master Jay a few years ago. I told him this city has no voice. He said "Why don't you be the voice?" I also look up to KRS1 and DJ Jazzy Jeff. My style is basically emulated from him. I got the chance to open for him and Fresh Prince. And Q-Tip, I really want to meet him. He's one of the most underrated emcees.
Who is one of your favorite artists that would surprise most people who know you? I think it might be Stevie Wonder, because I can look at the keyboard and can't do half the stuff he can and he can't even see it! And you can say what you want about Michael (Jackson), but when he's in that studio, he's a mad scientist.
What would you change about the York music scene? I'd get some of these hungry artists that I know have been working hard, pick the biggest grandstand in the area, give them a chance to do what they do, and televise it. But it has to be artists who do it from the soul and for the love.
Shoutouts: I want to mention Apollo's Sun because he basically resurrected me. And Rustic Soul Studio and Artist Over Industry. And P-Rock is one of the most promising poets in York.
- JASON COX, FLIPSIDE STAFF