Having grown up in Brookshire, Texas, a small town outside of Houston, DJ Chose [née Norman Payne] semi-recently dropped his brand new self-produced single & accompanying video, “Too Late,” taken from his latest tour de force, MULTI [Create Music Group], which will be released on March 18th.
Parlé Magazine caught up with the 10x platinum RIAA-certified artist-producer-songwriter on the eve of the release of his highly anticipated magnum opus. Check out the DJ Chose interview below…
Parlé Mag: Tell me your whole inception into music — When did you first become interested in it? And, how did it all begin for DJ Chose?
DJ Chose: I became interested in music at the age of 11. I had just moved to Texas, and discovered screw music created by DJ Screw. I began freestyling with friends, and later on was introduced to the studio by my older cousin, Howard. I would make my own CD’s, and passed them out to promote and market myself with hopes that one day my music would sell.
Parlé Mag: Now you’re a native of Houston, Texas, correct? So growing up in ‘Space City,’ who do you consider to be your strongest musical influences?
DJ Chose: Yes, I’m a native of Houston, Texas, but I’m from the outskirts called Brookshire, Texas, which is about 20 minutes from Houston. One of my top influences growing up was working with rapper Lil’ Keke. We made a lot of music together. He is one of my biggest fans, and I’m one of his. To be transparent, everyone from Texas pretty much influences me, especially back in the mix-tape Screwtape days. There’s a long list of artists who influenced me.
Parlé Mag: That said, how do you classify your overall sound and style?
DJ Chose: Although I’m from Houston, I feel like my music is a mixture of all of my lifetime experiences. I make music that sounds exactly like Texas. It’s the easiest thing for me to create. I’ve been to HBCUs and well-known successful mostly Black colleges and experienced a lot of Dallas music, which was more club driven and dance inspired. That’s how you get a “Thick” song from DJ Chose. As far as me just being a real artist, when you listen to my new album MULTI you’ll get to see that I used all of my musical influences in the album.
Parlé Mag: Now your latest entry is entitled “Too Late” — Tell me about this particular track? How did it even come to fruition?
DJ Chose: My latest single “Too Late” came from my growth in life. While experiencing success from my previous records, I’m noticing that I also have to change and it’s just too late for some people that still believe that they have a space in my life. This song was just me expressing it in a verbal way.
Parlé Mag: Of course “Too Late” comes courtesy of your MULTI LP — Conceptually, what does that title represent both to and for you?
DJ Chose: MULTI means multi-talented, multi-platinum, multi-tasker, multi-millionaire and so forth. It’s just one abbreviation that represents me in many ways.
Parlé Mag: MULTI sports high profile appearances from the likes of Gucci Mane, Megan Thee Stallion, Young Bleu and Fredo Bang. How did you determine who you wanted to feature when it came time to assemble a roster for the album?
DJ Chose: I honestly just accepted features from those who were willing to agree. This industry is full of egos, so it’s always a blessing when bigger artists are humble enough to create and collaborate with you.
Parlé Mag: From a songwriting standpoint, when you sit down to pen your lyrics where do you draw inspiration from?
DJ Chose: I draw inspiration from my real life. Sometimes I speak of things my family and friends go through to spread light on their situation in hopes to motivate them that the storm will pass soon. 90% of the time I’m speaking on things I’m actually experiencing.
Parlé Mag: MULTI is a Create Music Group project — What particular string of events led to this inking?
DJ Chose: Create Music Group was one of the few companies to see my overall vision. Many people wanted to make money off me, but didn’t want to put in the work. Create was one of the few that was willing to go just as hard as me.
Parlé Mag: Switching gears here…
Longevity, what do you feel it is that will continue to sustain you in music?
DJ Chose: I think my approach to this industry keeps me here. A lot of people just do music. However, I write, produce, design, build all of my music and content from scratch. My role models built companies and made hits – Dr. Dre, Diddy, Kanye. My favorite artists make music. I want to do both.
Parlé Mag: What do you want people to get from your music?
DJ Chose: I want people to be inspired that someone trendy could also be someone woke. Someone who can play simple on verses, can also be deep on surface. I say this line in the album. I want to show people that you can literally do it all, or whatever you want to do in life.
Parlé Mag: On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of R&B?
DJ Chose: R&B is cool, but I miss when it felt complete. Usher’s Confessions album pretty much taught me how to be vulnerable. I think it still can, we just need to shine light on the right artists.
Parlé Mag: Do you have any other outside / additional aspirations, maybe even completely away from music?
DJ Chose: I love to listen to Country music! It helps me grow as a songwriter. I also write and produce. By 2024, I will chart on 4 different genres of music.
Parlé Mag: To date, what has been your greatest career moment, at least thus far anyway?
DJ Chose: Greatest career moment, of course, was when my song “Thick” made it on the Hot 100 list. I don’t know too many people who have personally made that happen.
Parlé Mag: One track of yours that you think defines you and why?
DJ Chose: My outro song called “Through With Me Yet” on my album MULTI. It displaces that I still have room to grow, and that I’m not content.
Parlé Mag: Lastly, what’s next for DJ Chose?
DJ Chose: Growth and more growth! I’m still a student. I still study, and I’m striving for a #1. I’m also starting a business, which I will announce in a few months.
Parlé Mag: Any “closing” thought(s) for our readers?
DJ Chose: For anyone who took the time to read this, thanks for the love! Follow me on IG: @djchose. Tap in with me and my music.
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