Chozenn turns back on dancehall

July 08, 2016
Patrick Planter/ Photographer Chozenn, now belting out notes for God.
Chozenn in Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall mode.
Patrick Planter/ Photographer Chozenn, now belting out notes for God.

Duane Besentie, better known as Chozenn, found himself close to the top of the dancehall industry after placing third in the popular Magnum Kings and Queens televised music competition in 2010.
“I was the people’s champion,” he told THE WEEKEND STAR, claiming that many persons expressed disappointment at his placement and referred to him as the champion.
Chozenn embraced his third-best position and continued on the path towards establishing a career in dancehall, one which was full of ‘new’ friends and, ironically, crushing loneliness.
Halfway to the top of the ladder of the dancehall fraternity, with songs like Judgement, featuring Konshenz, and Backyard, Head Top ...
“It get to me head. I started to shun all the real people,” he told THE WEEKEND STAR.
Chozenn said in his quest to make it in the dancehall industry, he found himself surrounded by fake friends, which is a result of trying to fit into a certain crowd.
Chozenn spiralled into a pit of depression, harrowed by the weight a career that seemed fruitless, and the emptiness of having no true companions. His troubles were made heavier with the sudden loss of his mother, followed quickly by his sister, Cassandra, falling seriously ill.
“It was a lot of things. Her kidneys were failing, she was trying to have a child and couldn’t. I gave up ... and I gave in to Christ.
“The Lord just revealed Himself to me. Like ‘is either this or that. It’s either you accept Me into your life, or you die.’”
Chozenn surrendered to God.
The turning point in his faith also became the turning point in his sister’s health.
“And now, she has a bouncing baby boy!” He marks the moment of clarity as small but incredibly significant. “It was my boasy neighbour,” he laughed fondly. “She just drive up in a car that mark ‘God love you, enuh.’ That was a sign.”
He needed no further convincing that the Lord was on his side. He began using his talents to glorify God.
Though he has produced a significant amount of music in the secular sense, Chozenn felt more accomplished than he ever did with just one gospel song in rotation.
“Finland, the US, Poland. People are sharing and commenting on the song and I have no idea what they’re saying,” he laughed as outlined the reach of his first gospel single, which is titled God Love You Enuh.
Even so, the transition hasn’t been smooth. “In Kingdom, you gonna go through a process called pruning. People who enter the faith don’t realise that there is a pruning process,” Chozenn told THE WEEKEND STAR.
Along with giving up dancehall and a life full of partying and women, Chozenn invested all the money he earned after Magnum Kings and Queens as a secular artiste into the transformation of St Catherine Jerk Festival and Spanish Town Jamboree.
“I’ve lost millions,” he admitted.
“Him strip mi down of all the dirty finances because the return in gospel is different ... Because we do this for the souls, and I’ve never felt more fulfilled. Him ah full mi back up now!
“Secular was my college. Right now, mi graduate,” he said.
“I used to be lyrically bad, now mi lyrically good. Chozenn is dead. And Christ is alive in me,” he insisted.





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