Chosen Soldiers open for Tamela Mann and Friends
Gospel artists, brothers Don Jr. and Chaz Major, got an amazing opportunity when they opened for gospel singer, songwriter, producer and actress Tamela Mann over the weekend, but one of the biggest takeaways for the duo was the advice they received from Tamela and David Mann.
“They said continue doing the work for the Lord, and that we were truly doing a great work,” said the brothers. “They also said that they started off small just like us, but everything takes time. They both said don’t stop and to keep pushing.”
Don Jr., 16, and Chaz, 12, who go by the stage name Chosen Solders, said the Manns were amazed that they were so young.
The brothers, who recently released their latest album “Purpose”, made use of the 15-minute set to do a snippet of their first song “Praise the Lord” from their first EP (extended play) titled “Royal Life” and two songs from “Purpose” – “Andele” and the hip hop-influenced “Purpose”, as well as “Different and Cool” from their “No Days Off” EP.
When they got the invite to perform for the Tamela Mann and Friends performance, they both said they were excited for the opportunity. Chaz was excited because of the opportunity. Don said his excitement was for the opportunity and the door that had opened for them.
They both said they were not nervous taking to the stage in the Enmarket Arena, on Sunday, June 5, but rather excited.
“The show was great and we were so happy to have experienced it.”
The sons of Charmaine and Don Major took in most of the performances from a backstage view and stage side.
“We had the best seats,” they said.
The duo also got to meet fellow gospel singers Jonathan Nelson; Zebulon Ellis, who hosted; and introduced them to Le’Andria Johnson.
Nelson also encouraged the brothers to continue to push and do well in school; while Ellis informed them of how much he enjoyed their performance. He, too, encouraged the boys to continue to do well.
Don Jr. and Chaz missed the performance by Grammy-award winning gospel singer Karen Clark-Sheard as they were in their dressing room at the time. They were also both floored to have had their own dressing room.
Don Jr. and Chaz also got the opportunity to sit in on Manns’ rehearsal prior to the concert start time, and experienced the ins and outs that happened preparing for the show.
“We were truly excited and learned so much, and everyone was so nice and encouraging,” they said.
“We talked and met so many people, including the show promoters and managers.
They were also excited to showcase songs from their new album, which was a year in the making and features 12 tracks, including in intro and outro, and in which they had a lot more input than their previous works. “Purpose” is a more mature album for the brothers who are now older than when they started in the industry at ages eight and four, and have also seen their voices change over the years. They both said they have come along way.
Chaz has said he believes “Purpose” is the best CD they have ever made. “Purpose” also features Najie Dunn, Mr. Blaxx, KJ, and Mitzi Butler.
Prior to “Purpose”, Chosen Soldiers had released the three-track EP “Royal Life” (2016); the “Giving It Back” album (2019); and the three-track “No Days Off” (2020).
Chosen Soldiers has also recently received their first Marlin Awards nomination, which also made them the youngest to be nominated in the history of the award show, to date, which is in its 26th year. They were nominated for Outstanding Hip Hop Vocal Performance and Duo Group for their single “Mama” featuring Eman.
The duo also thanked everyone that supported them in getting to the Tamela Mann and Friends show, as sales from copies of “Purpose” went to defraying the cost of the trip.
“We would like to give big shouts out and thank you to everyone who supported us and to our church family at Kemp Road Ministries. Anyone who purchased a CD, donated, and/or prayed for us, we are so grateful, and we appreciate you so much.”