Brothers Don Jr., and Chaz at ages 16 and 12, respectively, were the youngest nominees in the 26-year history of the Caribbean Gospel Music Marlin Awards. The siblings, known as Chosen Soldiers can also lay claim to the title of youngest duo to have a Caribbean Gospel Music Marlin Award.
The Gospel hip-hop duo won their first ever Marlin Award for Outstanding Hip-Hop Recording for the single “Different & Cool” featuring E Man & Stacs.
The brothers, who were nominated for the first time for a Marlin Award, said the win motivates them to continue to produce positive uplifting music to encourage others, especially their peers.
Both Don and Chaz- It really motivates us to continue to produce positive uplifting music to encourage others, especially our peers. “It’s great to be recognized for your achievements, so these past eight years hasn’t always been easy but this award has let us know that with God all things are possible – just trust and believe.”
The brothers say if their music helps someone when that person is having a bad day or feels like giving up, then they will continue to push what they are doing and not give up.
“We are indeed very humbled by this. It is an incredible achievement.”
While they both say they felt joy and excitement, happiness and surprise at winning the award, in the moment, both brothers recall differing reactions.
“I was thinking … wow – okay, now I have to say our speech and I hope that I can talk,” said Don, Jr.; on the other hand, the pre-teen Chaz was wondering whether he had heard right. “I still wasn’t sure. I was thinking ‘did they really just call our name?’ I hesitated.”
The Caribbean Gospel Music Marlin Awards, recognizes outstanding achievements in Caribbean gospel music.
The duo said they are grateful for the win and being able to accept their award on stage and in-person.
“Very grateful because with our last awards it was during the pandemic and we could not travel to accept our awards, so they just mailed them. However, this time was so awesome because we got to actually hear our name called and go up and accept ourselves. That was very cool,” said the brothers.
Don, Jr., and Chaz most recently won two awards – International Gospel Artist of the Year and Urban Contemporary/R&P CD of the Year (Giving It Back) – they had received seven nominations at the 12th Rhythm of Gospel Awards – a show that recognizes outstanding churches/pastors, choirs and independent gospel music artists for all genres for their contributions toward the betterment and advancement of their communities.
Coming off a recent show that had them opening for gospel singer, songwriter, producer and actress Tamela Mann, then claiming a Marlin Award, the brothers say means they are doing exactly what God has planned for them – his purpose.
The brothers also recently released their latest album “Purpose” on which is the single of the same name, and which was a year in the making and features 12 tracks.
The new album is now available on all digital music streaming platforms.
“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 have both said they have come a long way since they first started making music.
Chaz has said he believes “Purpose” is the best CD they have made to date. The album’s message is that God has a purpose for his people, and his people have a purpose to fulfill, so to not get discouraged, and to never give up, even when the going gets rough.
The brothers coupled the CD drop with a music video release featuring Najie Dunn, which they debuted at their church – Kemp Road Ministries. The storyline for the video features a young man losing his job, and you follow him through his struggles – vehicle breaking down and trying to adjust without an income which means his bills are overdue, and of him exhausting the majority of his savings – utilizing his last chance at entertainment aspirations, and discovering his purpose.
Chosen Soldiers made their debut on the gospel music scene at ages eight and four, respectively.
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 are now members of the Marlin Awards winning family. Marlin Awards was launched on March 16, 1996, by Kevin “Minister K” Harris, awards show founder and president. It is considered the premier gospel music award that recognizes and honors Bahamian and Caribbean gospel music globally – its vision and core objective is to encourage excellence and growth in Caribbean gospel music.
The awards started as The Bahamian Gospel Music Marlin Awards and, in 2000, eight categories were included to recognize Caribbean Gospel artists and their music.
In 2022, the award was rebranded to the Caribbean Gospel Music Marlin Awards, bringing together, for the first time, artists from throughout The Bahamas and the Caribbean.