By Maria Rochelle (@duraniemaria) -Guest Contributor
When I think of the word immigrant, I think of one who has hopes and dreams and who left their homeland to plant their lives in another country. I definitely would not have anything negative to say about immigrants unlike a certain candidate who is running for the highest office in the land here in America. I’m descended from immigrants as most of America is and some are presently immigrants today. As my ancestors had their hopes of living a better life abroad here in America, so does the individual of my latest interview. He left his family and friends to live in the United States.
The quote “The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all the world needs dreamers who do” by Sarah Ban Breathnach. He’s a dreamer who does. He just doesn’t talk about his dreams; he goes for them and pursues them like a lion with a fearless appetite to gain what he wants. For in this life of such a competitive world whether it’s in acting, business or writing, you have to have an appetite…an appetite to win and to succeed. He has referred to himself as a hustler. Well, he is that and so much more.
His name is Chozy Aiyub, and I have a feeling the whole world will get to know him better. Presently, he lives in what so many people are calling the Hollywood of the South…Atlanta, Georgia. I spoke to him about his acting and his love of films as well as an app for entertainment networking which will help more of those in the indie film business.
I noticed on Instagram you have a picture of you that says “I Am Palestine”, that’s where you’re from and do you miss home?
Yes, I’m from Palestine…born and raised. I went to a French school called “Collage Des Frere “which means college /school of brothers and it was for Palestinians of both Muslim and Christian faith. The school was in the old city of Jerusalem. The entrance gate is huge and is very ancient. I came to US in 2001 for a better life and more opportunities. I attended college at Georgia Southern University (major in computer science) and masters in graphic design. I do miss home and I do try to go once a year around the holidays.
How long have you been acting?
I did some plays back home in school, and I’ve been in some commercials for local businesses and some independent films. I’ve been acting three years.
What do you love about acting?
It’s challenging and it lets you see the perspective of having a different personality come to life. Watching films my whole life, I would imitate the actors on-screen. With the way I look, I can pass for different nationalities.
What’s your favorite film?
One of my favorites is “Scarface”. I like everything Al Pacino.
You’re part of the Indie film “The Run Saga: Breathe” which is produced by Phoenix4Productions, which character are you playing?
I’m playing a supporting role as the delivery guy. I’m delivering a package which contains cocaine to one of the brothers of the Asian mob.
What is the film about?
“Breathe” is about four different controversial and seemingly isolated stories interlock as the characters battle their own personal demons as well as the burdens that society put on them. All of the problems are intertwined and connect with one another. It’s called “Breathe” because in some situations we need to remember in our stressful lives to sit back and just breathe instead of making rash decisions. I believe that everyone is going to relate to one of the stories in the film.
What other part do you have with Phoenix4Productions?
I’m the Marketing Director …I create all their marketing materials for movie posters to promotional posters and business cards and flyers.
What do you like about Indie films and productions?
The indie films can be good because they are not part of a corporation. They let you use your personality and your skills in their favor. Indie is flexible. You can easily connect with producers and they give you recognition and see your potential.
What’s your next film project?
It’s a film that will be produced by Phoenx4Productions. The title is “Darknet”, and it is about women sex-trafficking. I’ll be in a starring role as the bad trafficker. Phoenix wants to raise awareness that it’s a real problem in the US and globally. I’m going to play the bad guy trafficker. My character runs the warehouse where the traffickers bring the women in vans.
So, Phoenix4Productions focus is not just on entertaining but also making a difference in the world am I right?
Yes, definitely. We strive to be an inspiration to aspiring talent and we plan to impact lives and make a difference in the world.
Tell me about your “Chozen App”?
It’s an app for those in the entertainment industry like film and music. It’s a place to go to find talent, so they can post a job for a play or film. Users of the app will be able to look for talent as well as those who want a job can also search through the app. This app will be available on IOS and android platforms and will be a free download. It will be available summer 2016.
You’re quite a very motivated and driven guy who not only has created an app but also a clothing line as well. What inspired you to create your clothing line?
I was actually reading a book called “The 10X Rule” by Grant Cardone, where he talks about his story of how he was in sales, lost his job, thought his life is over, then pushed through and now he is a millionaire. The book motivated me, and one night I was reading it till 4am, all of a sudden I closed the book, and said: I am going to create a clothing brand. Since design is my strong suit, that was a no brainer. In 24 hours I created the e-commerce site, a brand name and logo, and had 10 designs already live on the website. Everything happened pretty quickly.
From what I’ve seen of your website is that a customer can have their city represented in the “chozen style” logo which is called “rep your city”, how many cities have you designed so far?
I started with 6 and I had many requests via email, social media and the contact us form on the site. I currently have 14 on the site, and I am sure it will still grow. My goal is to have one for every city in the world.
Your businesses “Chozen Style” clothing, “Chozen Stars” app and “Chozy Designs” which is for designing web designs and branding among other things, did you choose “Chozen” to play off of your name Chozy? I’m guessing you did and by the way, it’s very clever. The point is that your creations/businesses is that the customer has a choice to choose what they want from you, am I right which ultimately leads to the customer being a happy one?
You are definitely right. I wanted to play off my name and create a brand that will eventually offer customers everything they need. It is a Chozen brand, where you can get all your needs, kind of like a one stop shop. So the clothes, app and design is only the beginning.
What else do you sell besides leggings, shirts, tank tops and hoodies? And are there any other clothing items that you’re working on?
I do have other items such as hats, totes, mugs, and throw pillows. And I am currently working on adding custom phone covers and sunglasses on the site pretty soon.
Do you have a favorite style that you’ve designed?
It is probably between the Fight in Style and the Dreamer Style. I enjoyed working on the custom Fight in Style design that was initially created for Chelsea Brooke (an MMA Fighter that told me to create a custom design for her), after she received it and posted pictures online, the demand was high and I had to put it on the site. For the Dreamer Style, I had Profound (a hiphop artist) ask for a unique style about people with dreams that fight through everything to make their dreams come true. So that is when I created that design for him, and the demand once again is high so I had to put it on the website as well.
Is there a role that you would like to play whether it’s already a character in film or is there a role that you would create that would be specifically for you?
Is there an actor or actress that you would like to be in a film or show with?
The list is probably endless, but would love to be in a movie with Al Pacino.
I know you love everything Al Pacino, are there other actors that you admire or look up to?
I grew up loving Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean Claude Van Damme, and Bruce Lee.
As I grew I started liking Robert De Niro, Johnny Depp, and Will Smith.
Where do you see yourself in a year?
It is hard to tell but hopefully somewhere in LA being involved in the film, music and fashion industry.
Tell me 3 fun facts about you….and what you enjoy.
I like to have a good time, joke around, laugh and be silly.
I enjoy dancing and I am usually the first to hit the dance floor.
I have had many hobbies/talents growing up and I was pretty good at them: deejaying, rapping, painting, drawing, boxing, skateboarding, soccer, basketball, playing piano, guitar, drums, modeling, and so many other random things.
I love to end my interviews with a motivational quote or inspirational quote. Is there one that you can share with the readers?
“If you learn from your past and hustle in the present that will determine where you stand in the future.”–Chozy A.
We’d like to thank Maria Rochelle for sending us this interview and Chozy Aiyub for his time. The photos provided are courtesy of Chozy Aiyub and Moreland Photography. You can find out more about Aiyub on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.