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Student’s new song showcases upbeat style, fosters football spirit

Christian Stockwell, a fourth-year philosophy student, is working on a new song titled “chosen,” which references football and UCLA’s own quarterback Josh Rosen. (Joe Akira/Daily Bruin)

By Cameron Vernali

December 10, 2017 11:52 pm

Bruins will soon have a new song they can sing along to at gameday tailgates.

Christian Stockwell, a fourth-year philosophy student who produces music under the pseudonym “cenzo,” is currently working on an R&B, hip-hop song called “chosen” that will be released in late December. The song features references to UCLA football’s quarterback Josh Rosen, along with other references to football games and terms.

“Sometimes people get really down on football for little reasons, but it doesn’t matter if we have the worst team or the best team,” Stockwell said. “We should be supporting them still.”

The song “chosen” is not the first instance of Stockwell referencing UCLA in a song. A year before Stockwell began studying at UCLA, he wrote a song called “yin x yang” which includes the lyric, “In a year I’ll be at UCLA/ So when you look out my window you’ll see LA.”

However, he said “chosen” is his first song aimed at generating spirit and pride for the UCLA football team. Stockwell said that if more students are expressive about their love of the team, it will help create a positive energy and a sense of pride for the UCLA football team.

Stockwell began working on “chosen” at the end of November. He said his musical background learning piano, guitar and saxophone during his childhood influenced his production process by exposing him to different kinds of music.

Donovan Blair, a second-year business economics student, met Stockwell through their fraternity, Sigma Chi. Blair, who also produces music, said he heard one of the first versions of “chosen” and thinks it will resonate with UCLA students for its school-specific references.

“The goal of any song is to relate to a certain group of people,” Blair said. “Targeting a very specific crowd is how a song can get pretty big, so if people like the words, then (‘chosen’) can get big at UCLA.”

Stockwell’s original inspiration for “chosen” came from a single line about Rosen. Stockwell said he heard people refer to Rosen with the nickname “Chosen Rosen” and was inspired to play on the nickname, writing the phrase “I’m chosen like Rosen” into the hook of the song. Stockwell also added in a few football references throughout the song, such as mentioning the parts of a football stadium and being sacked on the field.

Beyond the lyrics of the song, “chosen” has musical components that add to the liveliness of the track. Stockwell uses a sharp and quick drum rhythm to add an upbeat and vibrant energy to the song.

Jared Jones, a fourth-year economics student who has collaborated with Stockwell on some of his previous songs, said Stockwell’s devotion to the instrumental aspect of his music is evident through the effort and attention he places on his instrument choices, such as the drum rhythm in “chosen.” Jones said Stockwell creatively utilizes his voice and sometimes auto-tunes his voice, creating a more complex tone with varying pitch levels.

“He tries to use his voice as an instrument, kind of like a launchpad for these creative ideas for what to do with the beat,” Jones said.

While the musical components of the song are intended to raise people into a high-energy mood, the football references in the lyrics can add to the sense of pride for the football team, Stockwell said.

“I think that’s another reason why we don’t do well. … People don’t go out and show love,” Stockwell said.

Stockwell said he believes “chosen” can help connect students’ love of music to other aspects of their life, like sports and school pride. While Stockwell does not necessarily plan to make more athletics-related music specifically, he said he hopes “chosen” will succeed in spreading school spirit and bringing UCLA students together.

“Hearing a song that points out something that specific hits you on a deeper level,” Stockwell said. “It makes you enjoy the music and want to play it more.”

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Cameron Vernali
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