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8| Superstar Recording Artist & Global Entrepreneur DJ Chozie Ma

Half the City
Half the City
8| Superstar Recording Artist & Global Entrepreneur DJ Chozie Ma

DJ Chozie Ma is the top selling EDM artist in China and Taiwan.

Chozie, an Australian by birth, has spent over 22 years in Beijing, building the EDM scene from scratch, beginning with clubs and albums, as well as partnering with the man behind the music at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, to VVIP travel experiences, interactive domes, and organic skincare line Greenerways Organic.

Brian Schoenborn  0:01  

Hello, hello. Hey everybody. Our guest today is, he’s had a pretty epic life. Let’s put it that way. Truly a man of many hats from being the top selling electronic music DJ in both Taiwan and China, to owning some of the top clubs in Asia, as well as an expert, top of his game with vvip experiences. We’re going to get into all of that stuff, as well as some other stuff that he’s got going on. This dude’s got so much stuff happening. It’s kind of hard to wrap our arms around all of it. We’re going to dive in as much as we can. So give it up for my friend, Chozie Ma.


Brian Schoenborn  0:41  

My name is Brian Schoenborn. I’m an explorer of people, places and culture. In my travels, spanning over 20 countries across four continents, I’ve had the pleasure of engaging in authentic conversations with amazingly interesting people. These are their stories, on location and unfiltered. Presented by 8B Media, this is Half the City.


Chozie Ma  1:09  

What’s up? How you doing? 


Brian Schoenborn  1:11  

Good, man. How are you? 


Chozie Ma  1:12  

Happy to be here in LA.


Brian Schoenborn  1:13  

Dude, I’m so happy to see you, man. It’s been it’s been a minute, man. 


Chozie Ma  1:16  

Yea, totally. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:17  

Yeah. So guys, so first, let me take it back. We’re having a little bit of technical difficulties. We’re going mano today. We’re improvising, adapting and overcoming. My, one of my dongles for my mic broke. So we’ve got one mic instead of two. No big deal. We just fucking roll with it. Right? So you might be hearing some background noise and stuff like that some cars going by or whatever, here and there. We’re actually on location in Venice, Venice Beach, California. We’re actually 100 yards from the beach. 


Chozie Ma  1:42  

You can see the beach. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:43  

You can see the beach. 


Chozie Ma  1:44  

Yeah, it’s sweet.


Brian Schoenborn  1:45  

We’re right here. Chozie’s in LA for business. 


Chozie Ma  1:50  

Business and play. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:51  

It just so happened that Chozie saw one of the first episodes out and I’m like, dude, I haven’t seen I haven’t talked to this guy like a year and I’m like, and he’s like, yo, fuckin A. He liked it on my WeChat the Chinese social media, Chinese Facebook, whatever you wanna call it, like, dude, let’s do this. 


Chozie Ma  2:05  



Brian Schoenborn  2:05  

And he’s like, yeah. And then he messaged me, he’s like, Yo, I’m in Venice doing something. I’m like, dude, I’m in LA. Let’s get together. You know, the whole concept of the show anyways is you know, I’m talking to people all over the world with amazingly interesting stories. And on location, right, so we’re chillin, we’re chillin in his place here, his studio here in Venice Beach. You can hear somebody doing some construction work behind us in the background. All good. No, it’s all good. I don’t care. I don’t even care, man. It’s the content. 


Chozie Ma  2:33  

Yeah, that’s it.


Brian Schoenborn  2:33  

You know, it’s the authenticity of it. But I’ve known Chozie for four, four years? 


Chozie Ma  2:39  

Yeah, it’s been a minute. 


Brian Schoenborn  2:39  

Three or four years, something like that. 


Chozie Ma  2:41  

Yeah. From Beijing. 


Brian Schoenborn  2:42  

Yeah, from Beijing, baby. Yeah, I’ve known Chozie since my time in Beijing and if you guys have been listening, you know, I spent four years there doing some stuff on my own, but Chozie…I mean, you look Chinese. But your English is so good. Do you like?


Chozie Ma  2:59  

Yes, I’m Chozie. Okay, so it stands for Chinese Aussie. So my father’s Chinese my mom’s Aussie. Grew up in Sydney. Graduated there, then made the move over to the mainland back back to the roots in 98.


Brian Schoenborn  3:13  



Chozie Ma  3:14  



Brian Schoenborn  3:14  

Dude. So you’re hitting what your 22nd year? 


Chozie Ma  3:16  

Twenty-second year, yeah.


Brian Schoenborn  3:17  

My god, man.


Chozie Ma  3:18  

Zero to Hero.


Brian Schoenborn  3:20  

For real, like I can’t even imagine like the changes. So, if you if you’ve never been to China, you’ve never been to Beijing or any of the other major cities. Ever since the, who was it? Who was, Deng Xiaoping? 


Chozie Ma  3:34  



Brian Schoenborn  3:34  

When Deng Xiaoping started opening up the country. It was closed off for years, decades, right? It was just its own nationalist, no access in or out type country. And around the time of Deng Xiaoping, who was the leader of the Chinese party, back in the time with Nixon, I think Richard Nixon, the American president.


Chozie Ma  3:55  

Kissinger, I think, to make the formal transition.


Brian Schoenborn  3:57  

Well, he was a diplomat, the foreign relations guy. 


Chozie Ma  4:00  



Brian Schoenborn  4:02  

But they started opening up, it was the great opening. So this was like 30, 40 years ago. And since then the growth in China has been explosive.


Chozie Ma  4:10  

Yeah, donkeys and carts to Ferraris and Lamborghinis.


Brian Schoenborn  4:12  



Chozie Ma  4:13  

Just like that. 


Brian Schoenborn  4:13  

It’s crazy. Yeah, it’s crazy and like so you see these areas like in Beijing for example. There’s been so much growth that you know, one block you’ll see these one story, they’re called hutongs. They’re like one story buildings that are anywhere between 600 and 1000 years old. Really cool spots. 


Chozie Ma  4:29  

Really cool.


Brian Schoenborn  4:30  

History culture, all that good stuff. But a block away you’ll see these skyscrapers with like neon lights that light up all night just like super like, I don’t know you think like… 


Chozie Ma  4:40  

Concrete jungle. 


Brian Schoenborn  4:41  

Concrete jungle, but like to the extreme. like super super.


Chozie Ma  4:44  

Weird-ass designs, like the pants building that do things that hang over…I don’t know. It’s just Yeah, really. Architecture. But cool. You got the old and the new, in one city.


Brian Schoenborn  4:57  

It’s kind of weird though. Like I feel like you know, in my time there, one of the things that I noticed was like, as modern as they become so quickly, as global as it become so quickly, from a technology, that kind of standpoint, money standpoint, I feel like there’s still, like, there’s still a transitioning period, in terms of maybe mentality, stuff like that. Like, you know, for example, um, you know, not good or bad, like, a lot of the stuff I talked about are constructs, right? Like, nothing is good, nothing is bad, just kind of what it is. But like you still see people like on the on the sidewalks of Beijing, that maybe do things that one culture might be like, whoa, like, what’s going on? Like your jaws dropping that sort of thing. I’m not getting get into that here. But I get into it on my, on my other show, relentless, which is coming out, starting to come out in another month or two. 


Chozie Ma  5:49  



Brian Schoenborn  5:50  

But there are things that might make your jaw drop, right, we’re just like, but it’s because it’s so far removed from what you’re used to with your culture in your constructs. Yeah, you know. But I just think it’s interesting. As you know, things are happening. Things are changing whatever.


Chozie Ma  6:04  

Well you got to. I mean, that’s the whole point of travel. Right? You want your jaw to drop. 


Brian Schoenborn  6:08  



Chozie Ma  6:08  

Good or bad.


Brian Schoenborn  6:09  

That’s, I mean, that’s the thing, right?


Chozie Ma  6:10  

You’re going to go somewhere and be like, Did you see that? Oh, wow, look at that, you know, it’s just part of the whole cultural experience. 


Brian Schoenborn  6:16  



Chozie Ma  6:16  

And especially taking your kids out there and seeing just saying, you open your mind is the world like closed off into one bubble, right? Explore, travel.


Brian Schoenborn  6:25  

Dude, absolutely. Like, I’ll never forget. The first time I came back to America. When I moved to Beijing. I grew up in a small town in Michigan, right. And so I so I went back and I bumped into this lady that I knew from a very young age, and she goes, Oh, Brian, she’s like, What are you up to these days? What are you doing? And I go, Oh, you know, I’m living in China right now. I’m living in Beijing. And she goes, she looks me. She’s like, China? China? Brian, I’m so scared for you. What do you are safe Ba ba ba ba it’s communist Brian, all this stuff. I look at her husband, her husband standard that I look at I go Actually, it’s pretty amazing country. I mean, it’s super safe, feel safe.


Chozie Ma  6:44  

Yeah, real safe.


Brian Schoenborn  7:03  

People are welcoming. You know, if you try if you take a stab at learning a language that goes miles, you know, it goes such a long way. You know, it’s a good time. And then her husband’s like, brothers like, honey, you know, I was stationed in Japan and the Navy, right? He’s like, I bet he’s having the time of his life.


Chozie Ma  7:25  

I thought he was gonna say, Oh, honey, I have a Japanese wife. Or we have a half son now coming up. I mean, those things can happen. No, China is great. I mean, it’s 22 years, as you said, and you know, I’ve seen it go from, you know, really, like I would say it wasn’t really colorful when I was there. But it was exciting because I got there in 97 on a tour, and it was the last stop on an Asian tour. And we were in this club called Vogue 88. Henry Lee was the owner. And he basically just said, Why don’t you move out here and take over my club? I was like 19 years old or something like that. 


Brian Schoenborn  8:06  



Chozie Ma  8:06  

I had a crew called Yum Cha Cha. So there’s five of us. We went back to Australia, we all looked at each other and said, why not? 


Brian Schoenborn  8:14  

Fuck it.


Chozie Ma  8:14  

We’re young, we can’t speak the language. I mean, I’m Chinese, but I spoke Cantonese when I was growing. So when you move to China, it’s Mandarin. And Cantonese was it was like non existent there. So it didn’t really work. 


Brian Schoenborn  8:26  

I mean, they’re completely different languages. 


Chozie Ma  8:27  

Totally different languages. So kind of were like, you know what, let’s just give this a go. The crowd seemed quite International. It was it was it was like, you know, there wasn’t that many foreigners there then. But every foreigner that was there was working for the embassy or a corporate job, right? Or students. And we were like, you know what, let’s do it. So we went, we went through it. Three months later, we packed up things moved, Mom and Dad laughed. Dad’s the Chinese that, you know, he’s from that generation that left China back in the day, to give a better life to, you know, myself and himself. 


Brian Schoenborn  8:57  

So he’s like, what is this, some sick, sad joke?


Chozie Ma  9:00  

He was like, he’ll be back. So they, they kept my car for about five years and then realized it’s been five years keeping respect wasting space in the garage. Can we sell it. I’m like, yeah, go ahead, man. I’m already I’m settled here. So, so it’s kind of funny because that generation, a lot of the kids, ABCs: American Born Chinese, Australian Born Chinese, Canadian Born Chinese. As they graduated and got older that you started seeing opportunity in China, and went back. And those times from like, 99 all the way to you know, the Olympics was just like this epic journey.


Brian Schoenborn  9:33  

2008 Olympics?


Chozie Ma  9:33  

2008 Olympics and it was just this epic journey of like, wow. And you could just use it as your oyster and do whatever you wanted if you had some creativity, and especially if you had something culturally valued valuable for the scene, dance scene or entertainment or like, you know, anything related to culture, culture and heritage, or bringing investment into China. Bringing foreign brands into China. 


Brian Schoenborn  9:58  



Chozie Ma  9:59  

You just kill it. Alright, so we’re doing really well, I decided to go into the entertainment space and do clubs, music, things like that. And develop that that market, which has become more like, I look at it as probably one of the biggest in the world. Now, if you look at every DJ, they’re all trying to go every Western artist is trying to collaborate with an Asian artist. 


Brian Schoenborn  10:15  

Oh, absolutely. 


Chozie Ma  10:16  

You know, so that’s the volume, right? With volume comes money, monetizing products, things like that. Yeah, there’s a lot of tricky things that go on in the market. But if you can maneuver through it. And I think the one thing that you just got to know about going to China is a lot of foreigners move there. They’re still very hard headed, well, what would you call it?


Brian Schoenborn  10:38  

They’re set in their ways.


Chozie Ma  10:39  

They’re set in they’re ways. 


Brian Schoenborn  10:40  

Yeah, because I’ve lived in that bubble or whatever their culture is, and they expect everywhere to be just like that, right? 


Chozie Ma  10:45  

So it’s like, you know, maybe they have a good brand or a company or they’ve been bought out by a big expat company and getting that package that they didn’t get somewhere else. The thing is, China’s not going to change for you. You gotta change for China.


Brian Schoenborn  10:57  

Yeah, that’s a hard lesson to learn. Tell you what, like I you know, because I think about you know, like I did a couple of or I had some I did some business in China myself. You know one thing I did, for example, was I produced this the soccer match right between Manchester United legends and Liverpool legends so these guys are 35 and up recently.


Chozie Ma  11:18  

Big game, I remember that.


Brian Schoenborn  11:19  

Big game, right? We put that on and we put out a four or five aside tournament Adelaide, and then an 11 a side friendly, in Melbourne. 


Chozie Ma  11:29  



Brian Schoenborn  11:31  

And we and then we live stream that into China and Europe and other places. And we worked with Tencent, which is one of the biggest like they’re bigger than Facebook guys. Like there’s 10 cents huge. 


Chozie Ma  11:38  

$1 trillion company.


Brian Schoenborn  11:41  

Yeah, they’re one of the big three tech companies in China. But we live streamed through them. Great, you know, big reception. They’re like, Oh, this is one of the best live streams we’ve ever we’ve ever had as far as quality and all that stuff. Awesome. Can’t wait to work with you more. So then I take that information like all right, these guys want to get into China, right? These players want to play a match in China. I get something setup where we’re getting ready to do a deal in Shenzhen, near Shenzhen. I forget the name of that, I kind of blocked it out, because it’s a bad experience. But in a city right next to Shenzhen which is one of the you know this is tech hub one of the big tech hubs, right? Like that’s where Apple products are made and suck that’s right right across the tributary from Hong Kong. 


Chozie Ma  12:23  



Brian Schoenborn  12:25  

And I went down there and I you know, we’re going to put on this match was gonna be great. met up with this guy. Four different times flew down the middle of the four times he’s he puts me up in this hotel that he owns. This guy’s a big businessman. We’re drinking like crazy because that’s that’s an important part of Chinese culture, right?


Chozie Ma  12:41  

Oh, yeah. By the way, a lot of people think Chinese can’t drink. 


Brian Schoenborn  12:44  

Oh, no. That’s not true. 


Chozie Ma  12:46  

They get the Asian glow whatever. Oh, no, no, the ones that are born there. Especially Beijingers and the girls drinking a session with him we Chinese rice wine.


Brian Schoenborn  12:53  

Dude. Baijiu?


Chozie Ma  12:54  

They will put you under the table so hard.


Brian Schoenborn  12:55  

Oh my god, dude. But that’s but that’s the whole point. Right? Like part of the part of building relationships and China is all about, it’s called guanxi, right? 


Chozie Ma  13:03  



Chozie Ma  13:03  

It means relationships or face or whatever. And it’s Chinese people would rather do business with people that they’ve got a strong relationship with versus


Chozie Ma  13:10  

Or just put them under the table and made them vomit and then they’re like, Okay, cool. You can hang.


Brian Schoenborn  13:14  

Yeah, exactly. That’s exactly that’s how you build it. A lot of times you sit on this new set of these plastic chairs and tables outside a restaurant eating like, you know, 20 cents of stick, barbecue kebabs, chuar. Drinking cheap beer, out comes the baiju like 12, one o’clock in the morning is rice wine and which is like 40 to 60% alcohol like it’s unregulated so it could be anywhere between there. 


Chozie Ma  13:39  

Yeah, 60, yeah, definitely. It’s strong.


Brian Schoenborn  13:41  

shot after shot after shot after shot there’s no like there’s no time wasted.


Chozie Ma  13:48  

Yeah, I’m glad I’ve got my mom’s liver I say the the western side liver. Yeah, cuz I’m half half so that’s helped me a lot drinking in China.


Brian Schoenborn  13:57  

But yeah, but so like, you know, I’m doing that whole thing with this guy. Big businessman, he’s got connections to the stadium and the local government and like all the thing, checking off all the boxes that you really need to do to conduct business in China. And we get to a point where we sign the contract, he’s got to give us a 10% down within a week or 10 days or something like that. We can secure the players. Sign the contract, dude never shows up. Disappears, disappears. No money sent, not responding to anything. And it’s like, you know, that was one of the hard lessons I learned about doing business in China. Is that by Western standards, or at least American standards, I’m sure Aussie is not not too different. But like you get that contract signed, it’s a done deal. 


Chozie Ma  14:37  

Yeah, yeah. 


Brian Schoenborn  14:38  

Right? Whereas in China, it’s a different set of rules.


Chozie Ma  14:41  

Yeah, I’ve definitely it’s definitely going down that route route many times. But it’s that same saying, you know, you get knocked down, get up again, I’m already situated there. My house is there. My friends are there. Businesses there. 


Brian Schoenborn  14:54  



Chozie Ma  14:55  

I’ve just learned over the years how to maneuver through it and it’s and yeah, I’ve definitely lost investment and time. Time is the most important thing. 


Brian Schoenborn  15:04  



Chozie Ma  15:04  

And, you know, it’s it’s, it sucks. But you just got to kind of learn how to be better than that. And I tell you over the last couple of years, the whole IP and legal system protection for that is it’s really good. 


Brian Schoenborn  15:19  

Oh, dude, it’s gotten a lot better over the last few years. 


Chozie Ma  15:21  

They just really they’ve smartened up and it’s like, this is business, get it done. The shitty part is like when you are pitching for a job, like in one of my businesses, which is the event business. Obviously, a lot of proposal work needs to be done. 


Brian Schoenborn  15:33  



Chozie Ma  15:34  

So a lot of these companies or clients have different departments, like procurement departments. And they’re very traditional. So you might have a full Western team, say, for example, in Volkswagen or something like that you’re in a big Western company. So when you meet with them, you get the job you’re talking to, obviously the more Western minded simio and things like that, sure. Love your technology. They love that your Western and Chinese and they love that you get the concept. Yep, boom, okay, I’m going to launch this and you’re going to do this and that and like Yes, I’m going to do it. That for you. And I’m going to do that for you. 


Chozie Ma  16:02  

And then it trickles down through the system to procurement in the German they usually bring in because it’s kind of I think it’s legal when you have, it’s the law that you have to have a local Chinese as your, your finance department, to head that department right to sign the bills. And that person is trained in a way where the job is to save money for the company at all costs and save money, which means: no, I don’t understand that concept, why is it cost that much? Because I can go online and look for I can go to five other companies and they say it costs this much, because other companies are trying to take your idea or they’re fake faking the, the tech or something like that, the smaller companies.


Brian Schoenborn  16:36  

Uh huh.


Chozie Ma  16:36  

And so you get into these things where it’s like now the budgets low and then this a few months later goes back to the big boss, and they call you, Hey, why are you Why have they changed the company? or Why are you not doing the job? You know, you said that this was way too expensive…and he’s like, but I approved it and then and then it goes back again. So most companies will have like a second budget because of that fuckup. 


Brian Schoenborn  16:55  

Right, right. 


Chozie Ma  16:56  

And so they kind of like contingency, they know that that’s going to happen. So that’s a little bit tiring, but it is getting better. What I found is when I, we were doing all the proposals, we’re a smaller boutique team. So we spent a lot of time and you know, proposals to that magnitude, the 3d they renders the videos that cost you about, you know, $20,000 to make good decent proposal, but you’re getting a million dollar job. 


Brian Schoenborn  17:18  



Chozie Ma  17:18  

Or a $2 million job at the end of it. 


Brian Schoenborn  17:19  

Right. you know, that’s a modest investment.


Chozie Ma  17:20  

It makes it makes sense. Yeah, but you don’t know that. That’s gonna wait, they keep asking you to change it. Someone’s uncle has an event company, that’s…


Brian Schoenborn  17:28  

That’s the guanxi all over again. 


Chozie Ma  17:30  

That person, right? So you’re gonna like shit, then then your event pops up with all your ideas. And, you know, this is what I went through years ago. 


Brian Schoenborn  17:39  

It still happens though. 


Chozie Ma  17:39  

It still happens, but we just instead of going for it, my partner I just said, You know what, let’s just deal with the ones that put a designer feet down. Put that basically that 10% down before. 


Brian Schoenborn  17:53  



Chozie Ma  17:53  

And then if we get the job will deduct that from the main fee. So if you even take it away from me, at least I can pay for myself. If I can pay for my time.


Brian Schoenborn  18:01  

Yeah, exactly. 


Chozie Ma  18:02  

I lost more than 50% of my clients when I started doing that. 


Brian Schoenborn  18:05  

Oh, sure. 


Chozie Ma  18:05  

Because they’re like, oh shit, we can get free work from all these agencies, there’s about 100 interns that are doing free work for them. Right? And then they’re okay with that, because they’ve got so many other jobs. So we tailored it down, we lost a lot of clients, but then we just filtered it to good clients, and they’re more than happy to give us that 10% because they know we’re going to do the work for them.


Brian Schoenborn  18:23  

Yeah, exactly. 


Chozie Ma  18:24  



Brian Schoenborn  18:25  

You know, if you’re dealing with good client, legit companies, ones that understand the value of good design or, you know, high quality work, I think, you know, things that anybody can do, like, anyone can say, Hey, I’m gonna put a proposal together, right? But it’s the design element, it’s the craft work. It’s the expertise that, you know, comes with a long, you know, many years of experience, many years of success and being able to develop your own personal brand to, right? On top of all that, I mean, that’s kind of where, where there’s a separation, right and yet, good companies will see that and they’ll say, okay, we’re willing to put that kind of money down because this person or this company, whatever has consistently been able to produce, right?


Chozie Ma  19:08  

And this and the speed of efficiency, everything right? There’s no other uncle’s company involved. I mean, but again that guanxi things is super, super important thing in China. It is all about face. And it is all about, like having that connection. And I think how I got those connections is I started, well, I went to Taiwan in 2000 with Avex records. 


Brian Schoenborn  19:33  



Chozie Ma  19:33  

I got sent over with the manager. And then he was just trying to pimp me off to different record labels. So I was just kind of like new to the music business. I’ve been DJing for many years. I wasn’t really fucking with record labels, and I could write music, and I was already doing TV on Channel V. And then he was just like, he was literally pimping me from Sony to BMG to hear and that and then was sending me these 60, 70 page contracts in Chinese and they kind of knew I couldn’t read Chinese. 


Brian Schoenborn  20:00  

Oh shit. So they’re like, sign your life away. 


Chozie Ma  20:02  

He was saying sign sign sign. And this is like 10 year contracts, and I’m thinking that’s= a bit weird. Now everyone signs 10 years and that’s just really crazy? But um they didn’t realize that my father after a few of these different careers he decided to study law and he’s an academic scholar so he studied the entertainment law, pharmacy law, everything kind of law. So his way of saying well he’s a traditional Chinese man so he doesn’t really say, I love you son, and give you a hug. But his way of saying I love you is like send me that contract let me review it for you. So these major record labels didn’t know I had that ammunition behind me.


Brian Schoenborn  20:36  

The secret weapon. 


Chozie Ma  20:37  

And he just go through it and just rip it apart and send it back and then look at it and be like, Yeah, no, we can’t sign this you know, he knows too much about it. So the manager was getting pissed. He’s just kind of like, I’m gonna lose my my meal ticket here because he was just literally like, that’s what he wanted from me. 


Brian Schoenborn  20:55  

Oh, yeah. Cuz I mean, he’s, he gets you signed and he gets his contingency fee or whatever. Right? 


Chozie Ma  20:59  

Yeah, and and I was young and naive I didn’t know the extent of the deal. He was probably signing the 80% of my royalties to him, I didn’t know I was 20 something, right? And then I made a pretty famous celebrity there, this girl and she and we just within a week started dating and then within two weeks I moved in with her and she’s like massive star. I didn’t really know who she was, like, that’s why I think she’s she liked me because I didn’t give a fuck about celebrities and and they will use that because I had my club in China two years before that. 


Chozie Ma  21:26  

And all the celebrities: Quentin Tarantino, Oliver Stone. Everyone would come there, it was like the Viper Room of Beijing where everything went, right? 


Brian Schoenborn  21:32  



Chozie Ma  21:33  

So but I never talked like whatever I saw whatever was happening there I just was like treating everyone like a normal person so that’s where it made a lot of artists want to work with me. 


Brian Schoenborn  21:41  



Chozie Ma  21:41  

Oh shit, you’re DJing? Maybe you want to write a track with me? Oh, let’s do that. So kind of went along. and a month later Avex Records from Japan just kind of hit me up personally. Yo, we want to work with you. I’m like, yeah, I’m kind of turned off by the whole music thing you know, and it’s all this melancholy tired like Taiwanese pop and Chinese pop. At that time, there wasn’t really much dance music. The Pop is not even, like, pop it was like everything was sad song…


Brian Schoenborn  22:06  

Like sad love song.


Chozie Ma  22:08  

Everything was a love song, and I’m like shit. You want me to get in this game I want to, I want to change it. I’m wanna perform some house music, some breakbeat like, they looked at me and they’re very progressive. Avex is a big progressive record and they had a label called house nation which was like all these cool Japanese female DJs and it’s doing cool stuff trance that are in club. So they’re like, What do you want? And luckily, the girl I was dating at the time, her team advised me on a few things. So I was very fortunate that they helped me they just said just do one year, one album deal with option to sign on for other deal, like other, but you’re free. Own the royalties. They gave it to me. It was like what? After that, those people kind of clued up, and they’re like, we’re gonna sign this stuff for 10 years.


Brian Schoenborn  22:50  

Yeah, right. They’re like we’re locking him.


Chozie Ma  22:52  

Yeah, we’re gonna we’re gonna invest this much. If he doesn’t make enough his first album. He’s gonna work for us. He’s even if he that album doesn’t work. He’s gonna work in the office writing songs for the next artist. 


Brian Schoenborn  23:00  

Oh, really? 


Chozie Ma  23:00  

Yeah, you brought, you owe money to the record labels. Like, if, everyone’s hungry in China in Asia, right? And you’re good looking. And you can write a song. But you can’t act, you need to be a triple threat. They need to make revenue off you from everything, right? So a lot of these artists would come in, they invest a couple hundred thousand, the album would come out, wouldn’t do so well. And then you’d find them just sitting, like they’ve got to pay off their debt. So they’re still working. It sucks for a lot of people.


Brian Schoenborn  23:26  

That’s crazy man. 


Chozie Ma  23:27  

You know? So now the new


Brian Schoenborn  23:28  

Can you imagine what a slap in the face that would be? Like, I mean, you were you were successful. So you I don’t think you’ve experienced that, right? But can you imagine…


Chozie Ma  23:35  

I saw it.


Brian Schoenborn  23:37  

I mean, me like somebody Yeah, somebody like one of your buddies or whatever, right? Like, maybe they had like an album that maybe a one hit wonder or something right? Like that one song went, but then everything else just kind of shit the bed and you see them sitting, sitting behind a computer, or whatever, you know, like 


Chozie Ma  23:52  

It’s tough. I mean, when we started label in 97 called Party People Committee. It was the first dance labeled in China for electronic and hip hop, and one of my boys that was coming up, amazing writer, composer, producer, rapper. He can rap in Chinese, English, and even in German, like awesome. Young Kin, his name is. When that happened, they promised him to release his album and mine at the same time with dance and Hip Hop one. They went with mine and unfortunately, he didn’t get it. But he worked it. He worked and pushed me. And then, you know, you could see it. He wanted it. Like, you know, oh shit it’s my time. 


Brian Schoenborn  23:53  

Yeah, yeah, for sure. 


Chozie Ma  24:18  

I’ve worked so hard at this shit and I’m talented, but young writing. He just flipped the switch. He just said, You know what, I’m still young, and I’m fucking great. I’m gonna go get my MBA. And then everyone looked at him going, you’re gonna fucking own a record label. Now this guy’s like, moved to Boston. still writing music, has a flipping house company, a real estate agency, killing it. You know what I mean? So he turned it into a positive a lot of other people just get depressed and be like, shit, man. I was I was good at that. All right, and then I’ve got this shows you your character. You’ve just got to fucking keep keep going man.


Brian Schoenborn  25:02  

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely, man.


Chozie Ma  25:03  

You’ll get that break. Yeah, it’s just tough.


Brian Schoenborn  25:06  

But it’s one of those things like, whether it’s the music business or whether it’s like, film and TV or this shit or anything you do, right? Like, it’s not, it’s not about how many times you fall or get kicked in the face or whatever. It’s about how it’s how you respond to that. 


Brian Schoenborn  25:21  

Right? It’s like, how do you get up? Do you get up and say, okay, that was a fucking speed bump. I’m going to get over that shit and move forward, because this is what I want to do. 


Chozie Ma  25:21  



Chozie Ma  25:28  



Brian Schoenborn  25:29  

Or does it happen so many times where you just like, all right, maybe this isn’t for me. Maybe I should shift gears a little bit. You know, maybe this passion of mine is more of a hobby. Right? Or for whatever reason it’s not working. Go another route. You know?


Chozie Ma  25:44  

Yeah, the girl that was like we had to do my album in 2007. And we had an artist coming from Taiwan, but she was a good friend of mine. She was like, Yeah, cool. I want to jump on your album. It’s the first solo album in China for dance music. I love to be part of it. Then her mom, being the manager, found out that we were under kind of a bigger label. She saw some dollar signs. And we couldn’t afford her at the last minute. She’s like, I’m so sorry, man, at the end of the day, the managers getting there. And yeah, we can’t do anything. We can give you a mate rate, but that’s about it. Still expensive, because she’s bit star. And we had the studio booked and we only had one month to use. And a friend came in and said, Look, there’s this girl. She’s still currently signed to a 10 year, she’s still got about four years left on that, but she hasn’t been doing anything because she got screwed over by the record label. But she can come sing vocals on you just you know, don’t really mention her artist’s name because her artist name is still owned by a label, right?


Brian Schoenborn  26:39  

But do you put your actual name? 


Chozie Ma  26:41  

Just put her name. 


Brian Schoenborn  26:41  

Or do you just anonymize it?


Chozie Ma  26:43  

Put her actual name, because she had an artist name but what’s your actual name? And then we did that and she killed it. She came in the studio. I gave her the song, the lyrics and I just said you know what, just keep record on. She nailed it. I didn’t even record the second take. We just edited over it. I was like, wow, this girl’s great. 


Brian Schoenborn  26:58  



Chozie Ma  26:58  

I like I have four more songs. With female vocals, could you do this for me? No worries. I’d love to do it so she smashes this out. Then she goes kind of dark for a while she she’s still doing music. She’s playing in club gigs with a little band stuff. Just you know keeping it going keeping her passion. 


Brian Schoenborn  27:13  



Chozie Ma  27:13  

Once that four year contract lifted off those record labels way. She, she was just like, boom and then…now her name’s Tia Ray. I’m not sure if you heard her she’s massive. Massive. 


Brian Schoenborn  27:25  

Huge in China.


Chozie Ma  27:26  

She just stuck through it. 


Brian Schoenborn  27:27  



Chozie Ma  27:27  

But she could see how hard that is. You know, you you you’re stuck when you have with all these opportunities and you get out of it. 


Brian Schoenborn  27:33  



Chozie Ma  27:33  

But she waited and now she prevailed and she’s killing it to her respect to have and thank you for coming on my album. 


Brian Schoenborn  27:40  

Shout out to Tia Ray, man. 


Chozie Ma  27:41  

That’s it. 


Brian Schoenborn  27:42  



Chozie Ma  27:42  

But um, you know, it’s it’s the industry it’s and obviously now it’s become so big, that they got all the…What is it? There’s multi big groups with over like 10 guys or…


Brian Schoenborn  27:53  

Oh, yeah. BTS for example, there’s like 8 dudes or something like that? 


Chozie Ma  27:56  

Yeah, obviously before it was Japan…Taiwan would follow Japan, so they were the trendsetters and then China will follow the Taiwan. And now Taiwan’s kind of fading out a bit. They’re still good. They still got they still got their stars and megastars. But now China’s started to create their own culture. 


Brian Schoenborn  28:11  



Chozie Ma  28:12  

With hip hop. And hip hop, it’s becoming huge. I mean, it’s huge. But they creating their own culture. 


Brian Schoenborn  28:17  



Chozie Ma  28:18  

Which is great, because it was more of a copy before.


Brian Schoenborn  28:20  

Oh, of course. Well, you know, I mean, that’s kind of what China does, though. Or they’ve done you know, everyone thinks Oh, copycat China. But, you know, a lot of what they’ve done with that opening is like, they just haven’t had, they haven’t experienced a lot of these things. So a lot of it’s like bringing this stuff in. 


Chozie Ma  28:33  



Brian Schoenborn  28:33  

Kind of learning about it. And then taking it and making it their own.


Chozie Ma  28:37  

Yeah, right. It could be done so wrong in so many ways. 


Brian Schoenborn  28:40  

Yeah, for sure. 


Chozie Ma  28:41  

But at least now they’ve kind of they, they did it that way, then I think the government saw it was becoming too adapted from the American or Western hip hop culture, in ways of like, maybe they’ll word it’s kind of getting too out of control. 


Brian Schoenborn  28:55  



Chozie Ma  28:56  

So they kind of banned it for a minute which is really crazy, right? Who bans hip hop like they banned the stuff. But they banned it and then they kind of cleaned it, right? So they cleaned it in a way. So now the guys that are on these big shows like China’s Got Hip Hop, or, like, you know, these these kind of big shows, then now seen as like the ambassador’s of clean hip hop.


Brian Schoenborn  29:16  

Yeah. Well, right. Because, because when they banned it was a couple of years ago, there’s like that the China’s Got Hip Hop show or whatever, right? 


Chozie Ma  29:22  

Yeah, yeah, right.


Brian Schoenborn  29:22  

Like there was, I think the winner was like singing about like, I don’t know, drugs, or gangs, or whatever it was, I mean, who knows whether he like actually meant the words that he was saying, or whether it was just taking the influence from Western hip hop culture, but it was something like that. And China’s like, drugs, nope. Banned. This is bad for our culture. We don’t want anything to do with hip hop and you’re right, who does that? But…China can do that.


Chozie Ma  29:45  

It’s hard because he pop is an expression of that. Right? Of what you want to say and and the street, you know, kind of


Brian Schoenborn  29:51  

Right. Yeah. Yeah.


Chozie Ma  29:52  

So I think that, you know, they’ve got now the commercial, pop hip hop, where they kind of just keep it a bit more tame. They go on the edges of things, but has made the underground scene so much stronger. So you got you got the clubs that are doing like these big nights and the tours with these, the hip hop groups, and they’re still hardcore and good, because I think they do it more like online, where it’s not on TV. When it’s on TV, when it hits TV, it has to have that little bit more edge, you know, it’s a bit more cleaner. So that’s good because it created this whole subculture that’s becoming very popular and you can see like the, you know, you go to Chengdu and you’d swear you think you’re in Mexico, like everyone’s kind of tatted up and…


Brian Schoenborn  30:32  



Chozie Ma  30:33  

They’ve just adapted that culture the style and they’ve got their own fashion brands that are using it and they’re walking around with the pitbulls and all this kind of stuff, but it’s that, and they got all the girls that follow them and it’s this kind of thing and it’s it’s more of a fashion thing. That’s their that’s their lane and then they’ve got you know, everyone’s subculture is becoming more defined. 


Brian Schoenborn  30:51  

Yeah, yeah.


Chozie Ma  30:51  

And your crews are becoming more defined as electronic music you know all these kind of everything’s got us got a scene now, huh? Yeah, solid seen a money making scene now.


Brian Schoenborn  31:00  

Yeah, for sure. Yeah, sure. That’s crazy. I’ve never been to Chendu, man. Like that’s one of the places where like, I really wanted to go when I was over there, you know on a consistent basis. I mean I just haven’t made my way. I think I’m gonna get back there soon so yeah, it’s supposed to be really cool i mean that’s pandas are, right? 


Chozie Ma  31:17  



Brian Schoenborn  31:18  

Kind of mountainous it’s like a small city of what 15, 20 million people?


Chozie Ma  31:26  

It’s a small city. Yeah. 


Brian Schoenborn  31:27  

Spicy food. I mean, that’s, that’s why I love that’s my favorite food is like the, you know, spicy hot pot. You know, malaxiangguo.


Chozie Ma  31:36  

Oh. It’s a it’s spicy. Oh, yeah. You gotta be prepared for that. Yeah, yeah.


Brian Schoenborn  31:40  

Yeah, I’ve met so many chunky girls like all Brian, they’re like, Can you eat spicy food and I’m like, give it to me. And they’re like, they’re always so impressed. I’m like, as you know…


Chozie Ma  31:49  

and because this a beautiful too. So when they say can you eat spicy onion? Yeah. The next day I was like, yeah, to to your assistant. I think you need to cancel my meetings. Just keep me close to a toilet.


Brian Schoenborn  32:01  

Exactly. That Chengdu spice is always a good idea coming in, but it’s never a good idea coming out.


Chozie Ma  32:11  

It’s it’s real tough. Yeah. I mean, there’s other food there, people, but like, it’s just yeah, you gotta definitely try this.


Brian Schoenborn  32:22  

That’s funny. You were saying earlier, you got the best selling dance album of all time in Taiwan and China, is that what that is?


Chozie Ma  32:31  

It was about 2002. When I was at Avex, so they gave me that idea. 


Brian Schoenborn  32:36  



Chozie Ma  32:37  

I could have gone with, you know, so many options, but I thought, well, I’m playing house music and house is kind of new in Taiwan. Breakbeat hadn’t reached Taiwan yet. So like Finger Licking, Stenton Warriors, you know, like, so Adam Freeland, like it was just kind of really cool. 


Brian Schoenborn  32:54  



Chozie Ma  32:54  

Nu-school breaks. Basics is funky and it’s got beats and it’s just vocals and, so I was doing like three turntables sets and clubs and it’s just mixing it up mashing it up. So the album itself is is one is, it’s an EP of my Isle Formosa which is the first dance album, a dance song with a music video for an artist in Taiwan for dance music.


Brian Schoenborn  33:16  



Chozie Ma  33:16  

In that category. And then the second CD was full live three turntable break beat mix for an hour. And then the third one was a live house mix of some of my favorite artists in the world but house music funky house vocal house classic house.


Brian Schoenborn  33:33  

Yeah, all of this would be called EDM now.


Chozie Ma  33:35  

Well, yeah, I mean, electronic dance music. Back then. Like, and still to this day, but you know, we had styles okay. That’s a techno DJ. That’s breakbeat DJ. That’s a trance DJ. All that stuff, yeah. 


Brian Schoenborn  33:47  



Chozie Ma  33:47  

Jungle, drum and bass. Everyone was defined, or like, this guy’s a bit more versatile that Carl Cox, he can play everything. 


Brian Schoenborn  33:54  



Chozie Ma  33:54  

He’s known as the techno DJ, but the guy will go and fucking smash the classics of the house or hip hop. You know? It’s more about being versatile. But as time went on, and I think just society dumbing down into things and just needed things more simplified. People came up with oh let’s just call it EDM but that that EDM came up with that whole like that Ultra sound or that, like it’s more of that yeah very commercial media. 


Brian Schoenborn  34:19  



Chozie Ma  34:20  

It’s not techno, it’s not trance. It’s not this. I don’t know what is this is noise to me. Everybody fucking jump. There’s no like this for me. There’s no talent in that I like to see a DJ that actually produces something or like they’re sets are not programmed. 


Brian Schoenborn  34:34  



Chozie Ma  34:34  

Um, you know, so I kind of went a little bit disappointed in that culture. But then a good friend of mine that does some pretty big festivals and clubs in around the world. He basically was just like, look, it’s still a business. 


Brian Schoenborn  34:47  



Chozie Ma  34:47  

People are into it. I’m like, fuck, how do I flip the switch. I’m definitely not going to DJ this stuff.


Brian Schoenborn  34:52  

Well, right. Because if you’re I mean, if you’re not feeling, the creativity of that, or the creation of that, I mean, you still you made it but you’ve been in the business for you. Right. I mean, you can still flip that the mindset right and still, you know, rather than being in the creativity side of it, you can be more on the promotion or…


Chozie Ma  35:09  

Yeah, or be more of us behind the scenes in the tech. Because, I have a tech company, right? So we originally using those for high end events and projections and mapping and stuff like that. So like, why don’t we just design the festivals and give tools to these EDM DJs?


Brian Schoenborn  35:25  

Oh, hell yeah, dude. 


Chozie Ma  35:25  

Like, even though I don’t like the music, but hey, why don’t we make it more visually, right? 


Brian Schoenborn  35:30  

You can help create the experience. 


Chozie Ma  35:32  

Right? So if you look at it, like ultra know that they started a bit more, they went really big with it, Tomorrowland, big EDM sound, but then they started adding all the different stages. Carl Cox has rennaisance in there, which is doing more techno so then it’s obviously like people for first few years. They’re listening to the EDM, but then they’ll they’ll venture over to that stage. They’re like, Oh, this is all right. So then the slowly changing and you can see it in the scene that it’s moving. People are kind of like steering away. They want more quality and technology. They want more trance. IOr they want more this. So just giving them the promoters giving them more options. 


Brian Schoenborn  36:03  



Chozie Ma  36:03  

It’s better. If it’s just giving them one sound and dumbing down the whole world. This is what it is. And unfortunately that’s what happened in China. They didn’t go through transition. They just went from Oh, let’s just stop all house and techno most of the big clubs now and just put in these mainstream are because he’s number one, that must be the music right now, or number two and that’s what the sound is, noise. Right? So these clubs just followed it but now you can see it’s been going like that for a couple of years in China. They’re slowly sleeping in every now and then they’ll flow in a really good techno DJ, or a really good underground DJ, and people are like digging it they’re feeling it, oh this is good. I don’t have to just stand there and from my hand in the air I like I can actually groove I can actually feel it you know kind of thing. So it’s good. But yeah, we just and obviously the DJ’s are all programmed. So they like the big festivals. And I get it because you paying so much money for the ticket. And the DJ needs to know when the fireworks is gonna go off, and it needs to queue and everything’s queued up. And so it’s very kind of rehearsed. But that’s what like a normal concert is anyway, like if you went to Madonna whenever you’re painting that she’s live, but she knows exactly how cute. So that’s how the, you know the big EDM DJ is emergency cue DJs. 


Brian Schoenborn  37:13  



Chozie Ma  37:13  

So last year in Macau, we will part of, we designed an EDM festival could Jigsaw, some big names, Steve Aoki, all those guys were up there. But what I noticed is from the rave days back in the day, the DJ would never stop. It’d be 12 hours non stop music. 


Chozie Ma  37:28  

the Djs would just go into play on play on blue yonder. And each DJ knew that they knew their time. If you’re a warm up your warm up, yeah, if you’re 10 pm, you’re 10pm. Don’t bang out music like it’s 4am. A lot of these days in Asia, in China especially, I’ll be doing my main set at 1am, and a new DJ would come in and he’d be like, shit, I’m gonna bang a 3am set out before Chozie goes on and I’m just like, dude, you’re killing me here, mate. You know what I mean? So that’s where we come into most DJs will have their warm up DJ tour with them, because they know this guy’s gonna warm it up well, and it’s respectful to be a warm up DJ for someone. Or if you’re closing after someone, you close out for them.


Brian Schoenborn  37:28  

Yeah, sure. 


Brian Schoenborn  38:04  

It’s like an opening act like the comedy stage, or the band, you know, whatever.


Chozie Ma  38:07  

Exactly. Yeah, a lot of bedroom bangers, a lot of the younger DJ and I get that. Yeah, it’s a transition it takes time. So this festival, we had, you know, 7, 8, 7, big name DJs. And each one of them had like a 10 to 12 minute gap between each show for changeover. I’m like, you know what, man, let’s just keep the flow going. 


Brian Schoenborn  38:24  



Chozie Ma  38:25  

But how do we do that? Because they’re still gonna do the change of a sub kind of set up a whole hologram system. And I had DJs, two DJ is on left and right, DMC scratch styles and, we produced the technology where when the DJ scratches, we’ve got a camera on a hand and she can control the eight foot high hologram, so he or she’s scratching.


Brian Schoenborn  38:43  

Oh really? 


Chozie Ma  38:44  

I mean, the middle on drum pads. So we like we produce these 10 minute, 12 minute segment shows so the audience would just see this flow going through and then the next DJ would be ready then goes on. You know, so there was this awesome interaction of immersive experience. Because I think people are getting bored at these big festivals now like it’s the same, same thing. 


Brian Schoenborn  39:04  

It’s the same shit. 


Chozie Ma  39:04  

It’s the same DJ, same DJs, at these festivals, but like they just reversing that sets around or the next stage is playing something similar or something like that. So I think I think now people just need more, more interaction. That’s why bringing more technology into the shows is very important these days, people like now getting smarter. I think I think it got dumbed down. And now it’s getting smarter because they’re getting so big.


Brian Schoenborn  39:25  

Well, it’s kind of like it gets dumbed down because that’s, as much as I hate to say it, it’s kind of like, you bring it down to a level where a lot of people can understand, right? A lot of people just easily get it. Then they come in and then as they get used to it, then you can start getting a little more nuanced with it or whatever. 


Brian Schoenborn  39:42  

Getting a little smarter about it. Do you have do you have? Can you show me something like?


Chozie Ma  39:42  



Chozie Ma  39:47  

Oh, yeah, yeah, I can put up with those videos. I’ll give them to you. 


Brian Schoenborn  39:49  



Chozie Ma  39:50  

We can send some links up. 


Brian Schoenborn  39:51  

Okay. Sure. Yeah, no, I’d love to check some of that stuff. 


Chozie Ma  39:53  

Yeah, it’s very cool. 


Brian Schoenborn  39:54  

So this Jigsaw?


Chozie Ma  39:56  

Yeah, it was in Macau. So it was the second year. So we just 


Brian Schoenborn  39:59  

When was that?


Chozie Ma  40:00  

That was December. Not, ninth last year.


Brian Schoenborn  40:03  

Oh, so a year ago.


Chozie Ma  40:04  



Brian Schoenborn  40:05  



Chozie Ma  40:05  

So we, we will not be selector of the artists and we were the design team and the production team. So we came up with this, I have always I’ve always had this idea of designing a rave, but in a super high end concept so that the VIP areas were like, made it look like a TV rooms like that. 


Brian Schoenborn  40:25  

Oh, sweet.


Chozie Ma  40:25  

So they were like they were made out of velvet, and they had all these crazy stuff. You had your own bar in each one. And so on the main stage on the left and right, I built to 60 meter VIP booths built into the stage. So you’re on the same level as the stage but you can’t get in like you’ve got a glass barrier. 


Brian Schoenborn  40:43  

Oh, yeah. But you’re that close though.


Chozie Ma  40:45  

But you’re that close. And they went for a million renminbi each table and they were the first tables to sell out. 


Brian Schoenborn  40:50  

What? Dude.


Chozie Ma  40:50  

In Asia whenever you got the highest table. It sells out the first…


Brian Schoenborn  40:54  



Chozie Ma  40:55  

…and you can have I think it was 70 guests. Came with drinks. Came with girls. came with…it’s Macau. 


Brian Schoenborn  41:00  

Yeah, that’s nuts.


Chozie Ma  41:01  

Came with everything. So they sold out. You had those and then it went down into different tiers. So you had like the end. I think it was 800,000 and the 500,000, then the four then two, and then one and 40,000, something like that. So but it was designed in the Venetian Convention Center. Massive. 


Brian Schoenborn  41:04  

Oh yeah, dude, the Venetian’s huge in Macau. 


Chozie Ma  41:21  

It’s the biggest… 


Brian Schoenborn  41:21  

It’s so big.


Chozie Ma  41:22  

I think its biggest, biggest Hotel in the world or something like that. 


Brian Schoenborn  41:24  

It might be, yeah. 


Chozie Ma  41:25  

13,000 rooms or something. 


Brian Schoenborn  41:26  

Yeah, it’s huge. 


Chozie Ma  41:27  

The Convention Center is massive. So we were like, I wanted to feel like a rave. Because that’s where my passion comes from. 


Brian Schoenborn  41:33  



Chozie Ma  41:33  

But like you wanted to give it that super high end service. 


Brian Schoenborn  41:36  



Chozie Ma  41:37  

So we went in, and we just, we just did this crazy design and made it all cool. And it was cool, man, people just like digging it. But I had that rave feel. 


Brian Schoenborn  41:44  



Chozie Ma  41:45  

The technology and the Holograms and the lasers. And the LED is all over the place and interactive tables for ordering drinks and stuff like that. So it’s cool. So we’re just tried to take that technology to another level. 


Brian Schoenborn  41:56  

Yeah, I want to back up a second. I just want to explain because a lot of the listeners are Western, so maybe they haven’t been to China. So I want to explain a couple of things real quick. So first, he’s talking about selling a table for 1 million RMB. That’s Chinese, that’s the Chinese currency. If you…rough, rough.


Chozie Ma  42:12  

Rough conversion? 


Brian Schoenborn  42:15  

Is probably about 200,000ish? $200,000, something like that?


Chozie Ma  42:24  

143,000 for one table.


Brian Schoenborn  42:27  

143,000 for one table, right? That’s, that’s ridiculous. That’s ridiculously expensive. Okay? So that’s the first thing. Second thing is he’s talking about how it’s kind of KTV styled. Right? So KTV is not really a big thing in America. 


Chozie Ma  42:41  

Right, right. 


Brian Schoenborn  42:42  

Yeah, you might find out a few spots. Like there’s a couple of spots in LA, a couple of spots in New York, really where they were the Asian populations are, you might find a few here and there. But KTV guys essentially, like Americans know karaoke, right? 


Chozie Ma  42:54  



Brian Schoenborn  42:54  

The karaoke that we’re used to is we go to a bar and there’s a karaoke night. So like one night, there’s a microphone and the words and like one person at a time sings in front of the entire bar and, you know, in front of strangers and whatever else, right? KTV is just like that. Except there’s, there’s these buildings like in China, there’s these buildings all over the place with dozens of rooms.


Chozie Ma  43:16  

Like three, 400 rooms.


Brian Schoenborn  43:18  

Three, 400 rooms in one building. And each room has its own karaoke place. Tables, couches, three microphones, just you and your friends or whatever it is, you know, it could be anywhere between like two and like 20 people something like that.


Chozie Ma  43:32  

Yeah, you got small rooms and you got themed rooms.


Brian Schoenborn  43:34  

You sit around you play games, and you drank.


Chozie Ma  43:36  

Oh, then there’s even a free buffet. Like you got meal times. 


Brian Schoenborn  43:40  

Yeah, it’s it’s super like it can be super cheap to like, you can pay like 20 bucks for like four hours. 


Chozie Ma  43:45  

Yeah, yeah definitely.


Brian Schoenborn  43:45  

Something like that. But KTV is a huge thing in China. So when he’s talking about doing these super high end KTV rooms, right next to the stage, you know, separated by nothing but a glass wall. 


Chozie Ma  43:57  

Well just kind of like a fence.


Brian Schoenborn  43:58  

Yeah, whatever. It is. Yeah, I mean, that’s, that’s like, that’s like the perfect thing for like that crowd.


Chozie Ma  44:05  

You know, you’ve, you’ve kept the KTV experience to the listeners very PG.


Brian Schoenborn  44:09  

Oh yeah. 


Chozie Ma  44:10  

So there’s a,


Brian Schoenborn  44:11  

There’s dirty KTV too, of course.


Chozie Ma  44:13  

So the KTV that I designed off is not the dirty side, it’s just that you’ve got these crazy rooms that are, you know, you still paying in up to like 20,000, $30,000 on a night and you go in there and it’s like kind of very…hyou could all it gaudy. It’s kind of like very velvety.


Brian Schoenborn  44:33  

Gaudy is a good word for it.


Chozie Ma  44:33  

And very like chandeliers and,


Brian Schoenborn  44:36  

Like a 1970s club. 


Chozie Ma  44:37  

Yeah, so you’ve got that and then you’ve got the more modern ones. But then it comes in with you get girls. I mean, they come in and you can’t sleep with them or anything like they’re just hosts. Just like a strip club.


Brian Schoenborn  44:48  

They are hoooosts. 


Chozie Ma  44:48  

They don’t take the clothes off. They don’t, you can’t grab them. They just come in and they drink with you and they sing for you. 


Brian Schoenborn  44:54  



Chozie Ma  44:54  

So it’s more about a business entertainment. It’s more about taking your clients there. 


Brian Schoenborn  44:58  



Chozie Ma  44:58  

You’re drinking there and all you take You just get to buddy thing you just go hang out. 


Brian Schoenborn  45:03  

It’s like the boys club kind of thing. 


Chozie Ma  45:05  

It’s a boy’s club, but, in saying that, you think you think like maybe the wives and the girlfriends would get angry. But in China, they don’t, because they have yadian, which is the KTV for women and Ya means Duck, so it’s a duck house. So chicken means the girls in those places, this is a Chinese translation, so I’m not trying to say that to where it is and, and discuss people but it’s just a translation. 


Brian Schoenborn  45:29  



Chozie Ma  45:29  

So what I’m saying is that the men have their place to go for entertaining. And I’m telling you can’t sleep with them. 


Brian Schoenborn  45:35  

No, you don’t, you don’t. But the interesting thing about 


Chozie Ma  45:38  

The women have their version. So they go out and have a girls night.


Brian Schoenborn  45:42  

Right? Right. 


Chozie Ma  45:42  

And the guys go out and they have thier guy’s night. 


Brian Schoenborn  45:43  

And then they get these male or female hosts, whatever. Like I remember I’ve been to a couple of them too. And it’s like right after you get situated in the KTV room, whoever works there, they open the door, just this parade of women goes through


Chozie Ma  45:55  

Yeah, the mama sun.


Brian Schoenborn  45:58  

Here comes this parade of women and basically, they’re all pretty much wearing the same outfit, like the uniform, right? 


Chozie Ma  46:02  

Yeah yeah yeah.


Brian Schoenborn  46:03  

But it’s like this, you know, like I remember seeing like this little like, like dress like a yellowish dress, it was kind of form fitting at the top and maybe like a like a roughly thing. I don’t want to say like a two two, that’s a bit extreme, but you know, kind of like something like that. 


Chozie Ma  46:15  

Yeah, their version of sexy. 


Brian Schoenborn  46:16  

Fluffy or whatever. Where it’s, you know, a little fluffier on the bottom. This is what I’m recalling. You know, it’s been a year since I’ve been back, since I’ve been there. But yeah, so they bring out this parade of women and you basically you point and you pick pick which one you like, and they’ll they’ll hang out with you the whole night. And they’ll pour drinks for you.


Chozie Ma  46:32  

I mean, it might some people might be getting put off by this but that they’re not there.


Brian Schoenborn  46:38  

It’s not it’s not a brothel.


Chozie Ma  46:39  

Yeah, prostitution, there’s a working there. 


Brian Schoenborn  46:42  

It’s just straight up entertainment. 


Chozie Ma  46:43  

It’s completely legal, like they’ve got benefits. It’s a job you know, so so but it’s like it is a good place for business and things. But my point is I they’re very extravagant, the rooms, so I wanted to take that extravagance not the girls, the extravagance to a rave because I think the ballers that would buy that table are used to that kind of situation. So you have to dump like, you have to demographic, 


Brian Schoenborn  47:07  

You got to go with what they like.


Chozie Ma  47:08  

With that like that like so I was like, how am I going to sell these tables for a million? 


Brian Schoenborn  47:11  



Chozie Ma  47:12  

Okay, the clientele the guys that go to these kind of places. As soon as I advertised that, that style of K, of that VIP they sold out in like a minute both of them.


Brian Schoenborn  47:23  

Hell yeah.


Chozie Ma  47:24  

You know what I mean? Like boom, done. And then all the VIP sold out, and so it’s kind of like, all right, we’re on the right track here and designing. So design has become a big thing for us for events and things like that.


Brian Schoenborn  47:33  

Well, that’s cool, too. Because like once you have success with something like that, I mean, that concept that’s gonna be pretty easy to duplicate, right? 


Chozie Ma  47:40  



Brian Schoenborn  47:40  

I mean, so then you’re just like, okay.


Chozie Ma  47:42  

For us. We’ve done it once we got it. We want to do the next thing again. 


Brian Schoenborn  47:45  

Sure, yeah. 


Chozie Ma  47:46  

More tech into it, or we add more, but I think it’s all comes down to service. I think the biggest thing lacking in festivals in China, no matter they’ve got the budgets and the people. The service seems to be a little bit off. So we try to spend a bit more time on training and investment on the on the server. So we tell our clients, you know what, maybe drop one of the DJs. And you got another couple hundred thousand there. 


Brian Schoenborn  48:09  



Chozie Ma  48:09  

Like, let’s put that into really good bar management, better drinks into better food, you know, because I think you need that.


Brian Schoenborn  48:15  

Real alcohol.


Chozie Ma  48:16  

Real alcohol. Exactly. Because there’s been a lot of fake alcohol. 


Brian Schoenborn  48:18  

There’s a lot of fake alcohol in China. 


Chozie Ma  48:20  

Yeah. So, you know, just like trying to make the experience better for people. And I think that’s just, it just goes with anything. It should it should be like that. If you’re paying for something good. You need to be that lead with what you pay for.


Brian Schoenborn  48:34  

Nice. So are you working on anything else experience wise right now?


Chozie Ma  48:38  

Yes. So. So I mean, people might be thinking, What was he talking about experience and DJing, so…


Brian Schoenborn  48:44  

No, that’s, that’s awesome. Like, it’s incredible stuff because


Chozie Ma  48:46  

No, so I’m trying to get to where I’ll experience the experience in the tech comes from. 


Brian Schoenborn  48:50  

Oh, okay. 


Chozie Ma  48:51  

So I have a company called Article Projects International. And we started in 1995 doing rave parties in Sydney. So it was Chris Sefton. The founder was just doing lasers. I was the kind of guy breaking into the warehouses and, and and bringing like the DJs and just doing these underground raves, right? Slowly making money as teenagers and turned it into a business. So we’ve started we’ve started doing attractions, entertainment venues, and Chris started developing more and more technologies and we became into, into Asia. We built the Fountain of Wealth in Singapore. Suntech City as an attraction, world’s largest water screen projection mapping. 


Brian Schoenborn  49:27  



Chozie Ma  49:28  

And then we just kept going and going with in 2005, Zhang Yimou, the director of the Beijing 2008 Olympics and China’s claim to fame of most famous director in China. Most respected.


Brian Schoenborn  49:42  

He was the one that did the opening ceremony. 


Chozie Ma  49:44  

Opening ceremony, yeah.


Brian Schoenborn  49:44  

Where there were like, like, hundreds of people with like a blocks and stuff. 


Chozie Ma  49:48  

Yeah, the drums and like everything. He they had 100,000 people for a year in a mockup stadium outside of Beijing training every day. They did it for free. 


Brian Schoenborn  50:01  

Isn’t that crazy? 


Chozie Ma  50:01  

Volunteers because they wanted to be part of it because it’s 2008, kind of the opening of, China already open about but the world stage.


Brian Schoenborn  50:09  

Come look at us now. Look at how far we’ve come.


Chozie Ma  50:11  

And they were so proud to be part of this me they got food, they got accommodation, they got everything like that. They got that, that certificate that says that part of the 2008. 


Brian Schoenborn  50:18  



Chozie Ma  50:19  

That’s the cool thing about Chinese. Like camaraderie gets together when they when they need to get in, they do that. So he found out we had technologies of a dome. So inflatable dores.


Brian Schoenborn  50:29  



Chozie Ma  50:30  

So it was in concept stage for us because we will kind of like doing events and ballrooms and in convention centers, you know, we need to take this out of that traditional space. Like imagine we had a venue that could be immersive. So we kind of like oh, on the drawing board, we blow it up with air. We project on it. And you can take people from one experience to another through mapping and projection. And it was on the drawing board. So Zhang Yimou came to us. He found he heard of us and then, he’s like, I want this for my press conference, my partner still in the drawing board can we can we do this? Fuck yeah, we better do this this is the biggest director in China, you know. We said, well you know, if we fail, you know, we’ll probably never be seen again or like not be able to work in China. 


Brian Schoenborn  51:17  



Chozie Ma  51:19  

No, let’s do this. So we invested pretty much all the cash we had and we went and got the technology or sorry, the material. We got the team to build it. We came in, put it up, went off, we mapped it with we built a technology that’s aligned, we did an alignment for the projection. So what you project on the inside versus on the outside. 


Brian Schoenborn  51:39  



Chozie Ma  51:39  

And then the next day was on every newspaper front page, you know, press conference on CCTV, which is the main TV station there. And then we just started getting you know, corporate jobs, car brands, fashion brands, and the brand just grew exponentially, like huge.


Brian Schoenborn  51:55  

Isn’t it crazy like, you know, you have an idea and like you might think, Hey, we’re not ready. We’re not ready. We’re not ready. But you know, if you stumble across somebody that’s got some, I don’t know power influence, I guess for lack of better term and they say this is what I want this from you. Like sometimes whether that or whatever sometimes you just need that fucking nudge. 


Chozie Ma  52:14  

You just make it happen. 


Brian Schoenborn  52:15  

Sometimes you just need someone to like, push you off the fucking tree branch. You’re gonna fucking fly, or you’re gonna die. 


Chozie Ma  52:20  



Brian Schoenborn  52:21  

Either way, you know, like, you got to do it,


Chozie Ma  52:22  

You got to do it. Cuz there’s so many other hungry people out there.


Brian Schoenborn  52:26  

Because if you’re not gonna do it, somebody else will.


Chozie Ma  52:28  

Exactly. Yeah. So we you know, we’re doing good with that. And so getting back to the what’s coming up next with that company, is obviously doing events and fashion shows and things like that. And also I wouldn’t say money’s drying up but I’m saying like brands are being more cautious now. So they’re not lavishly spending so much money


Brian Schoenborn  52:46  



Chozie Ma  52:46  

So it’s harder to get those big corporate jobs now, unless it’s a global car launch like we just did for Volkswagen or something like that. But


Brian Schoenborn  52:53  

But I mean, a lot of these brands are getting smarter too, because, you know, again, their their promotional and marketing stuff is developing too, right. So Like, you know, like, even with like tech startups in China, for example, like I swirled around that ecosystem for a couple of years, and a lot of those tech startups think, hey, the best way to grow the company, you know, get users or whatever it is, it’s just to make a big splash. Spend a lot of money on advertising, do something, do something to get the Guinness Book of World Records on something. 


Chozie Ma  53:19  



Brian Schoenborn  53:19  

Guinness is always out in Beijing or wherever else, you know, there’s this big event, right world record something. 


Chozie Ma  53:25  



Brian Schoenborn  53:25  

It’s some of the most ridiculous stuff you’ve ever heard.


Chozie Ma  53:27  

It is.


Brian Schoenborn  53:29  

And then we’ve got you know, there’s press, and we get certificate, we can brag about all that stuff. Yeah. And they just throw money wherever they can, because they feel, hey, you know, we put this money out now, eventually, someone’s going to come in and you know, start the users are going to start to start coming on board and they’re going to grow their base, right?


Brian Schoenborn  53:46  

I think a lot of the companies in the last couple of years. Again, speaking from the tech side, I think like a lot of them started realizing especially with like the shared bike stuff like mobike and ofo and stuff like that. 


Chozie Ma  53:46  



Chozie Ma  54:00  

That was a big bubble burst there, yeah. 


Brian Schoenborn  54:02  

I mean, they spent so much money acquiring. So, you know, China kind of started the bike sharing concept. Right? So now there’s lime bikes and stuff like that around here. China kind of started that concept and it came this way. But the way China the big ones mobike and ofo are the two that I remember most, they grew by just spending shitloads of money right to get these users and just boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, and they’re growing up and they’re getting you know, they’re getting these huge valuations you know, billion dollars, whatever it is in like, less than a year and from nothing to a billion in less than a year just absolutely unheard of. And what happened I think mobike went under?


Chozie Ma  54:38  

No, Mobike’s still there.


Brian Schoenborn  54:39  

they were struggling. I mean, Ofo was kind of struggling too. 


Chozie Ma  54:42  

Then then like, I don’t know, there’s like 10 other so many brands out there right now, but I think it’s just a consolidated and now you can use it was like you have to use that app for that bike. 


Brian Schoenborn  54:51  



Chozie Ma  54:52  

Now you can use WeChat for all of them. 


Brian Schoenborn  54:54  

For all of them? 


Chozie Ma  54:55  

Yeah, I think it’s just come down to to. The others are just failed out but there’s so much so many bike. So they just decided, like, what? Just consolidate it into one app. So you can everybody can use it. And they split the money or something like that,


Brian Schoenborn  55:07  

But but the thing of it is like, you know, they started realizing, hey, you know, we’re going to spend all this money trying to grow the business may not be the most effective thing. So now we got to spend the money a little bit smarter. 


Chozie Ma  55:17  



Brian Schoenborn  55:17  

I mean, with the bike sharing thing, just the last on in that for me anyways, I just remember like during the whole craze, I mean, sidewalk space is a premium anyways. There’s not a lot of sidewalk space. 


Chozie Ma  55:28  



Brian Schoenborn  55:28  

But like once those bikes started coming out, I mean, you’re just literally seeing piles of bicycles that people don’t even care about like standing up and shit.


Chozie Ma  55:36  

They leave them on the street.


Brian Schoenborn  55:38  

They pile them on top of each other, just like a mountain of bicycles and you know, you can grab one if you want and you know, pay whatever it is, or you can try to like maneuver around and like, for the most part, you’re walking around in the streets of Beijing, you know, with again, 20 million people 25 million people and all sorts of traffic and all that shit. And you’ve got to walk on the streets because there’s no space on the sidewalks.


Chozie Ma  55:59  

It’s the worst during traffic, peak hours. Like when people are getting back to the subways, they just they want to get to the closest to the to the entrance of the subway. 


Brian Schoenborn  56:06  



Chozie Ma  56:06  

So it’s just powered up, but then they go on in the morning, and then they come back in the afternoon and yeah, it’s crazy. So in doing that, you know, we had big, big brands, big sponsors big money for for events. But then obviously, the last few years China has kind of cleaned up a lot of things and it’s slowing down in different ways. And it was hard power. So when in 2008 Olympics, were always about the wow, you know, this is big, we’re here we’re we can do anything. But now it’s more about the soft culture, the soft power, and if you can understand that and how to do that, you can still kind of maneuver very well in China. So we we’ve taken our domes, and we’re going to go in the space of cultural and heritage.


Chozie Ma  56:43  

So education, incubation. Our plan was to do them around China like Badaling, the Great Wall, Xi’an, the terracotta soldiers, Huangshan, yellow mountain, and they kind of education dome. So it’s a flyover eight minute on how the space or was delivered lived and educate. And then that money would go back into incubator for that region. So we would find like the famous horticulturist, or, or young person doing something good for the environment in that area and educate. So we’ve been pushing that in China, but it was like really hard with venues because it’s such antique venues if you call them, like World Heritage things, a little bit tougher. But we just got a lot of interest in Australia from it, and I’m half Aussie so it works out really well. The Great Barrier Reef is it has some problems with it, and it needs to be fixed. And the problem with the oceans with the plastics and all the own or the sustainability that needs to be addressed. Yeah, we’re looking at we’re going to open up in Australia and have three locations we’re at first in Brisbane. And these are the same concept but it will be more tailored to the environment, and sustainability and even our containers or grow houses, great grow containers. All the food for the cafe is all grown in a container. It’s all organic, so sustainability, you know, all these kind of things and raising awareness so that’s where that company is going in one way. 


Brian Schoenborn  56:43  



Chozie Ma  58:08  

The other way is we’re building kids play centers so we’re opening play we this week in Shanghai, Playmaker. Sso you can go in the center, you can take your kid in there, they’re mapped with cameras, they have a Fitbit kind of thing on their arm. It teaches the kid like if he kicks a football or rock climbing, it will track them and it will show a light if they’re rock climbing is like, oh, it will remember your name. Like hey, James go left. It will be better for you. So the games will help you play your sport better or learn and if and also so to social interaction. I think Chinese kids are bit more stuck on their iPads when they go to dinner and things like that. 


Brian Schoenborn  58:45  

Oh sure. 


Chozie Ma  58:46  

So this will give that game where if you play five on five mini football in the venue when you leave you have your an avatar on your phone, so you can still continue that game with your five new friends. 


Brian Schoenborn  58:57  



Chozie Ma  58:57  

It’s creates playdates. 


Brian Schoenborn  58:58  

That’s awesome.


Chozie Ma  58:59  

Which creates parent interaction. 


Brian Schoenborn  59:00  



Chozie Ma  59:01  

Which creates another time for them to come back and when they come back to the center, it will remember your name again or last week you scored this, why don’t you try to achieve for this? So it gives them a bit more exercise and that just like that whole interaction and becoming more social. 


Brian Schoenborn  59:15  

Hell yeah. I think that’s a big thing to like. I mean, Americans may not quite understand that but so the underlying thing the underlying theory behind this with Chinese you know, for so long there’s that one child policy right and so because these families were only having one kid they were kind of raised like little Empire, Emperor’s or you know.


Chozie Ma  59:34  

They still are.


Brian Schoenborn  59:35  

I know, that’s what i”m saying but like they have a word in Chinese I forget what it’s called this little Emperor little like little king or little queen or whatever. 


Chozie Ma  59:41  

They get whatever they want.


Brian Schoenborn  59:42  

You know, just imagine being you know, only children America, you know, you guys were spoiled, right? I’m not I’m one of five but I had to fight for my food. But, you know, there’s like, every every kid is like their only child, right? So they’re the they’re just spoiled by the parents, right? They get all the best things and all this stuff. But so there’s, you know, they’re on their iPads all the time or whatever. But they’re not. They’re never really, unless they’re like really encouraged to do sports or something like that. Not to stereotype. I hate that shit. But the vast majority, common theme that you see is that a lot of Chinese single children kind of tend to be, I don’t want to say like in it for themselves, but you know, they’re in their own little bubble.


Chozie Ma  1:00:22  

They’re in their own bubble. But they, I mean, they get good at school, it’s very hard system for them. It’s good because they’re really strict in the schools, and they, they teach them at what they need to be taught. But yet, when they leave the school, they’d rather just be on their iPad or just go in their bubble. Because the grandparents they go, the grandparents take care of them, or they were the parents aare working, and they just run run rings around. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:00:46  

Oh, for sure.


Chozie Ma  1:00:47  

Their grandparents just go along with it. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:00:48  



Chozie Ma  1:00:49  

Now it’s opened up so everyone can have more kids and they get getting younger and they need that more interaction. But yeah, just having the centers where they can…


Brian Schoenborn  1:00:58  

Getting them to do something where they’re combining their interests with the stuff in the iPad.


Chozie Ma  1:01:01  

It is, it’s an iPad game, but in a in a live setting in a huge space where they can, they can climb that rock wall, but then it would light up and it wuld teach them, oh, put your hand there and they think it’s just fun, but it’s actually teaching them. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:01:14  



Chozie Ma  1:01:15  

So then they didn’t they find themselves actually in a real Rock Climbing Center. Without the light. They didn’t realize that they got it subconscious subliminally from that. Right? 


Brian Schoenborn  1:01:22  



Chozie Ma  1:01:23  

So so we were just trying to use a lot of that. And I think it’s also because we’re getting older and my partner had a daughter recently. So he’s, he’s flipped the switch on like, yeah, we don’t really want to do clubs anymore. And I’m like yeah, we’ve done clubs all my life, you know, we can still design them. But that means we’re just designing it from afar. We’re not I mean, we make sure it’s all tech’d out. But like running a club these days, I have no interest. In China, it’s very tiring you, as an owner, you should be there pretty much almost every day, drinking with clients, keeping them there. Again, lots of drinking.


Brian Schoenborn  1:01:54  

There’s lots of drinking in China.


Chozie Ma  1:01:54  

Lots of drinking.


Brian Schoenborn  1:01:56  

Lots of drinking.


Chozie Ma  1:01:57  

We so we just kind of like taking on that space and then touring it, and bringing it to the world and just kind of educating through it. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:02:05  



Chozie Ma  1:02:05  

Leaving some kind of footprint, a healthy footprint and a legacy. But why I’m out here is


Brian Schoenborn  1:02:11  

Why the hell are you here man?


Chozie Ma  1:02:13  

So, so just to backtrack a little bit of how I met the guys I’m here partnering with, is I have a V, it comes down to another hat of a VVIP travel business. And as I as I was DJing and touring around the world in my younger days, I didn’t really get to enjoy the cities because then you fly in, you DJ, and you leave. There’s a lot of I’m really into traveling like cultural and food. Big thing about food.


Brian Schoenborn  1:02:38  

For sure. 


Chozie Ma  1:02:39  

And just like homing out, broing out with like locals and jam, I really wish I could go back to the city. So as the career went on, I’d say to promoters, you know what, pay me less but give me a few more days in your city so I can hang out. And then doing that you’d meet more people and I was very lucky to meet a lot of high profile people in my club that I owned in Beijing, Suzy Wong, and It became like it’s a thing where I just keep going back to people’s homes in different cities every year. And then and on my WeChat, which is like the Chinese Facebook, I’d post. And Chinese fans and Chinese high net worth individuals would start contacting me and saying, yo, we want to go to these places. You think you could put it together for us? I was like, yeah, so I tailored a few. And honestly, I’m still paying, what am I just charged these guys like a service fee or a tailoring fee? And it just came, it just became big. And then I started contracting like a couple of families. And now I’ve got a few corporate clients, but we tailor it for people we know so there’s no advertising, it’s kind of word by mouth.


Brian Schoenborn  1:03:37  

So this is the vvip experiential tourism, something like that?


Chozie Ma  1:03:42  

It’s Ttailored by Chozie Ma. So it’s just me and the client, my team will interview them, what do you like to drink, what do you like to eat? What’s this and that? So basically, the client comes in flies in jet private jet yacht, wherever. They land. They get to go to the best restaurants.


Brian Schoenborn  1:03:56  

So, what would be like a place that maybe you’ve taken people to just to kind of get an idea?


Chozie Ma  1:04:00  

So, one of my dear friends, best friends Gordon Friedland that own Ivanhoe Films, Crazy Rich Asians, they own that. So I you know we spent a lot of time together holiday and going around and they own a property in Positano Italy. They bought they purchased Franco Zeffirelli’s home. Romeo and Juliet, most famous music component, composer in Itlay. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:04:22  



Chozie Ma  1:04:22  

And they acquired that home and turned it into a private hotel. So we started going there about seven years ago. And it’s like, my favorite place to go and summer every summer I’m there. And that’s some place that the Chinese would go, they wouldn’t get it was never on their radar before. And then they see that oh, my God, this is like, so different. But we can’t speak the language, but we really want to go there. So I just thought, well, I’ll tailor it for you. We got everything for you. We got a translator or I’ll go with you and I’ll have my holiday at the same time. When you leave, I’ll stay on and do my thing. And yeah, there would be you know, there’ll be the yachts there. There’ll be everything. So that’s one place. Then we have experiences in Thailand. We have a property there. We have Japan, take them to New York, Australia. So it’s, it’s wherever. Russia, we have an office now the Russian experience, you kno w, so it’s anything that they want anything goes kind of thing, but it’s more about connecting and networking, so. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:05:12  



Chozie Ma  1:05:13  

It’s, it’s actually like we will tailor it. So if you come into Italy we will think of, who else is there during that time who could benefit your industry or your career or meet? If we’re in a city or a country where the head of state or someone in that the leader in that industry’s there, that you want to meet them? We’ll make it happen just over casual dinner, you know, just like let’s have a dinner and drinks. And then if they want to take that on, they take it on. So it’s a networking thing. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:05:39  



Chozie Ma  1:05:39  

So that’s how we, we came about building this company and then yeah, it just, it just started doing really well and, and that’s going on.


Brian Schoenborn  1:05:47  

Hell yeah, man. 


Chozie Ma  1:05:47  

And traveling so this year in August, we’re in Italy, boy of mine that owns the used to own the Box in New York, Cordelle. I met him eight years ago, seven eight years ago in New York. He wanted to build a vape pen. So he’s like we didn’t know anyone in China. That’s where they made. Can you help us put this together? And it just came out. We started developing it. Unfortunately, what everything happened with the pens right now, that business is kind of on hold. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:06:13  

Yeah, for sure. 


Chozie Ma  1:06:13  

So, but he wanted to introduce me to his partners that do that invested in that and also do a company called Greener Ways. Greener Ways Organic, so that’s an American company. So in 2014, family business, and it is a two in one sunscreen and insect repellent, all organic, so apply it once. And it’s also a bug bug spray and a bug pouch so you open it up for hot water. No mosquito bite you in a radius of 100 radius for seven days. And they have aroma therapy, oils, shampoos, underarms, all organic stuff. So they were they came out on holiday in Italy, and we were just you know, hanging out having dinner. And I’m like, why the hell are you not in Asia? Asians have a DNA with mosquitoes bite them.


Brian Schoenborn  1:07:00  



Chozie Ma  1:07:00  

It’s just it’s in their DNA. And also majority of the girls don’t want to get tan. They like to have pale white skin. And they don’t want suntan. So this would be perfect. Like, well yeah, of course ideal would love to get in the market but…


Brian Schoenborn  1:07:15  

We don’t know how to get in there.


Chozie Ma  1:07:16  

We’re actually smart. We don’t know, we don’t know anyone they don’t know how to get in there and we just we want to protect our brand. We’re a family business. So I said, you know, I’d be more than happy to explore this with you. So we started exploring it and we found that there’s a good synergy and and we’re going to bring this brand into Asia. So we’re going through the right channels of trademarking and you know, setting up the company you know, that’s not just gonna flood it, try to flood it in there, and we’re going to research it and get it out there. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:07:33  



Chozie Ma  1:07:42  

So we’re here exploring that. But one of the owners of the company is also heavy in the CBD and THC space in developing new concepts, feeling packaging, all these kind of things and now, Thailand is 100% legal for CBD marijuana’s decriminalized in Thailand. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:08:04  

Really? When? Since when?


Chozie Ma  1:08:05  

Well for medical marijuana. It will it is going in that direction. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:08:10  



Chozie Ma  1:08:11  

So 100% CBD and that was a few months ago. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:08:14  



Chozie Ma  1:08:14  

So you got to imagine right? 


Brian Schoenborn  1:08:16  

Go Thailand.


Chozie Ma  1:08:16  

Drinks, creams, things like that. So I’m just like, wow, China is now CBD legal in certain aspects, but you can’t take it in. But it’s kind of like a gray area. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:08:33  

China? Really? 


Chozie Ma  1:08:34  

Yeah, it’s really he is complete. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:08:36  

Well yeah, it’s completely illegal.


Chozie Ma  1:08:38  

Like no go, right? CBD is now in the bill where it’s going to be. I don’t know what they it’s definitely not ingestible edible but there they will I think it’s going to be more like cosmetic and medical. So I’m already trying to jump on this bandwagon of like, let me get it into creams. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:08:39  



Chozie Ma  1:08:40  

At least into the sunscreens first because it can it will heal And then also into light, the creams for face creams, the anti wrinkle creams. So we’re looking into that now that’s a big side of the business that I already want to explore. China is the largest grower of hemp in the world they have the biggest farms in the world. hemp was developed like discovered in China like in whatever century for the Emperor he was using him paper. The ropes in the Forbidden City were made out of hemp. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:09:22  

Really? I didn’t know that.


Chozie Ma  1:09:23  

Yeah, that’s a big thing. You know, you can check the history of thousands of years of hemp. So they have the biggest farms there. But again, it’s not being produced for CBD. It’s for hemp, right? But they do they do know that CBD is a big market. So we’re looking at it. It’s not legal yet but it’s like that gray area where it’s going that way. THC will never go that way unfortunately. But yeah, Thailand is so it’s just like hitting both areas because we got definitely want to bring in the Greener Ways which is the sunscreen the oils, the organics and everyone is getting more healthy in China. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:09:52  



Chozie Ma  1:09:53  

They’ve got expend, they’ve got money. Their parents are getting younger and and as you said before they do give everything to grandparents give everything to kid. They want everything to be healthy. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:10:02  



Chozie Ma  1:10:03  

So if we can bring in this healthy brand, which we are number one in Costco in America nationwide, we kicked Off off the shelves. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:10:10  



Chozie Ma  1:10:10  

We yeah, yeah. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:10:12  



Chozie Ma  1:10:12  

So for two years already. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:10:13  

You beat off. 


Chozie Ma  1:10:14  

Yeah, we beat off we beat Off off the shelves. And yeah, it’s doing really well. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:10:20  

You beat Off.


Chozie Ma  1:10:20  

It’s developing more and more with the products Costco just opened in Shanghai. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:10:26  

Oh really? 


Chozie Ma  1:10:26  

Yeah, yeah.


Brian Schoenborn  1:10:27  

Oh, no shit.


Chozie Ma  1:10:27  

Just opened this year. Oh my god it was a shitshow, it was crazy like the people though it was like a concert you have to bring in concert security because there’s so many people rush the store Friday or something like that.


Brian Schoenborn  1:10:39  

Right, I mean, like you see enough people like IKEA or whatever, right? But like just the concept of like, I can buy this much stuff for this. Like, you know, just like the tubs of like, I don’t know jelly or whatever, you know, noodles or whatever it is. They want to buy their huge ass packages of that shit that would last me a fucking month and I can pay like a fraction of what it would cost. 


Chozie Ma  1:10:56  

It was crazy. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:10:57  

Yeah, for sure. 


Chozie Ma  1:10:57  

So we’re not in Costco yet. In China or in China, but we’re going for that possibly. And hopefully we can go through the Costco path because they are going to open more in China. And that would be a big thing. But you know, we can go with T-mall, or we can go with Alibaba, which is like Amazon and all that stuff. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:11:13  



Chozie Ma  1:11:14  

And just, you know, get it out there. But I’m also out here, still keeping true to my musical roots. So meeting up with good friends recently with Big Narstie, Danny Harrison, you know, Cerati, nice bunch of cool, cool friends that I’ve known for a long time. Also, most of them met in Italy on one of my holidays. On one of my one of the venues I use for my vvip traveling. So just reconnecting that network. I wasn’t really going to get too much back into the music. I still DJ and now it’s a hobby so… 


Brian Schoenborn  1:11:43  



Chozie Ma  1:11:44  

For sure. It’s great because I can I can choose my gigs


Brian Schoenborn  1:11:46  

and I’ll be like, yeah, you’re out every once in a while you’re on a cruise or something.


Chozie Ma  1:11:50  

Yeah, I play every now and then. And I’m still a vinyl DJ. So I stay true to that art. Every now and then I might have to go digital because they don’t have the equipment but I prefer the vinyl.


Chozie Ma  1:12:01  

And a good friend of mine, Cui Jian, he’s the he’s the godfather of rock in China. He released the first kind of song on radio in 1984. And, you know, he’s the one that kind of broke through and made music possible for people to listen to and express themselves and understand him. So like for, you know, like billion people that probably all know Cui JIan. And you know, he’s a pretty cool guy and collaboration. And he’s very interested in doing a lot of remixes and collaborations, and he’s his passion behind the rock is jazz and hip hop. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:12:30  



Chozie Ma  1:12:30  

So I was like, Well, you know what I mean, LA, and I might as well use utilize my resources and get to these contacts, and see who wants to work together. And you were at my birthday the other night, Far East Movement was there and they’re very progressive and cool band and they just jumped at like, I would love to get on it. Within a week, they’re already like sending files to each other. And there’s a song being done and they’re going to help each other so that cross border thing.


Brian Schoenborn  1:12:54  



Chozie Ma  1:12:55  

I think a big thing one of my hats is connecting people. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:12:57  

Oh, same here dude, but you know, I mean, the thing that’s like really cool about it those it’s like border not border cross border, I mean, cross border stuff is cool because otherwise people don’t have that connection. 


Chozie Ma  1:13:07  



Brian Schoenborn  1:13:07  

But it’s just the end of the day. It’s doing cool things with cool people. Yeah, having fun and hopefully make it make some money in the process, right? 


Chozie Ma  1:13:14  



Brian Schoenborn  1:13:14  

Like, it’s no stress, no worries, like, you know, you find somebody like a hit it off or whatever. And like, Hey, you know, like, like, me, too. I’m a connector but networker, I just naturally, you know, I hear something that maybe you’re up to me like, Oh, you should talk to this guy. 


Chozie Ma  1:13:25  



Brian Schoenborn  1:13:26  

Or like, you know, this that the other person you know, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, constantly putting people in touch. In fact, I like to put you in touch with a friend of mine that’s in China. He’s American, he’s Canadian. I think he’s Canadian, but he’s lived in LA. He’s a stage sound and lighting guy is done in four films and stuff I think he’s with with this company is working with in Guangzhou right now. I think he’s on pace to open I think 100 clubs in the next year. 


Chozie Ma  1:13:50  



Brian Schoenborn  1:13:51  

Something like that. 


Chozie Ma  1:13:52  



Brian Schoenborn  1:13:52  

They’re all like, you know, the big club thing. So that’s that can be something even worth worthwhile. 


Chozie Ma  1:13:55  

Oh design, anything. Definitely. Thank you. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:13:58  

Can be some collab opportunities there. That’s exactly the thing right? Like, you know, you get this guy is like, Oh, I’m gonna do the hip hop jazz kind of stuff and you talk to like Far East Movement like yeah, let’s that sounds cool. Like boom. Yeah, there’s another working on something and you know, yeah chances are you know, maybe you don’t get anything out of it right like for me a lot of times it’s like, I just do it because, you know, fucking A.


Chozie Ma  1:14:18  

Every everything comes around man. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:14:20  

Yeah, no, that’s exactly it.


Chozie Ma  1:14:21  

Everything comes back around.


Brian Schoenborn  1:14:22  

That’s exactly it. You’re paying it forward. 


Chozie Ma  1:14:24  

I know that I if I’m hungry one day, there’s a bowl rice for me. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:14:27  

Yeah, exactly. 


Chozie Ma  1:14:29  

I fed a lot of people in my club with free tequilas, man. If I need that rice, it’s out there. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:14:35  



Chozie Ma  1:14:35  

But yeah, I mean, it’s cool. And then now they connected so there’s already five six people connected. That’s almost an album. He has a new one. And I’ll come in and say you know you’re doing you’re going to do a china tour next year. Give me the contract to do all the tech for you. Why don’t we Why don’t I make your stage more cool, you know and stuff. So, so that aspect so it’s just about reinventing the wheel connecting, trying to make sure this you know, things are moving forward and there’s cool things coming.


Brian Schoenborn  1:15:02  



Chozie Ma  1:15:02  

So yeah, it’s cool. So, so LA, it’s been like it’s been good. I’ve been in it for 4 weeks. In that time I was I went to Mexico for a couple days. And it’s really funny. So, they’re like, what’s your name? I was like, Chozie. Chinese Aussie. Like, okay, okay. And then one of them looks at me and says, okay, so you know, we call it Chinese Chino. And we call foreigners gringos. So how about we call you Chingo? And I’m like, Yeah, I love it. Like, why don’t you make a song out here like it just throw that Chingo thing in there and like, you know, make some kind of like, makes it can be. I think it’ll be really interesting for you because that’s a really funny name. And I think people will catch it. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:15:41  



Chozie Ma  1:15:42  

I started thinking, yeah, I should just fuck with it and make like, make a fucking remix or something or like some kind of song. That’d be really funny to have my, my Chingo name in Mexico and who knows, it could be a hit. You know, you just gotta have fun with it. That’s what it’s all about. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:15:58  

Yep, yep. 


Chozie Ma  1:15:58  

And when people can laugh at it, you can can see it is a funny thing too. It makes it so much easier and better, right?


Brian Schoenborn  1:16:04  

For sure, dude. Man. fucking love it. We’re so, okay, so where you’re heading out tonight, right? 


Chozie Ma  1:16:11  



Brian Schoenborn  1:16:11  

So what do you what do you like what’s going on? Like what do you what’s up next man?


Chozie Ma  1:16:14  

I got a nice 17 hour flight to Australia. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:16:17  

A little short one.


Chozie Ma  1:16:18  



Brian Schoenborn  1:16:19  

Is that direct or?


Chozie Ma  1:16:20  

It’s direct to Melbourne. I’m from Sydney but I’m going to Melbourne for Christmas. I haven’t been there for a couple of years. So I haven’t seen my dad in a while. But yeah, so as I mentioned the ocean conservation will was focusing on ocean but now I’m going to we’re going to change name to Planet Conservation. There is a lot more that needs to be addressed here to the world and to the younger youth and education. So knock out Christmas on my business partner’s farm. He has a horse farm and just kind of sleep under the stars. You know, get some good food. Just be one with nature. And then there’s the mom up at Byron Bay, it’s a beautiful place. Dad in Sydney. But along the way see the locations where we want to put up the domes conservation program and it’s just fucking cold in Beijing right now so I think I need to be somewhere where. It’s snowing there.


Brian Schoenborn  1:17:12  

It’s snowing? 


Brian Schoenborn  1:17:13  

It doesn’t snow much there. Like it gets cold, fucking cold in Beijing. It’s a desert.


Chozie Ma  1:17:13  



Chozie Ma  1:17:20  

This year they got a lot of snow really maybe it’s because they just had the air and style and a lot of focus and cameras are on the on the on the winters Winter Olympics. So I think you know, it’s like that if you see the skies out here how everything’s those Chem trail crossing? 


Brian Schoenborn  1:17:39  

Oh, yeah. 


Chozie Ma  1:17:40  

I mean, that’s not a conspiracy. I mean, I mean, seeing it going every day like Jesus, they like what are they cooling down the planet?


Brian Schoenborn  1:17:47  



Chozie Ma  1:17:48  

You know. Anyway, that’s another story but…


Brian Schoenborn  1:17:51  

Right on.


Chozie Ma  1:17:52  

Australia for a bit and then I meant to come directly back here to finalize some investments from here. deal and bring out some of my Chinese partners to see the operation. But I’ve been living out this suitcase and I, I didn’t, I didn’t realize that it was gonna be I got here just before Thanksgiving, so I didn’t realize it’s gonna be cold on Thanksgiving. It was cold. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:18:12  

It was cold. It was like 40s. 


Chozie Ma  1:18:13  

And now it’s beautiful.


Brian Schoenborn  1:18:15  



Chozie Ma  1:18:16  

And I’m preparing for like, I didn’t want to bring my winter gear and this because I’m going straight to home. It’s gonna be 40, like 43 degrees. 40 degrees heat, you know.


Brian Schoenborn  1:18:24  

Celcius, which is like 120 Fahrenheit. 


Chozie Ma  1:18:26  

It’s42 when I arrived tomorrow.


Brian Schoenborn  1:18:28  

It’s 115 or something like that. It’s fucking hot. 


Chozie Ma  1:18:30  

Oh, this year in Australia is like the worst fires and everything. Like you guys get it a lot. We got hammered this year, Australia. hammere. Really bad. So yeah, I’m going from like to that extreme. And if I, yeah, I’ve got I’ve gotta go. Maybe I gotta get back to Beijing to like, just get new clothes.


Brian Schoenborn  1:18:49  



Chozie Ma  1:18:49  

Or just buy new clothes when we get back here but I’d probably be back in end of January. With some exciting news about the music. I’ll catch up again, then. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:18:59  

We absolutley will, dude.


Chozie Ma  1:19:00  

And then you know, we have I can’t get too much into it, but it’s in this really crazy space of, of the CBD and things like that. And yeah, we we were in the FDA approval stage right now. And we’re going to get that very shortly and I’ll be able to talk to you about that. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:19:19  



Chozie Ma  1:19:19  

So stay tuned for that, because that’s a that’s a game changer. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:19:22  

Hell yeah, dude.


Chozie Ma  1:19:22  

It’s something that it’s not like it’s not a brand trying to compete with everyone else is something that’s going to really help the industry. And it’s also more of a medical apparatus, which is really cool. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:19:34  

Nice. Right on, man.


Chozie Ma  1:19:35  

Sports Medicine and all these kind of stuff as well. Again, it’s something totally different. I’m not into, but as we were saying…


Brian Schoenborn  1:19:40  

I also know people in sports medicine and sports psychology and stuff like well.


Chozie Ma  1:19:44  

Then they’re going to need this. But it’s again, it comes down to, you know, I’m the kind of guy like you, if there’s an opportunity in front of me and I don’t know it, but I have an opportunity to be part of that. Do it. I’m gonna quick, smart and learn it.


Brian Schoenborn  1:19:59  

Oh absolutely.


Chozie Ma  1:19:59  

I want to be part of it. Great opportunity. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:20:02  

Hell, yeah. 


Chozie Ma  1:20:02  

And I’ve really enjoyed being down here in Venice to because what a fucking melting pot this place is. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:20:06  

There’s so many cultures here, dude.


Chozie Ma  1:20:08  

Oh man. It’s so great. Yeah. It’s trippy.


Brian Schoenborn  1:20:11  

It’s crazy. Right? It’s crazy. I mean, you’ll go down like down the, the boardwalk?


Chozie Ma  1:20:16  

I walk down there every day. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:20:17  

Oh, it’s crazy, right? 


Chozie Ma  1:20:17  

Yeah, I just hanging out people singing and just talk to them. It’s great. Get some inspiration.


Brian Schoenborn  1:20:22  

Yeah, exactly. There’s so much art down there. Whatever and weirdos and stuff. There’s all sorts of people down there.


Chozie Ma  1:20:28  

I’ve had some great conversations with weirdos. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:20:30  

Oh, yeah. I know. I know. That’s for some of the best conversations come from like people that you you know, you think might be the furthest out there? They’re the ones that are thinking completely differently. 


Chozie Ma  1:20:38  

Yeah, yeah. No, I mean, some of them flow. Yeah, like,


Brian Schoenborn  1:20:42  

Fuck Yeah, yeah, right on man. I think this is a good good point to wrap it up. 


Chozie Ma  1:20:46  



Brian Schoenborn  1:20:46  

Feels pretty natural. Been a good chat. Yeah. anything specifically you want to plug like right now.


Chozie Ma  1:20:53  

Just we covered I think we covered it. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:20:55  



Chozie Ma  1:20:56  

I’m going to drop my links in there. And my Instagram at Instagram. We didn’t really use much in China since but I want to keep it active and grow it here. So definitely put that out there. I don’t know if anyone’s using WeChat and put that link in there as well. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:21:09  

Might as well yeah. 


Chozie Ma  1:21:11  

And then just you know stay well people and keep listening to this man.


Brian Schoenborn  1:21:15  

Hell yeah, 


Chozie Ma  1:21:16  

He’s killing it and congratulations man. You just hit like a number 90…


Brian Schoenborn  1:21:20  

I cracked the top 100…number 90 in America, dude.


Chozie Ma  1:21:21  

 Out of 800,000.


Brian Schoenborn  1:21:22  

Out of 800,000 podcasts, number 90 in America for documentaries, man. Fucking A.


Chozie Ma  1:21:28  

Yeah, congratulations on that. 


Brian Schoenborn  1:21:29  

I can’t even believe, dude. 


Chozie Ma  1:21:30  

We’ll get into a travel on next time we… 


Brian Schoenborn  1:21:32  

Oh, dude, I can’t wait.


Chozie Ma  1:21:32  

I’ll bring you out to Positano.


Brian Schoenborn  1:21:35  

So that’s the whole thing, right? Like the first couple of episodes were up in Seattle, right? I was talking to these like military veterans turned entrepreneurs up there. Down here. I’m talking to people that I know down here and then once things get rolling with the bouncing the different parts of the world, right? 


Chozie Ma  1:21:48  



Brian Schoenborn  1:21:48  

World’s the western man because, you know, like you I’m a global guy. I’ve got connections and people that are doing really cool things all over the place. 


Chozie Ma  1:21:55  



Brian Schoenborn  1:21:55  

And I wanted I want to sit down and have conversations with them, man. That that’s all I want to do. 


Chozie Ma  1:22:00  



Brian Schoenborn  1:22:02  

Give it up for Chozie Ma. You’ve been listening to Half the City with Brian Schoenborn presented by 8B Media. Be sure to subscribe to this podcast, share it with your friends and leave a solid five star review to ensure these stories get spread far and wide. For more information, as well as listen to other shows, including “Relentless: a Survivor’s Search for Passion, Purpose and Inner Peace” and “Beyond Relentless”, be sure to check out 8bmedia.com. Thank you for listening.


Transcribed by https://otter.ai


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