Born in Kingston Christopher Alexander Smith, better known by his stage names Irie Jah Chris or IJ Chris, is a Jamaican singer and songwriter. Chris has relative links with Ernest Ranglin and Vivian Jones, and has enjoyed some superb coaching from many well-known artistes in his homeland.
Chris became a father at the age of nineteen and realised that only with a strong conviction would he survive the hustle and bustle of being a taxi driver to provide for his son. Never losing sight of the prize of fulfilling his dream of being a singer, Chris would sing at every opportunity, and at particularly low periods it provided some comfort.
Chris began his musical career during 2004 by recording a number of songs that he had recently composed. These songs all had a conscious, political story to tell and were based upon everyday Jamaican life. They were recorded in a traditional, roots reggae rhythm style. Chris will admit that these songs were very ‘rough and ready’ and not really suitable for any serious promotion, but it did generate the enthusiasm and desire to create better things.
With love for people and society, the consciousness of his songs is forthcoming and educating to the listening ear. Chris hopes to touch the heart, and to make a difference to people's lives whilst shaping the way for his son. You'll find that his lyrics are based on his own life story, and the reality of living in today's world.
Chris' music career had a false start, being hampered by a bad experience that caused him to give up for a while in 2007. But, he returned to the music business in 2010 with more drive and determination than ever, and in some ways the break was beneficial and allowed him to reflect and expand his lyric writing and ideas. Chris finished the writing and recorded two new songs: “Rich Man’s Paradise” and “Hungry”. The two new, and six of Chris’ earlier songs, were put together as a compilation EP under the title of ‘Life’s Messages’.
Chris’ core genre of work is contemporary, conscious roots reggae but he works across a number of other popular musical forms too including: R&B, Dance, Soul and Alternative.
Working with worldwide composers as well as his traditional Jamaican providers Chris has also been involved in two major collaborations: “The World Gets Hurt” - a cover version of a Jon Ben Berger song in duet with Winsome Benjamin and The H Project
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