International Producer/Activist/Artist Chris Thomas Works on the Hip-Hop 4 Peace & Prosperity CD & Documentary Project
By Charles Fisher and Randy Fisher @HHSYC
Last week we caught up with international producer Chris Thomas in his Brooklyn Powermix Studio as he was working with a new artist named Salif. They are about to drop a single for an upcoming Benefit Compilation CD to help raise money to address Gun & Gang Violence. Lord knows Brooklyn needs some help in that area, and it was great to see Chris doing his part to end the violence. Now that the business at hand was done we had his undivided attention for this long awaited interview, so let’s get to it.
Q—Where were you born, raised and now reside?
A—I was born in Kingston, Jamaica, raised in a small community called Tyrall Heights in Spanish Town Jamaica. I’m now a citizen of the U.S.A. living in Brooklyn, NY.
Q—How did you get started in the music industry?
A—This was a natural transition as my father Tommy Thomas was a member of the musical group The Chantells. Music has always been a part of my life. I was a part of a group named S.A.C (Scissors, Aquaman, Chrisie D) that nurtured me into being a performer. Connecting with Beenie Man later on was also a part of my experience as I saw the growth that made him into a dancehall superstar today. It was this experience that encouraged me to eventually start my own company.
Q—Briefly tell me about your various companies?
A—I’m presently CEO of the following companies: Powermix Records Entertainment Group, I.W.A.A.D. Music LLC, Anymuzic.com and Powermix Traders LLC. My main interest with my businesses is to be able to be successful while creating situations for others. Trading has offered many opportunities for various business ventures.
A—The truth is…I’m just enjoying what I do…I love to entertain, I love everything about entertainment which is why I wanted some form of control as to what and how I deliver that particular entertainment. As an Executive I can assist others to showcase their art while still being a part of the overall picture. I’m pleased to see an idea that comes together well in the studio. I’m pleased to see someone or the masses appreciate the music, the grind and the hustle.
Q—What are your goals in the entertainment industry and in your personal life?
A—I feel the limit to my journey ends when I stop enjoying the music. I seriously doubt that will be anytime soon. To achieve all the accolades in entertainment would be an accomplishment but to introduce to the world the “next big thing” is of greater value to me. To be in a position to give back to the community (world) is also a personal goal.
Q—Name some of the artists that you have worked with in the past?
A—Behind the scenes I’ve worked with Bunny Wailer (Reggae Legend), Ninja Man, Taurus Riley and Aaron Hall (R&B) to name a few. Whether it be production, management or promotions I have been instrumental on many levels.
Q—Tell me what artists you are working on as a producer?
A—At present I’m working with a talented new rising star Jahmika (www.facebook.com/onlyjahmika). She is most definitely slated to be a voice to be heard. Her new single with Elephant Man (dancehall phenom) entitled “Secretary” is sure to draw the much needed attention as her introduction to the industry. I’m also working with Tabeta Cshae (female singer) out of Jamaica with Handel Tucker (super producer signed to Sony) and with soca/r&b artist Wildfire, a talent that has written and performed with Machel Montano. I have also just released a sensational new dancehall artist Kapri whose single “My Shorty” will grab any music lovers’ attention. Other artists to be released by my label in the near future include Sliim, Zay Stacz, Forever “Val” and Gifted. I am also working on a collaboration single “Why I Gotta Love You” by Chris Thomas the CEO featuring Jahmika that is being produced by Rob Connelly of Irish Moss Production who has scored music for The Fountain, The Wrestler and The Black Swan.
Q—Are you working on an Album?
A—My album is currently being worked on entitled “Anti-Genre”…I’m also finishing Jahmika’s album “Metamorphosis”…so far the production has been super. Also working on the project is Mica Gayle who does writing and production and Shareef Islam who does production.
A—As an activist I’m involved with any projects around the world but my focus right now is on keeping our communities safe by working with the Hip-Hop Against Gun & Gang Violence initiative. I’m excited about being a part of the Hip-Hop 4 Peace & Prosperity CD & Documentary project because reducing crime and violence in Brooklyn or any part of the world is an important task and one that I’m definitely up for. Not only will I have a song as an artist on the CD, I’m also producing a few hot new artists as well for the project including new and upcoming rapper “Salif the Savior” and Hot Sultry Singer Jahmika.
They will both have songs on the CD that will take the industry buy storm so that we can raise a lot of money for a worthwhile cause. You can believe that when I’m done with these songs the people will know, respect and appreciate all of the hard work we have put into the game. So when you hear about the project show some love and support the mission because giving back to help the less fortunate is the way I have always rolled.
Q—How hard is it to make it in the music industry today?
A—It’s a hard task…however, I believe that if you package whatever you are selling the right way, be prepared and work hard….YOUR TIME WILL COME. Make good music and network your product as if it’s the last.
Q—Can you offer some words of wisdom to those looking to secure a career in Music?
A—I suggest that you first come to terms with the word “commitment”…If you fully understand the meaning of that word…and music is your choice or calling…then, commit yourself towards that endeavor, stay the journey, improve as you go. There is POWER in faith. #thirdeyeconcept
A—I’m on most social sites, Google a brother if necessary (laugh)…
We want to thank Chris Thomas again for taking time out of his very hectic schedule to kick it with us, as well as all his support for a cause that is near and dear to us all; keeping our communities safe from gun and gang violence.