Christos DC Biography

Christos DC

Christos DC Biography:

With a voice that elegantly sits somewhere between Reggae and Jazz, a musical talent that transcends genres, and an ability to push the boundaries for Roots, Christos DC is an artist whose craft has gone from strength-to-strength in recent years.

This talented individual has been a firm fixture on the Roots Reggae landscape for over 16 years. After the release of his breakthrough album, Time to Rise (2008), Christos followed this with Under the Sun (2011), Long Road (2014), Tessera (2017), Self Evident (2020), Crisis 2.0 (2022), and the Matchbox EP (2023). Now, he is back with another full-length project – but Christos’s musical journey to this point is as fascinating as his new release.

His artistic and cultural experience has been shaped from a young age. He was raised in Washington DC by parents who were both opera singers as well as vocal coaches. Christos’s first instrument was the guitar, which he started playing aged eight.

At the age of 21 he studied audio engineering in New York at the Audio Institute of research. Upon graduation he quickly realised that he did not want to be confined behind a mixing console and began his journey as a session player working in New York and Washington DC.

Reggae soon came calling, and Christos was quickly recruited to work with the likes of Sly and Robbie and Black Uhuru – before creating an album with names such as Sugar Minott, the Meditations, Don Carlos, and Augustus Pablo. Session and writing work followed – including for the Thievery Corporation.

Christos says of his early influences and how they shaped his style:

“I was influenced very early in my life by artists out of Jamaica and the different styles that they were creating. From a young age, I also would listen to different types of music and was constantly collecting obscurities. It was always a treat to find a very obscure piece of music.

For me, personally, creating music is like no other experience in the world. It is pure alchemy. I can only begin to describe the feeling of when a new song emerges. It is absolute magic.

All these influences mean I would describe my music as a blend of Roots Reggae, World Music, and even Jazz and Classical. I tried to blend these elements, very subtly into the overall sound”.

After the release of his debut album, Time to Rise in 2008, Christos decided to embark on setting up his own label, Honest Music, which he has used to this day. The outfit has also produced releases for Kenyatta Hill (Culture) and Puma Ptah (Thievery Corporation), as well as multiple riddims including Kingston 16, Communion, and Culture.

However, his latest release via Honest Music is an entirely instrumental album called Kung Fu Action Theatre – the label’s first such project. Out on 28 February 2024, the album looks to be groundbreaking: merging Roots Reggae beats across an entirely instrumental album that also employs the use of traditional Chinese instruments.

Christos said of the project:

“I chose to do an instrumental album as I was always a big fan of instrumental Reggae and would collect these releases over the years for inspiration. The choice to create a fully instrumental release was made to showcase the music as that has always been an integral part of my writing process. I began creating riddims long before making the decision to pursue the path of becoming a vocal artist.

From my childhood I have always loved the music in Kung Fu movies. Throughout the years, this led to further interest and extended musical research into Chinese music. For many years now I have had the idea to create a project that merges these two styles together.

The backdrop is 100% Reggae however the Chinese instruments blend very well in creating a new sound that is quite mysterious in nature.

It certainly was a different process in writing an instrumental album that required a different approach. We would record a full take of overdubs using these instruments and then remove parts in the editing process. Without vocals there is room to hear very subtle parts that would otherwise be obscured.

It is a completely different process than applying words to a piece of music. The instruments are the message and tell their own story without the use of words or written language”.

The project is a groundbreaking accomplishment – seeing Christos and his team produce an album that is eclectic, intelligent, and sumptuous to listen to. Journalist Steve Topple, writer for both Pauzeradio and Reggaeville, said of the album:

“If Christos DC’s aim was to create a project that was both groundbreaking in its approach and sweeping in its complexity, then he’s achieved those aims. Kung Fu Action Theatre is a masterstroke of musical intrepidness – taking Roots Reggae into territory it’s seldom mean, while maintaining authenticity to the genre. Much like Revival Reggae’s use of instruments like the theremin, and Roots use of the melodica before it, Christos employing instruments like the guzheng perfectly mould with everything else, and the result is scintillating and breathtaking”.

But it’s unsurprising that Kung Fu Action Theatre is such a strong project – because Christos has paid his dues as an artist long before it. As a vocalist, he has a unique sound which employs elements of Roots on top of an underbelly that would be best described as being influenced by Jazz and Soul – so, Neo Soul if you will.

Musically, Christos has always applied extreme levels of detail and diligence to his writing and producing – showing that not only were his parents’ influences taken on board, but that he has an unbridled passion for his craft. And, as a live performer Christos is skilled and effortless – engaging the audience from the off and carrying them with him throughout.

But central to Christos’s worldview with his artistry is what his music can achieve via the messages. What makes him stand out is his ability to convey complex themes and narratives, but always in a way which is accessible. Christos also doesn’t allow himself to be drowned in the negative all the time – balancing the more ominous messages with those of positivity and hope.

Christos DC is the epitome of modern Roots. Refusing to be boxed in, he sees that Reggae in the 21st century should be reflective of its global audience, but also the influences that spawned the genre in the first place. Plus, his willingness to break ground ensures that his sound is constantly evolving – as is Reggae as a genre. Christos DC has earned his place as one of the most inspired Roots artists in recent times – a pedestal he looks set to stay on.

Do you need a review, biography or press release? Book our services for your latest release here.

Christos DC Biography by Mr Topple / Pauzeradio PR Services (28th February 2024).

Search The Store

Search The Archives

Search Shows For An Artist

Search The Store

Search The Archives

Search Shows For An Artist

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.