Christopher reminisces, “For me, singing with my father was more like schooling; it prepared me immensely for my own career.” During his learning curve years, Ellis found himself perfecting his song writing talents and passion for music by performing regularly at venues such as the Jazz Café near his home in London, England. On October 11, 2008, ALTON ELLIS passed away in London, England. About six days before, the reggae legend handed his musical torch to his youngest son. Ellis confides, “Dad said to me, ‘Christopher, you need to take it up’, and him saying that ignited a fire deep inside of me.” 24 hours after Christopher painfully witnessed the passing of his father, he went into a studio in London and recorded a tribute song to his father, the recording would later be released on the 2009 ‘Old School Young Blood’ reggae dancehall compilation through the U.K. based Peckings Records, which also featured the track ‘Young Hearts’ by Tarrus Riley. On October 27, 2008, CHRISTOPHER ELLIS and his family arrived in Jamaica to bury and attend their beloved Alton Ellis’ funeral.
During the service, dancehall artist Lincoln Barrington Minott a.k.a. the late ‘SUGAR MINOTT’ paid tribute to Alton Ellis by singing over his grave. After the service, Minott invited Christopher to record music with him at his studio. Christopher accepted the invitation and extended his stay to remain in Jamaica.
During that time, Christopher went to Minott’s studio every day for six months, and ended up recording a few unreleased songs. The versatile singer notes, “What transpired in Sugar Minott’s studio over that period of time was sensational and healing; a building block of inspiration which acted as a catalyst for my debut album.” During his time in Jamaica, Ellis also took the opportunity to perform a few shows including the 2008 Waterfront New Year’s Eve show, Rebel Salute 2009 and the November 2009 Stars R Us Vintage Stage show which was a celebration of Alton Ellis’s life and career. The tender-aged Ellis presented a show stopping performance that left the audience and local journalist’s awestruck. The Jamaica Gleaner commented, “Christopher Ellis, one of Alton's youngest children and who has been entrusted with carrying on his father's legacy as a pioneer in Jamaican music, stole the show.” Though coping with his father’s death, CHRISTOPHER ELLIS was finding himself in a good place.
Sources of energy such as leaning on his mother and siblings, was helping him to get through this heartbreaking time in his life. His musical inspirations also continued as he absorbed the organic surroundings of Jamaica. Christopher recalls a day that his brother’s childhood friend named Rohan ‘Koolie’ Smith approached him about going to Hope Road to meet STEPHEN MARLEY. Ellis notes, “Koolie is a close friend to Bob Marley’s son, Stephen Marley and had been trying for over three years to set up a time for me to meet Stephen.” Koolie finally made the introduction, and at that fateful meeting on Hope Road, Christopher sang A Capella for the iconic reggae producer.
Two days later, STEPHEN MARLEY invited Christopher to join him at King Jammy’s studio in Jamaica. The studio session resulted in Marley recording Christopher Ellis’ first single entitled, ‘End of Time’, a moving, soul stirring track featuring beautiful vocal works by STEPHEN MARLEY, CHRISTOPHER ELLIS and JAH CURE, inspired by Alton Ellis’ rendition of ‘You Made Me So Happy’. The magnificent opportunity of working with STEPHEN MARLEY and the Marley Family has continued in Miami where Ellis has spent quality time working in the studio on material that is being helmed and produced by the 5-time Grammy award winning artist and mega-producer. “I feel so incredibly Blessed to be working on my debut album with Stephen Marley for the Ghetto Youths Records family,” Ellis says with emotion.
To date, Ellis has recorded two singles, including the aforementioned ‘End of Time’ and a rendition of Alton Ellis’ song entitled, ‘Willow Tree’, a sweetly seductive lover’s ballad that showcases Christopher Ellis’ versatile musicality. Both singles have an anticipated 2010 / 2011 release on Marley’s own Ghetto Youths International, Inc. record label, with a 2010 video launch for ‘Willow Tree’ that will mark Christopher Ellis’ international debut. “Music is my passion, and though Reggae/Rocksteady is where I was born, I just want to make music! and I very much look forward to making music of all genres, for people all over the world.” In addition to working on his debut album, Christopher has taken time out in 2010 to perform shows across Europe including the territories of Italy, Sweden and England.
In the early summer of 2010, Ellis joined Stephen Marley on stage in Negril, Jamaica to sing his upcoming single ‘End of Time’, and has continued to be a regular on the scene in his home town of London, England. In the fall and winter of 2010, fans can anticipate CHRISTOPHER ELLIS to continue to perform world-wide, including confirmed appearances in Europe and the United States beginning October 2010. While the legacy of reggae legend ALTON ELLIS has been passed on to his son Christopher, the youngest Ellis proves that his mellow, R&B influenced vocals and soulful , thought provoking lyrics will continue to help pave his own musical path. With the guidance from Bob Marley’s son STEPHEN MARLEY, this burgeoning solo artist is on a mission to reinvent music and make his own legendary mark. "I simply love to perform live," says Christopher. "If I can add one small credit to my father’s existing legacy I’d be happy with that.
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