Singer/songwriter Christopher Ellis 30, is the youngest son of “The Godfather of Jamaican Rocksteady”, the late Alton Ellis, a contemporary of Bob Marley. Born out of Africa, they, like their children, still have a strong connection with Africa the land of their ancestors
Born In London, Christopher did not experience the rough ghetto life that inspired the revolutionary lyrics of his father and Bob Marley. He is more a ladies man.
He is now signed to the music label of Damian and Stephen Marley and was in Liverpool with the Marley brothers during the Liverpool International music festival last month.
You can get news and updates about Chris from his website here
Francis Ngwa met him for a brief chat
Q What qualities do you think you possess that made Stephen pick you out of the crowd and signed you?
Definately my father was a big influence because he was a singer even before their dad. (Bob Marley) Both were good friends in Jamaica though I must also add they were musical rivals too. I think the legacy my dad handed down to me really helped. It kind of gave me a head start that most artists don’t have. Stephen Marley heard my music and liked it so signed me up. Since he signed me on, my life has been great.
Q What has been the high points of your time with the Marleys?
Touring with Damian and Stephen Marley in New York, Los Angeles, Colorado, Denver. It is mind blowing to be able to tour with this great guys who are really also great artists. There are one million artists in the world who will like to be where I am right now. It is a privilege for me, It is great and I am learning a lot from them. I have some nice songs that Damian and Stephen Marley produced and they are doing well in London and in Jamaica.
Q What are the main messages that you convey in your music?
My music is very soulful. Thery say I am like a ballet singer. I really sing a lot of Love songs. Writing love songs comes to me naturally more than writing about culture. I do some culture songs but we are more into Love songs.
Q You have been signed by the sons of Bob Marley who in his time sang mostly revolutionary songs. He sang a lot about changing the lives of the poor and helpless around the world. Are there also political messages in some of your songs too?
I don’t really do political songs. I like writing and singing about things that come naturally to me and what comes naturally are love songs. I grew up in London but people like Bob and my father who grew up in Jamaica, were more exposed to the political side of things. In Jamaica, a lot of things are wrong and there is the oppression of Children. In London, I had a beautiful childhood. Never once have I been hungry in my life. If you grew up in Nile Miles, you face a lot of hardship and can relate to that. I can’t relate to that because I had a sheltered life in London. There are therefore things that I can speak about. We have some artists on the label who do the kind of music that Bob Marley did. Me, I sing for the ladies. I sing songs that will please my ladies. I can’t compose a song because Bob or Damian did a similar song just to be cool.
Q What are some of your best Known songs?
I have a new song now known as Better than Love. The biggest and best known song I have written is known as End of Time.
Dont Change your number was another big hit and the video is on MTV and it was produced by Damian Marley.
Q Are you a different kind of musician because you are produced by the sons of the legendary Bob Marley?
No. Being produced by a Marley simply means you are fortunate to be at the right place at the right time. It really does not matter who produced your songs. When you hear a good song on the radio, you don’t start asking who produced that song? You just say that song is great. A song is not great because a Marley produced it. It is great because it is a good song. There are loads of great songs that were not produced by the Marleys.