Presented by Sounds from Africa & the Caribbean

Christopher Martin

Mar 18, 2017

11:45pm – 12:25am CT

The Belmont

Although Chris has avoided the controversies that have befallen so many reggae artists in recent years, he stoked hearty debate with “Cheater’s Prayer,” a song some critics accused of promoting infidelity. “You have people who love it and people who hate it,” Martin says of the single, which was originally released in 2011 and received further renown in 2013 when it was remixed by New York rapper Jim Jones. “More people love it than hate it, though! A lot of people engage in infidelity, but they don’t want to get caught.

That is real life. We just sang about it from a man’s standpoint.” In 2014, Chris spread his wings into acting, starring alongside fellow singer Karrian Sang in Destiny, a Jamaican/Canadian film which screened across the Caribbean and North America. The following year saw the release of his Steppin Razor EP, his first release for VP Records, and the hit single, “I’m a Big Deal.” “That’s the mindset I go through life with,” Martin says of the track, which deals with themes of confidence and self-worth. “I wanted people to understand that believing in yourself in no way is a testament that you are cocky. Just believe in yourself. I don’t feel like you should need anybody’s approval.”

Throughout his career, Chris has demonstrated a talent for singing about regular, everyday topics in a fresh and new way — a talent that’s on full display on Big Deal. The album compiles Martin’s biggest recent hits, including “Cheater’s Prayer” and “I’m a Big Deal,” along with new songs like “One Life,” a collaboration with viral Jamaican entertainer Tanto Blacks, and “Easy Like Sunday Morning,” a Jamaican answer to The Commodores’ classic. “My Love” is a fusion of dancehall, pop and reggaeton that’s been getting spins in Latin America, while “Under the Influence” (featuring U.K. rapper Chip) is a passionate love song delivered over a foreboding dancehall rhythm. He spices up his repertoire even more with R&B-flavored suggestive single "Magic," produced by Martin himself, as well as on "Love Distance Lover" featuring newcomer Destiny Moriah. “I am free spirited as it comes to music,” Martin says of the album’s musical diversity, which features music from an all-Jamaican cast of producers including RVSSIAN, ZJ Chrome, Anju Blaxx, Robert Livingston, Clive Hunt and Sting International. “This album is multi-faceted. There is a song on it for everybody — young, old and indifferent. The type of music that I do, the entire family can listen to it.”

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St Catherine, JAMAICA