Christopher Birch talks about being on a hijacked plane; sharing life lessons | Entertainment


“I don’t remember the exact year. It was in Africa. I was on a flight with Shaggy and a few other industry professionals, and the private plane was hijacked, ”famed producer, musician and record company owner Christopher Birch said. It was an incredible tale of one of his most memorable experiences on tour.

The director of Birchill Records recounted what “could have been a horrible experience” but praised the crew, especially the captain, “who found a way not to make matters worse”.

He explained that the plane was being refueled when the hijackers entered and stole the pilots’ money and belongings.

“I remember waking up. Shaggy and the others were asleep, but the pilots tried to hide what was going on. I saw weapons, but I was dazed, exhausted from flying from country to country. The captain took care of it so quietly, “he said. The Sunday Gleaner.

Birch added: “It was after we took off and arrived in Ethiopia that the pilot explained what had happened and then the media and all the excitement.”

This incident did not deter the music professional from his dream of becoming a touring musician. Instead, it made him recognize his goal: to make music. He said there were a lot more good memories. Even in the present day, when the entertainment industry seems to be at a standstill, Birch said he remains focused on creating new music.

“We are pushed into survival mode. It’s more about survival than anything else, and I do what I’ve been doing for the last ten years, just make music, and that keeps me sane. Music is medicine. It makes people happy and I’m still a happy person despite everything that’s going on, ”said Birch.

“Every decade the industry sees a change in music, but because of the pandemic the dynamics of what it was has caused a change. In fact, I find myself doing more work and more experimentation. Currently, the music business has been dead in Jamaica for over 18 months. That’s what it is, but one thing I’m sure is that we’re going to survive it, and I’m a moving musician. “

In September, Birch released a collaboration with future singer Kalyra titled High and reintroduced himself as a musician and artist. The producer, who credits his brother Winston Birch, a musician, with opening his eyes to the music world, said his first entry into the business was playing in a piano bar.

“I’m still a recording artist. The difference is, I’m always backstage doing magic. I rocked my brother, who I was hanging out with, with his band playing in a hotel. When I played the piano on this occasion, it was me alone and 50 tourists singing, and not only did I get paid, I got tips in the United States, ”he shared. About his first official concert, adding that “after that, I had a lot of offers to travel”.

The producer also named the eclectic duo Sly and Robbie as his main role models. Like them, he plays several instruments with the exception of the guitar, his first instruments being the bugle and the trumpet. He was previously a member of the Sane Band, which performed for reggae artists such as Garnet Silk and Tony Rebel, then he joined the famous 809 Band. There he worked with reggae stalwarts such as Dean Fraser, Freddie McGregor, Beres Hammond, Marcia Griffiths, Judy Mowatt and Bob Andy. He has also produced for dancehall favorites like Charly Black and Vybz Kartel.

He said: “The perception of an artist in Jamaica is someone singing, but I’m an artist musician … in the sense that I can put my voice on a track because it’s easy. . I can make my voice sound like the best thing ever. It’s just more recently that I came back to the forefront.

Birch says his market is mostly overseas but always creates beats that will appeal to Jamaican audiences.

“I mainly work abroad. I work with other artists who may not be as popular on the North American side but in Europe, Africa and Japan. Music is my life and I have fun with it. Let’s have fun with music, which is love and an important part of what the world needs right now. Let’s also keep reggae and dancehall strong, ”he urged.

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