Music comes naturally to him, like breathing. He oozes rhythm, harmony, melody and grooviness. He literally breathes new life into every rhythm he touches.
When Chinna adds one of his signature guitar riffs to any piece of music, it’s sure to be a hit. In fact, Chinna’s creative sounds can be heard on almost 50% of the grammy award winning reggae recordings. “All I want to do is play music,” Chinna said in a recent interview. “I’ve been doing it for years, but I’m falling in love with it all over again, every day.”
Although he is most well known for his work with the legendary Soul Syndicate band and as Reggae’s most sought after lead guitarist, his musical credits reach far beyond just guitar playing. He has composed, written, arranged, engineered, produced and played both rhythm and bass guitar.
Chinna has probably had the most profound influence on the evolution of Jamaican music, recording with artists like: Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Peter Tosh, Dennis Brown, Mutabaruka, Freddie Mac Greggor, Michael Rose, Mighty Diamonds, Black Uhuru, Burning Spear, the Heptones and Sizzla just to name a few. Chinna’s name appears on the credits of well over 500 albums. But, it’s not just reggae where you’ll see his name, he’s recorded with artists of all genres, including: Lauren Hill, Eve, Erykah Badu and Joss Stone.
Chinna often says that everything needs to be balanced. In his life and in his music, he’s constantly seeking to find the perfect balance. He’s toured all over the world, with all the greats in Reggae. He also served for many years as musical director for Grammy award winning group Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers. Even though he’s traveled all over the world, if you ask Chinna where his favorite place is, he’ll tell you that there’s no place he’d rather be than in Kingston, Jamaica at home, in his yard.
His yard, in the notorious Half Way Tree neighborhood, is exactly where he decided to record his latest work; “Inna De Yard” on the MakaSound label. The production consists of 13 amazingly, naturally beautifultracks featuring only voices, guitar and some drumming. The CD also features a 45 minute DVD with some rare footage of Chinna and his friends hanging out in the yard making music, naturally.
He tours less now and works more with the musical youth in his Kingston community. He coaches, directs, instructs, organizes, lectures & motivates. His spiritual insights are so inspiring, so profound that many gather in his yard each day, just to hear what he’ll say.
An unabashed purest, and a musician’s musician, Chinna is committed to live recording, a trait that carries over to his guitar playing style which involves a minimum use of studio gadgets.
“People have stopped working and let electronics do their work for them,” Chinna told Guitar Player Magazine in a 1983 interview, “I’m not against electronics but I believe if the music I’m playing can be more natural, then it will be more spiritual.”