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Chris Bonafide

Born in St. Andrew, Jamaica, West Indies with muzik all around him from birth and always love singing,the artist Chris Bonafide who attended St. Francis Kindergarten & Elementary School and Meadowbrook High School, was already influenced by all forms of music. Throughout his family life and among friends he's always singing and entertaining. Debon Panton, a high school friend and paramilitary colleage had brought to Chris's attention the idea of starting a drum corp for their high school Cadet Unit. When it all was set up, their Unit and Drum Corp came second place in the island's annual paramilitary competion. Though his love for instruments are very strong and passionate, also being inspired and influenced by a fellow student Maureen Lopez and the late Augstus Pablo to play the piano, the singing was never left out at all. The love of the bugle and trumpet had gotten him in to music classes, learning to read music with the Jamaica Defence Force Military Band. Though he did not fully pursue the classes, he never stop working in music from ground to top, continuously working his way in any area possible. At the time of assisting with establishing the drum corp, Debon Panton, the artists Chris Bonafide and other were now founding members of their high school first paramilitary music body and they also were the founding members of the first female cadet unit in the history of The Jamaica Combined Cadet Force.
Chris Bonafide's first onstage performance was also at his high school. There he sang the song " Killing me softly" by Roberto Flask. The showcase was backed by the band 'Bloodfire Posse'. On stage also was a class mate of his, now actor Michael Ralph, the brother of George Tim Ralph and Acting Diva Sheryl Lee Ralph. His second major performance was at another high school name Campion, for another fund raising concert. Even his long time high scool friend Debon, after so many decades, recently reminded Chris Bonafide about that show when Chris became known as a 'Master Of Ceremony' for the first time. This was more of an accident to Chris Bonafide who had been working on the dicsjockey end for the fundraiser with his neighbour and friend Fabion as well as being a singer in the concert. The Master of Ceremony, Sharon Dimontenaq, who actually had gotten him his part to sing in the concert, had taken off on some other job right at the opening of the concert, leaving him with the microphone in hand as the curtains opened. He also went on to performing at other high schools concerts and dance contests throughout the city, coordinating, judging and winning 2 dance contests respectively. Along with becoming a master of ceremony and singer, he was also one of the first disco rappers of his time. This was by then in the late '70 when Rapper's Delight' by Grandmaster Flash/SugerHilll Gang and 'These are the Breaks' by Curtis Blow were the new incoming tunes called Rap. He is amongst the earliest record sales person and Disc-jockey to introduce 'Rap' muzik to the island's entertainment scene, thanks to his beloved friends Andrew Edmondson, Tony and Chris Jarrett from 'Oddessy' Sound Systems, who Bonafide had met while working at "Vibrarions" in Hardware & Lumber Store, Manor Park Plaza, an upscale shopping center in the foothills of St. Andrew residential vicinity. These friends, Tony Jarrett, Andrew Edmonson and Chris Jarrett had opened another door and genre of music for him, which, as he has always done, magnetize his heart and soul to new music. He always spoke of another friend,Michael Griffiths who told him "Rap music would be taking over the market of the music industry". The artist and his musical peers are use to the creating of lyrics and listening to the beats of the time. There was the group 'Native', which had release a LP during that time and he links ever so often with one of the group members 'Native Wayne' at reggae events in California who is a radio show host/discjockey for the radio station Indie 103FM.
By 1980, Bonafide had been requested by students of the Holy Childhood High School Student Council Comittee to be the Master Of Ceremony for their Variety Concert Christmas Showcase, only to found out on the day of the show that he would, not be Master of Ceremony, but the legendary Baga Brown, one Jamaica's reknown and formal Master of Ceremony was to M. C. the show. None the less, due to Mr. Bagga Brown's delay, Chris Bonafide opened the show and introduced Mr. Bagga Brown after the intermission, who hosted the second half of the show. Though this was the begining of another stage in his musical journey, he also sought his spiritual side of life on a everyday basis loving his kind of reggae, 'roots and culture' music along all the other music genre he had been already exposed to. Bonafide took a more deeper journey into people's cultures and their unifying similarities, taking his spiritual growth to another level. He also ran a business in silk-screening " BusinessMate" with his family friend Jeff Schatzman, first in Seymore Land, St. Andrew a residential area in the capital where the embassies are located and in Trelawney, getting closer to the vacations spots on the north coast to expose the company's artistic works.
"Got to listen to all kind of music", says Bonafide regarding his influences by international music from youth. His appreciation to all genre of music had to do with his parents and older siblings. They opened up his eyes early to all kind of cultural entertainment, musical exposures, potencials and opportunities. "There was no choice but to love the artists' music of all cultures like Mario Lanza, Nat "King" Cole, Perry Como, Brook Benton, Louis Armstrong , Louis Jordan, Lennon Sister, Pat Boone, Sam Cooke, Ben E. King, Eddie Kendricks, Otis Reddings, Englebert Humperdink, Tom Jones, The Platter, Drifter, Temptations, Neil Diamond, Cat Stephens, Simon and Garfunkel, Bobby Caldwell, Tina Marie, Roberta Flack , Aretha Frankiln, Gladys Night and The Pips, Ojay, Stylistics, Chilites, Earth, Wind And Fire, Isley Brothers, Elvis Presley, Tina Marie, Sade, Everlyn Chanpagne King, Denise Williams, Nina Simone, The Whispers, Rolls Royce, Neville Brothers, Mighty Sparrow, The Merrymen, Santana, Jose Feliciano, Sergio Mendez, Freddie Fender and obviously there too many for me to mention" said the artist as he list from his memory to the many critics and fans alike. All these artists had opened his heart and soul more, in such a manner that he now coined them all as members of the " Universal Harmony", a term he call the common ground for the unity of all cultures, through music.

Music By Chris Bonafide