Tugging on our emotional strings is something a great musician is well-versed in, and it is one of the qualities that come somewhat naturally to 20-year-old Chris Ramphal.
Chris hails from the village of Adelphi in East Canje, Berbice and has been singing for a number of years now. Like most singers he has a back story of how he got into music and credits the push he received in church as one of the driving forces.
The former Tagore Memorial Secondary School student remembers life not being so easy for him and his family. His father was a sugar worker and after Chris finished school, he did not have time to sit around and decide what he wanted to do with his life.
Though still young, Chris says he immediately started working in a supermarket, because he needed to supplement his family’s income, but deep within, he always felt somewhat empty because of the need to be in a better job.
“I grew up in a middle-class family and we were happy, because we had each other. I realised that I needed to make something out of myself, so I always try to do my best at what I did. One year later (after working at the supermarket), I got a call from Nand Persaud and Company Limited for a job interview which I passed and [am] currently working there at the moment. That was the happiest moment of my life, because I know with this opportunity I would be able to make a name out of myself,” he said.
Reminiscing on how he got into music, Chris said that he first started in the church singing gospel, because as a church leader he needed to set an example for the younger members. However, music was not new to him, since he grew up in a family that deeply appreciated music.
He got more into singing after he recorded a song called “Tere Bin”, which basically translates to “Without You” as after that he was booked for performances in the Ancient County. Ever since, he has been blazing his own trail and is now stepping into the local Chutney arena.
“I knew I would’ve been a great singer, because of my love for music and I had people who pushed me to it. Being in a field of music requires a tough skin, because there is always a competition; all you have to do is learn how to deal with disappointments and continue to work towards your goals,” he notes.
Chris’s entry track for this year’s Chutney Monarch Competition is called “Sundar Larki”, and it has already snagged him a place in the semi-finals. He notes that the song title translates to “beautiful girl” and the record not only speaks to physical attraction but also urges persons to follow their dreams.
Patrons can see Ramphal and other contenders perform at the Chutney contest rehearsals at the bandstand, Kingston Seawall on January 27. The semi-finals of the Chutney Monarch Competition are slated for February 10 at the Bath Settlement Community Centre Ground, and the final is booked for February 17 at the Anna Regina Community Centre, Essequibo Coast.