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» BREAKING NEWS, GUEST RUNDOWNS » CHRIS CHIN, PRESIDENT OF VP RECORDS, TO GET JAMAICA’S NATIONAL HONOR OCTOBER 17!

CHRIS CHIN, PRESIDENT OF VP RECORDS, TO GET JAMAICA’S NATIONAL HONOR OCTOBER 17!

By Howard Campbell— 

 Chris Chin (left), VP president, shares lens time with music producer Donovan Germain at a recent event.—

Chris Chin was still a teenager when his parents, Vincent and Pat, opened VP Records in Queens, New York in 1979. Having grown up in the family’s Randys record store in Kingston, it seemed he was already a music industry veteran.

Chin is now president of VP, arguably the most successful independent label in contemporary music. The all-reggae company has distributed and marketed the music’s biggest names and helped expose dancehall to the American mainstream during the 1990’s.

In his mid-50s, Chin has led the transformation of VP from ‘mom and pop’ company to a powerhouse ‘indie’. It has helped put artists like Beenie Man, Sean Paul, Shabba Ranks, Wayne Wonder, Tanto Metro and Devonte and Gyptian on the Billboard pop charts.

Under Chin’s stewardship, VP has expanded to include a distribution outlet (VPAL) and publishing arm. The latter venture took place in 2008 when VP bought the Greensleeves Records catalogue which includes some of the biggest albums in 1980’s dancehall.

 VPRecords:logo

Citing those achievements, the Jamaican government has awarded him the Order of Distinction (Commander Class) which he will receive on October 17 during the annual National Honors and Awards ceremony at King’s House in St Andrew.

Music producer Donovan Germain has known Chin since the early days of VP. He believes he has matured into a shrewd businessman with an open-door policy.

“He brings an understanding nature to the business. Chris is willing to compromise and reach the best deal in everyone’s best interest,” Germain told

Splash.

Some artists argue that they have not always been well served by VP, but Germain insists the company is still the best bet for Jamaican acts looking to break into the lucrative American pop market.

“VP has done great things for people like Sean Paul, Wayne Wonder and Tanto Metro and Devonte. Miss Pat took the label to a certain level then passed the baton to Chris who took it to the mainstream,” he said.

Pat Chin

Pat Chin

Vincent ‘Randy’ Chin started Randys in the early 1960’s. With his wife and eldest son Clive, he recorded some of the leading artists of the Ska and rocksteady eras including The Skatalites, Peter Tosh and Lord Creator, and operated an in-demand recording studio of the same name in downtown Kingston.

Vincent Chin

Vincent Chin

When he died in 2003, VP was rubbing shoulders with the major labels. Chris and his younger brother Randy spearhead operations at VP, which also has an office in South Florida.

Double Grammy winner Shabba Ranks, William ‘Bunny Rugs’ Clarke – former lead singer of Third World, and Gregory Isaacs will also be awarded the OD in the Officer Class.

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