One could say that Christos DC, aka Christopher Vrenios, has taken an obvious path to musicianship. The son of two prolific opera singers, music was more than simply an art, it was a way of life with him from the cradle. When he chanced upon reggae at an early age, it stayed with him – so much so that he ditched his behind-the-scenes ventures for center stage.

“After graduating from audio school, I quickly realized I wanted to be a musician and not an engineer,” he said.

Propelled by the warm Jamaican notes that had taken up permanent residence in his spirit, Christos arrived on the reggae scene soon after, working with robust names like Sly and Robbie, The Firehouse Crew, and Augustus Pablo. After releasing his first full album, Time to Rise, in 2008, he founded the label Honest Music, which propelled him deep into a creative spiral that has yet to simmer down. He has since produced work by Kenyatta Hill, son of Culture great Joseph Hill; St. Thomas artist Puma Ptah; and reggae icon and Black Uhuru co-founder/vocalist Don Carlos. He has also released the album Long Road.

“I feel my sound is unique in that I blend roots reggae with elements of jazz,” he said. “I don’t try to copy any styles vocally but just want my voice to be an extension of the music – I try to sing from my heart and not be a vocal acrobat.”

Christos is no stranger to Bossa, though with his hectic touring schedule and stacked deck of artistic ventures these days, it’s been a while since he’s lent the room his happening vibes. All that changes on Thursday, December 10th, when local boy makes good and Christos returns to stir it up, backed by his Honest Music Ensemble.

“I have always liked playing at Bossa,” he said. “People can expect a great show, as I have a truly great group of musicians with me. We plan to play many songs from my last album but also plan to do some new ones, too. I have some special guests coming as well to perform that are some of our great local talents.”

Christos has paid his dues in the industry, and it’s paying off: The rest of the world is catching on to his honest brand of soulful reggae, flying him across borders to indulge in its temperature and swaying pulses in real time. For Christos, the success is hard-won honey, but stardom hasn’t uprooted him.

“I have been in music for a long time now and have been very fortunate to be surrounded by a very talented team of people,” he said. “I see the future of Honest Music being very bright and certainly feel that way about my own music as well. I am truly blessed to do what I love and find it is a means of giving something to people that if it makes them feel good for even a minute, then I have succeeded.”

Don’t miss Christos DC & Honest Music Ensemble live at Bossa!


photo + story © yillah 2015