Peer to Peer with Bobby Chin From Black Chiney Sound

One of the most accomplished Sounds in the Sound System Fraternity is Black Chiney.

Between their history of classic remixes, to performing in almost every country around the world, to producing music for the world to enjoy, to winning GRAMMY awards, Black Chiney Sound has done it all.

Bobby Chin sat down with us to talk about his latest life development.

VP:  Your vision has become a central focus recently.  Can you tell us the reason why?

BC:  Let me tell you my condition first … I have detached retina’s in both eyes.  I tried to repair both eyes but it was unsuccessful.  I eventually registered with the Jamaica Society for the Blind.  I lived in Miami for a time, then I was in Belize, then I moved back home to Jamaica to live with my sister where I could get better care.

It was very hard for me in the beginning.  I was suicidal.  I wasn’t born this way so it was difficult to adjust.  I am in a much better place now.

VP:  As you became aware of your condition, you became involved with the Jamaica Society for the Blind.  Tell us about the society’s impact on you.

BC:  A part of losing your vision is acceptance.  A part of my acceptance was to register with the Jamaica Society for the Blind.  They taught me how to use the computer and my cell phone.  They taught me to be proficient and independent.  I learned to walk with a cane; to do my grocery shopping, to take the bus – all the things I did when I had my vision.

VP:  Your attitude is inspiring.  Who are some of the people that keep you motivated?

BC:  Ms. Braithwaite is my computer teacher.  I thought about Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles and Jimmy Cliff who is fully blind – they inspire me.  I have a group called Vision Friends and we do everything that seeing people do.  We go on beach trips, I play music for the group, we celebrate birthday’s and more.  We socialize a lot!

VP:  Has being blind changed how you hear music? 

BC:  When you lose one sense, another intensifies.  My knowledge of music came before I lost my vision so thankfully I am able to produce.  Losing my vision has not changed how I hear but it has intensified what I hear.  I should tell you that I have produced a track for Rhianna  which will be on her album that is coming out.  I am very excited about that! 

VP:  What are some of the other music projects you’re working on?

BC:  I have a few new riddims coming.  I have a song with Marcia Griffiths and Notch.  I have some work with Buju, and songs with some of my friends who are blind.

VP:  Do you think the Dancehall Fraternity will push your music because of your condition?

BC:  No, and I hope not.  They will push the music because it’ good music.

VP:  We get the impression that this condition has empowered you in an unexpected way.  Do you have a Superman cape?

BC:  I have to give the impression that I am strong – and I am.  There are moments where I ask ‘am I really going to live the rest of my life like this?’  When I hear of other people’s stories of how they became blind, and those stories make me strong.

There are three words to remember … granted; never take your health for granted.  The second word is gratitude.  Always be grateful.  The last word is faith.  This situation has made my faith in God stronger.

VP:  What are three stand-out moments in your career?

BC:  My Rhianna track, my 12 trips to Japan and the first time I went to Africa to DJ with Beyonce; Lagos, Nigeria to be exact.

VP:  Are you still active with dates on the sound?

BC:  Yes I still play out but I work with a sighted selector.  When I am on the stage, I cannot see, but I feel and hear the energy from the crowd.  I am thankful for music.  I also want to say a special big up to Miss Pat, Chris, Randy and Aaron who keep the music going forward.