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Christopher Smith formerly known as Ras Puma was born in St Thomas, US Virgin Islands. His earliest musical memories and inspiration include watching his uncle playing upright bass and guitar in local Mento band and listening to grandmother perform acoustic songs. He was encouraged to enter cultural competitions to which his uncle Mungo “Magnus” Niles would be honored for preserving cultural folk heritage in the Virgin Islands and as an entertainer who toured the US and is featured in several Hollywood movies in the 60’s.
In 2006 he moved to Virginia where he joined several Local bands which eventually lead to joining the renowned DC based outfit Thievery Corporation and was featured on their “Culture of Fear” and “Temple Of I and I” albums.”
In 2012 he was featured on the critically acclaimed debut album by “The Archives”, produced by Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation.
Touring throughout various countries worldwide, Puma developed a passion for photography which gave him another means of emphasizing his lyrics. This passion led him to work with non-profits, mentoring and teaching basic photography skills to elementary and high school youth.
In 2014 after an official 8-year journey and commitment, Puma decided to take the “Ras” off his title and move forward from the Rastafarian way of life. He added the title “Ptah” which generally represented craftsmanship and the creativity of artisans in Kemetic society, but originated with the ability to transform raw scattered thoughts and ideas, and manifest a dynamic use of organized words and thoughts.
His debut album “In One Accord” (Honest Music), released May 29, 2015 to critical acclaim and was featured on the top banner at Itunes. “With this release, I’m beginning my attempt to remind myself and others of a fundamental sense of humanity”. Puma expresses. “These songs are affirmations that serve as reminders and motivation to look forward to change.”
Official Website: HonestmMusicDC.com/Puma-Ptah