Chris Birkett is a multi-talented, award winning producer, singer/songwriter, composer and sound engineer. His music collaborations with A-list artists like Sinead O’Connor, Alison Moyet, Dexys Midnight Runners, Talking Heads, The Pogues, Bob Geldof, Quincy Jones, Mel Brooks, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and Steve Earle have sold over 100 million records and earned four Canadian Junos, a Grammy, a Polaris Music Prize and three international AMPEX Golden Reel Awards for excellence in the music business.
His career began as a guitarist, playing in London clubs before touring with Memphis artists Rufus Thomas, Ann Peebles and King Floyd. At 23, Chris was performing with the pop group Love Affair, whose song “Everlasting Love” ruled the UK charts. The following year, he joined the band Omaha Sheriff who had just signed a major recording deal with Tony Visconti, manager of Good Earth Records and producer for David Bowie and the Moody Blues.
With Visconti as a mentor, Chris expanded his career to include producing, engineering and mixing many UK and international hits including Sinead O’Connor’s #1 song “Nothing Compares 2 U”. His London studio was a beehive of activity that was rated #2 in the world on Billboard’s top studio charts.
At the same time, Chris’ own single “Where Do We Go From Here?” was picked by Ed Bicknell (Dire Straits’ manager) to play alongside U2, Peter Gabriel, Bob Marley, Tears for Fears and Queen on Polygram’s “One Voice One Love” album.
In 1993, Chris left the UK for France and built a recording studio inside his chateau near Bordeaux. There he produced albums with the Buena Vista Social Club and other world-class musicians, including Etran Finatawa, whose debut album was nominated for a 2006 BBC Radio best world music award. He then moved his studio to Paris, where he released his second album, “Freedom” and received growing acclaim for his work with world musicians like Algerian sensation Ali Amran.
Chris is no stranger to Canadian music, having co-produced award winning albums for the legendary Buffy Sainte-Marie, including her comeback album “Coincidence and Likely Stories” (1992) and the Juno winning “Running for the Drum” (2009).
In 2012, he moved to Canada, opened a recording studio in Toronto and finished work on his third album “Be Creative” featuring performances from many talented Canadian artists including Glen Milchem (Blue Rodeo) and Rick Emmett (Triumph). Now a permanent resident of Canada, Chris’ latest credit is co-producer of Buffy Sainte-Marie’s Polaris and Juno award winning album “Power in the Blood” (2016) and the recent Juno winner, Medicine Songs (2017), both for True North Records.
Chris is currently busy performing at venues across Toronto, creating an original musical, Age of Awakening, based on his music, and creating new recordings for a range of talented Canadian musicians.
I learned about the Urantia book from Buffy Sainte Marie, who is an artist I have been producing since 1992. The book has helped me consolidate years of spiritual questing as a member of The Gurdjieff society in London for 15 years, on to an International student of the Alice Bailey teaching, studying Sufism, and Tibetan Buddhism, and many other “isms” all of which led me to this life changing book. Most of my music compositions reflect the influence of the Urantia book.
Videos & Music from Chris Birkett
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada