Submitted by Sandy Graham
In the 1990s Chris Birkett was working around the clock as the UK’s go-to-producer/engineer working on legendary projects, such as Sinead O’Connor’s album I Do Not Want What I Have Not Got, that featured the massive hit single, Nothing Compares 2 U. With artists and labels taking most of his time Birkett had little to spare for his two young children.
Feeling he was missing key moments in their life, the Toronto-based renaissance artist reflects on the importance of work-life balance with his heartwarming new single “Hear The Angels Sing.” Birkett wrote the opening lyrics late one night as his career was taking shape.
Why does it take all of my time,
To go out there and be someone?
There’s nothing left at the end of the line
Nothing left for the ones that you love.
“It’s a question and sentiment people are feeling today” says Birkett. “The music and lyrics of Hear the Angels Sing are an example of angelic gifts, especially during the holiday season.”
Birkett’s musical expertise is on full display with his signature cadence on the latest studio recording. When talking about the sweet sound of music, Birkett explains that his songs “come through me, not from me.”
In the three decades that have passed since the original lyric came to him, Birkett has amassed countless musical accolades. This includes but is not limited to the release of his first solo album “Men from the Sky,” relocation to the South of France with his wife and children and opening a studio.
When talking about “Hear The Angels Sing,” Birkett says “This song was one of the many I have heard listening to the sounds around me. Music is a gift and is everywhere. You just have to listen.”
Listen on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/album/4wz5jgftugoGcOG5IbPQ1y?si=Fo7dshdORm61TLYyN4o4CA&nd=1
Drawing on lyrical ideas he manifested long ago, Birkett returned to the original verse that changed his life’s course forever. He finished the song with words of enlightenment and reflection, coming from more than 30 years of spiritual study and songwriting.
Chris finished the lyrics and music to Hear the Angels Sing in 2021 and began a search for a choir to sing the chorus. On Easter Sunday in 2022, he attended one of the only churches holding in-person services. Chris approached the music director, Lianne Tan. She was open to the idea and began rehearsing with the sensational choir to record the song with Chris earlier this year.
This Christmas release and video is the resulting collaboration, featuring the West Plains United Church Choir from Burlington, Ontario.
Birkett is a multi-talented, award-winning producer, singer/songwriter, composer, and sound engineer. His music collaborations with A-list international artists like Sinead O’Connor, Alison Moyet, Dexys Midnight Runners, Talking Heads, The Pogues, Bob Geldof, Quincy Jones, Mel Brooks and Steve Earle. Birkett’s projects have sold over 100 million records and earned four JUNOs, a Grammy, a Polaris Music Prize and three international AMPEX Golden Reel Awards for excellence in the music business.
Birkett’s 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.
Birkett is currently creating new recordings for a range of talented Canadian and European musicians and mentoring and producing Inuit artists through the Hitzmaker’s label.