Today I saw the deeply sad news that Chris Lewis had passed on. Myself and the team from King of the Beats are heartbroken and would like to pass on our sincere condolences to you Sasha and the family & friends of Chris.
King of the Beats what it became and what it is today would not of happened the way it did if it was not for Chris. I got introduced to Chris about 2009/10 by Kev DaKosta I believe. It was a long time ago.
I had 10 years before made the film King of the Beats featuring The Creators, P Brothers, Beyond There, The Nextmen & The Unsung Heroes. The film’s concept, the challenge of digging for records and producing something with just a budget of £20 ten years later still intrigued people. This led me to create the format for a live event which I was able to package and present alongside a tour with Mikey D from the Hip Hop Group Main Source.
When I went to London to meet Chris, Sasha and see the venue I was met with such positive and supportive energy. Chris himself was an avid record collector and also had a history with the city of Birmingham from when he was a student if I remember correctly.
We quickly formed a very strong friendship and The Vibe Bar became the home of King of the Beats. Chris & Sasha introduced me and the crew to everyone. Every member of staff got to know us. From that point The Vibe Bar became a meeting place for years.
Chris invested so much energy into supporting the event and doing everything within his power to make the event a success, it was clear he personally loved the concept of KOTB. Chris infact was the first person we gave an award to for all his support and effort.
There was a lot of us involved with the event. Sparkii Ski the host, DJ Devestate, Cutmaster Swift, Malcome. the Steel Devils, Keith, Jay King, A.Dee, Pogo, Tha 4Orce and so on. Whatever money we made we split between us. After a course of shows the next step was to start the record label. This was to give artists passing through a platform to have their music pressed on wax. This happened because of Chris’s & Sasha support. After years of working together, the Venue was taken over and Chris and Sasha moved on. Our last gig there was done under the new management. Things were not the same.
Chris had moved onto a new pasture and I got caught up in my divorce. We kept in touch via social media and would drop messages to each other from time to time. waking up this morning to see that Chris has passed is devastating as I’m not going to be able to speak to him anymore. He was such a good person. Real honest. He cared about you and how you were. He cared and had a passion for music and the arts. He was a musician. He is part of my journey and nothing can ever take him away from that.
All of us here, are deeply saddened. I personally want to pay tribute to Chris Lewis a really important part of this story. Never to be forgotten.