On April 10, 2015 Puma Ptah (formerly Ras Puma) dropped his new single titled “One.” It is the first single from his forthcoming EP IN ONE ACCORD which will be released in May 2015 on Christos DC’s Honest Music record label.
Born Christopher Smith in St. Thomas US Virgin Islands, and formerly known as Ras Puma, Puma Ptah remembers writing lyrics from as early as elementary school. His earliest musical memories and inspiration include watching an uncle playing upright bass and guitar in local Mento band, and listening to grandmother perform acoustic songs in front of church and before bedtime. He was encouraged to enter cultural competitions to which his uncle Mungo “Magnus” Niles would be honored for being a leader in preserving cultural folk heritage in the VI, and a musical entertainer who toured the US with his cultural dancers and steel band players being featured in several Hollywood movies in the 60’s.
In 2006 he moved to Virginia where he joined several Virginia based bands which eventually lead to joining the renowned DC-based Thievery Corporation and being featured on their 2011 Culture of Fear album recording songs “Overstand” and “False Flag Dub”. He continues touring with the group, gaining more experience while gracing stages at Austin City Limits, Lallapalooza, Ultra Fest, Governer’s Ball, The Greek Theatre, Red Rocks and many more.
In 2012 he was featured on the The Archives self-titled debut album produced by Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation.
Touring throughout countries like Europe, South America, the US and more, Puma developed a passion for photography which gave him another means of emphasizing his lyrics. This passion has lead him to work with non-profits, mentoring and teaching basic photography skills to elementary and high school youth.
In 2013 he moved back home temporarily in search for a change of pace from the city life, and for inspiration for future solo projects. In 2014 after an official eight year journey and commitment, Puma decided to take the “Ras” off his name and move forward from the faith. At the end of the year he took a solo trip to India that convinced him to change his perspectives on humanity in general, identity, and music.
In 2015 he added the title “Ptah.” He talks about the significance of the new name.
“It generally represents 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.”
Puma is currently recording tracks for the upcoming Thievery Corporation album while moving into the solo world with Christos DC’s Honest Music camp and will release his EP In One Accord in May 2015.