How A Chinese Family Influenced VP Records, Bob Marley And Jamaica

How A Chinese Family Influenced VP Records, Bob Marley And Jamaica
How A Chinese Family Influenced VP Records, Bob Marley And Jamaica
VP Records, based in Jamaica, Queens in New York City, is a pioneering force in the reggae music industry. From reggae to dancehall and soca, VP Records is the only record label that represents the full spectrum of Caribbean music. For over 30 years, VP has stayed true to its roots, always serving its core audience first while moving swiftly to keep up with the sounds of the street.
Additionally, with the international success of artists such as Sean Paul, Wayne Wonder, Elephant Man, and Gyptian, to name a few, VP has expanded its foothold in presenting Caribbean culture to the mainstream audience worldwide as the demand for reggae, dancehall, and soca rises to new heights.
It all began over 50 years ago with reggae pioneers Vincent Chin and his wife Patricia (their initials leading to the name “VP”), in their native land of Kingston, Jamaica. Mr. Chin received his first taste of the music business maintaining the jukeboxes at bars around the island. This led his creative and enterprising mind to recognize the opportunity to sell the old records that would otherwise be discarded for new ones. The entrepreneurial couple quickly learned hands-on the business of music merchandising.
In 1958, the success of the Chin’s jukebox record venture led to the opening of a landmark retail store at 23 Parade, Randy’s Records in downtown Kingston. Within a few years, the Chins opened Studio 17, a production facility frequented by legendary artists Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Gregory Isaacs, and others. In the mid-70s, the Chins moved to America and brought their business along with them to service the growing Caribbean market in the US.
VP Records currently operates out of its headquarters located in Jamaica, Queens with offices also in Florida, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Jamaica. Its flagship retail store, also located in Jamaica, Queens, sells not only VP productions but provides a retail outlet for Caribbean music on the whole.
With sons Christopher Chin and Randy Chin overseeing the operations of VP Records, Greensleeves Records that was acquired in 2007, and re-issue label 17 North Parade that was created in 2007, the company still follows suit with the family’s original mission of providing a channel for Caribbean music globally. Founder Patricia Chin also remains part of the day-to-day operations after launching the label’s clothing line, Riddim Driven, in 2005.
The company has since expanded its reach by offering distribution services to non-VP productions through its VP Associated Label or VPAL distribution venture, which was implemented in 2011.