For 33-year-old film director Christopher ‘Icey Jace’ Campbell, watching music videos as a child was merely a hobby, and never in a million years did he ever imagine the day would come when he would be behind the camera.
“Growing up in the early 90s, cable TV was a privilege I didn’t have outside of the few stations we would pick up from the neighbours,” Campbell said.
One of those stations was B.E.T, which would showcase the best hip hop and R&B music videos, something Campbell found a special interest in.
After graduating from Jamaica College and later Excelsior Community College (EXED), Campbell landed his first job at RBTT Bank (Sagicor Bank) in Kingston, Jamaica.
“I started working shortly after (getting the offer), but I was still searching for something I was passionate about because banking just wasn’t it,” Campbell said.
As fate would have it, he would meet someone who would bring him closer to his true purpose.
“I was still searching for something I was passionate about because banking just wasn’t it.”– Chris Campbell
“I remember there was always this one customer who would come in with two phones in her hand, and they were always ringing. Months later, I found out it was Sharon Burke of Solid Agency,” he said.
After months of interning, Burke offered him a job at her agency.
“I started out doing bios for artistes, but in no time, I basically made a name for myself there as the go-to person for promotions,” Campbell said.
Three years later, Campbell would add video production to his resume.
“The first video camera I ever held was put in my care by Sharon Burke to do endorsement videos for her Fully Loaded, and after that, I just couldn’t stop shooting,” he said.
“I remember one day Elephant Man asked me to do a video drop, and we ended up shooting a low budget music video that day. That was when I knew this is what I really wanted to do.”
“The first video camera I ever held was put in my care by Sharon Burke to do endorsement videos for her Fully Loaded.”– Chris Campbell
His next big gig was doing the music video for Leftside’s popular track, Phat P*nani. That project also led to him working with Baby Cham.
With the requests now rolling in, Campbell decided to form his video production company, Icey Jace Film Factory. And in 2010, he won the Director Avante Garde award at the CariVibeTV Awards.
“Prior to that award, I would often feel like the good work would go unnoticed. But it shows that often times people are paying attention,” Campbell said.
Years later, with videos for big names artistes like Wayne Wonder, Spice,
Ding Dong, Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Jah Cure, Queen Ifrica and Charly
Black to his credit, Campbell would again receive public accolades with
two nominations at the 2017 and 2018 YVA Awards, first for Director of
the Year, and then for Video Concept of the Year.