Come to musical feast, urges legend Levy
Barrington Levy is Too Experienced to be taken for a ride, makes Money Move and grows Black Roses in his garden for a hobby.
Ok, so I am getting a bit ahead of myself here.
However, there is no denying that the Jamaican reggae singer who is among the main attractions of the 2015 Cup Match Summer Splash is one of the most prolific artists of the music genre and a legend in his own right.
Mr Levy has produced numerous hit songs during an illustrious career spanning several decades and at 51 is showing no signs of slowing down.
So where did his path to stardom begin?
“I was singing in the bush, or sticks as we call it in Jamaica, at the tender age of ten years old,” Mr Levy told The Royal Gazette.
“A lady passing by heard me, took my hand and told my mother ‘Ms Levy, this boy can sing!’ She was my first fan. To this day her inspiration and belief in my talent is remembered.”
Mr Levy’s debut solo single A Long Time Since We Don’t Have No Love crashed and burned.
But the failure did not discourage the then teenaged singer who would eventually make the big breakthrough after teaming up with producers Henry ‘Junjo’ Lawes and Hyman ‘Jah Life’ Wright and cutting vynyl at the iconic King Tubby’s Studio.
Mr Levy has gone on to bigger and better things since those early days. But his advice to young people in terms of pursuing their dreams remains the same.
“Follow it to the end and do not let anyone stop what you believe can become a reality,” he said. “Give it your all and take any negativity and use it as fuel to push you.”
Another source of inspiration during the earlier years of Mr Levy’s career was late reggae singer Dennis Brown, aka the Prince of Reggae.
Brown’s hit tune, Money In My Pocket is one of Mr Levy’s favourites.
“Dennis Brown had so many great songs,” he said.
“This one in particular was an inspiration given where I was at that time in my life. There are many different genres where I draw motivation and creativity.”
As well as musical talent, Mr Levy possesses a great sense of humour.
“I am too big to be a jockey and too small to be a sumo wrestler,” he joked when asked what other career choice he might have pursued if he didn’t make it as a singer.
“I can’t imagine doing anything else. I have found my calling and I have followed that.”
Whenever he’s not on tour or working in the studio, there’s a good chance you might find the reggae star cooking up a storm in the kitchen.
“I am dangerous in the kitchen,” Mr Levy declared. “You name it, I can cook it.”
Mr Levy’s distinctive voice has withstood the test of time and is just as poignant today as it was when he first emerged on the reggae scene in the late 1970s as his latest album Acousticalevy attests.
“These songs were all re-recorded,” Mr Levy said. “All of them sound as good if not better than when I first recorded them. I have taken good care of my voice and some argue that it sounds better today after all these years.”
Along with Morgan Heritage, Mr Levy will kick off the 2015 Cup Match Summer Splash during this Saturday’s “One Love, One Life” concert at Par-la-Ville car park.
“Barrington Levy is coming to entertain and satisfy my fans,” he said. “Don’t wake up the next day and hear about the performance of a lifetime. Don’t say woulda, coulda, shoulda.
“Come out and bring your queen to a musical spectacle, you will not be disappointed. Trust me.”