Colin Levy’s musical journey has taken him to fans and audiences far and wide, from the Caribbean to North America, Europe and Africa.
Always, he is humbled by their appreciation of the music he creates and delivers to them, and has made it his duty to give his best at all times.
Probably that’s why it took as much as seven years to complete his latest album, “Unleashed.”
He told the CONTACT that it was important to him that he elevated to another level with this project.
And to do that he brought together a stellar list of producers such as Dean Fraser, Willie Lindo, Stephen Marley, Danny Axe-Man and Mighty Mike to deliver some musical heft to go with his collaborations with other big-name artistes such as Marcia Griffiths, Anthony B, Lady Saw, G. Forest and Turbulence.
The result is an album that offers 17 tracks of conscious reggae with a highly- palatable sound flavored by the many professional hands and voices that participated in its creation.
Levy says he’s confident that fans of reggae music will find that it was worth the wait.
Unleashed is the third album for the artist, formerly known as Iley Dread, who honed his musical talent as a singer, songwriter, musician and producer here in Montreal.
His two other releases, A Friend For Life (2001) and Unite The People (2009) also featured collaborations with several reggae music luminaries and earned him widespread acclaim in the industry. His first single, Flowers in My Garden, was recognized as the Best Reggae Song at the Juno Awards in 1998.
All three albums were produced under his King of Kings record label.
Looking back, Levy says the bond he formed with Montreal will always be a solid one.
It was here that he connected with music producer Bevin Jackson, the man he describes as his “mentor and advisor.”
“I was working at my brother’s restaurant, Rainbow Ites, where I met Bevin at some of the reggae shows that held there,” he says. “He realized that I had been writing music, he listened to some of my work and encouraged me not only to record them but to form my own record label.”
Jackson died in an automobile accident before his first album was released.
After establishing King of Kings, Levy moved back and forth between Jamaica and Canada, working with various artistes. He also toured extensively, bringing his music to fans on different continents.
He says family obligations drew him away from the music scene for a bit over the past few years but is happy to be back, and is looking forward to making his way back to Montreal for the release of Unleashed, which he describes as a milestone album.
“There’s something special about this one that took me seven years to complete and offers seventeen tracks to my fans,” he says.
He’s also excited to be accompanied by the legendary Judy Mowatt who earned international acclaim as part of the back-up trio for Bob Marley, the I Threes, for the launch event that will be staged at Le Belmont in downtown Montreal (4483 St-Laurent Blvd.).
He will also be joined by JUNO Award winners Exco Levi and Mikey Dangerous, Fire Lion, Jah Cutta, Ras Demo, Chrisinti and Totally Blaze. Also appearing will be Riddimwise and the Little Thunder Sound Crew.