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Afrii Diaspora Dialogue

Barrington Levy


One of the great success stories of the 80’s, arrived on the dancehall scene and swiftly remodeled it in his own image. Although numerous DJ’s and vocalist would rise and fall during this decade, Levy was one of the few with staying power, and he continued releasing massive hits well into the 90’s.

Barrington Levy was born in Clarendon, Jamaica. He formed a band called the Mighty Multitude, with his cousin, Everton Dacres; the pair released "My Black Girl" in 1977. Levy established his solo career the following year with the release of "A Long Time Since We Don't Have No Love"; though the single was a failure, the fourteen-year-old was a popular performer at Jamaican dancehalls. In an August 2014 interview with Midnight Raver, record producer Delroy Wright revealed that it was his brother Hyman Wright who first met Barrington Levy in the mid-1970s through Wade "Trinity" Brammer. According to Delroy Wright, Hyman Wright recorded a host of tracks with Barrington Levy prior to introducing him to Henry "Junjo" Lawes. These tracks would eventually appear on the album Bounty Hunter, which was released on the Jah Life record label. Both record producers recorded several singles with the Roots Radics, including "Al Yah We Deh", "Looking My Love", "Englishman", "Skylarking", "Wedding Ring Aside" and "Collie Weed", all of which became hits and established Levy's career. Levy's next few singles were similarly successful, including "Shine Eye Girl", "Wicked Intention", "Jumpy Girl", "Disco Music", "Reggae Music", "Never Tear My Love Apart", "Jah", "You Made Me So Happy" and "When You're Young and in Love". Levy then recorded several duets with Toyan, Jah Thomas and Trinity, and appeared at Reggae Sunsplash in 1980 and 1981. Although albums were not terribly important in Jamaica at the time, Levy released four albums before 1980: Shaolin Temple, Bounty Hunter, Shine Eye Gal (United Kingdom) and Englishman, a critically acclaimed record. His success led to many earlier studio and sound system performances being reissued without his consent, releases he described as "joke business".

By the time his 1980 album Robin Hood was released, Levy was one of the biggest Jamaican stars, and saw his international fame growing as well, especially in the United Kingdom. Levy made his debut as a producer on the rare 1981 showcase album titled Run Come Ya, which was issued on the Canadian Puff Records label.

In the 1990s, Levy continued to release periodic hits in Jamaica, and more rarely in the UK, although his vocals were sampled and used in many underground and released jungle tunes. On 20 June 1991, he appeared on the BBC One music show Top of the Pops alongside Rebel MC (Congo Natty) and Tenor Fly as his track "Here I Come" was sampled by Rebel MC, with the record becoming the UK Top 40 hit "Tribal Base".

Barrington Levy continues to tour extensively, selling out shows all over the world. He is currently working on an album which will be titled “Its About Time” and he has said it will be his last. This album will feature artist like Damion Marley, Buji Banton, Beres Hammond, Heavy D and a lot more surprises. He expresses love and appreciation to all his fans across the world and looks forward to seeing you in future events.

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Afrii-Diaspora Dialogue

A Platform for Dialogue for the African diaspora

A cultural and community website with a GO.A.L. to UpLift™ and EmPower™ the many different peoples, cultures, and communities of the Black and African diasporas.

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