Sierra Nevada World Music Festival 1998

Levi Roots

Levi Roots began his musical movements with the great Sir Coxsone sound system, beginning as a (toaster) MC before starting a long career as one of England's leading voices of Roots and Culture.

His debut recording was produced by the Great Lloyd Coxsone, "Poor Man Story," which was mixed by the great Dennis Bovell, this was to become one of Levi's all-time best sellers. A decade later this same track was covered by a dance duo and entered into the pop charts. Levi then went on to form his own backing band in the early '80s called Matic 16, recording there first track "Jahovah" and signing to Jimmy Lynsey's record label Music Hive.

"Jahovah" instantly became an underground classic when popular sound system Jah Shaka supported Levi's music. Levi, together with the two principal members of Matic 16--Patrick and Henry (buttons) Tenyue--began to build up a following at the many live shows they performed. Levi was now a live singer with his own band.

Levi then went on to set up his own label Conqueror Records and recorded and released the band's second single "Say You Want Me." Unfortunately, lack of promotion affected sales, caused by the band's heavy schedule. During this period, the band worked with and supported some of Jamaica's leading artists: Sugar Minnott, Junior Reid, Half Pint, Yamini Bolo before splitting up in 1985.

Levi Roots' solo career took a step forward when he began working with Philip Burrell, the supreme of Exterminator Records. They recorded "It Ah Fi Bun" and "Shashamane City" with Sly and Robbie in Jamaica, released on Levi's Conqueror label.



 
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