Barrington Levy

Recognized as the first original singer of the dancehall era and paving the way for generations of artists, Barrington Levy continues his exceptional career.

Barrington Levy was born in Clarendon, Jamaica. At age 14, he was performing in the dancehalls and created a band called the Mighty Multitude with his cousin Everton Dacres. They released the single “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”.

He recorded several singles with the Roots Radics, including “Al Yah We Deh” (his first foreign release), “Looking My Love”, “Englishman”, “Skylarking”, “Wedding Ring Aside” and “Collie Weed”, all of which became hits and set the foundation for Levy’s career.

Producer Henry “Junjo” Lawes saw him singing on a local soundsystem, and brought him to Channel One for the first of many hit singles in 1979. With the Channel One All-Stars and Scientist mixing the finished results at King Tubbys, Barrington made everyone take notice, ushering in the dancehall genre at the same time. Those early singles “A Yah We Deh”, “Shine Eye Gal” and “Moonlight Lover” were instant hits and later collected on his debut album Bounty Hunter which appeared on the Jah Life label in the US. The singles that followed, “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” all found success.

Levy then recorded several duets with Toyan, Jah Thomas and Trinity, and appeared at Reggae Sunsplash in 1980 and 1981. He released four albums before 1980: Shaolin Temple, Bounty Hunter, Shine Eye Gal (United Kingdom) and Englishman, a critically acclaimed record.

The album Englishman on Greensleeves, produced by Junjo, established Barrington as the reggae star of the early ’80’s, eschewing hit singles “Sister Carol”, “Look Youthman”, “Eventide Fire A Disaster” and “Mary Long Tongue”. His third album Robin Hood added to his massive reputation.

In 1983 Levy teamed up with Paul Love, aka Jah Screw, selector for U-Roy’s King Sturgav Sound System in Jamaica and deejay Ranking Joe to record the heavyweight tune “Under Mi Sensi”, which took over England, spending 12 weeks at the top of the UK charts. The song quickly made its way to the States where it also became a hit. “Under Mi Sensi” was the basis for the 1985 dancehall mega-hit “Under Mi Sleng Teng” — primarily credited to Wayne “Jammy” Smith (although Barrington actually created the melody). Levy’s initial live appearances in England created a sensation; his astonishing self-confidence and singing talent drove audiences wild.

In 1984 Junjo produced Barrington’s next album Prison Oval Rock which took the reggae world by storm. Barrington had also shown himself to be a creditable producer in his own right, releasing one track “Deep In The Dark” on his own BL label.

It was closely followed by “Murderer” for Jah Life, and then Barrington and Jah Screw’s “Here I Come” in 1985 which was a national chart hit through a major label deal with London Records, leading to his first UK TV appearances.

Joining forces with Black Scorpio in Jamaica, Barrington created “She’s Mine”, after which he once again collaborated with Jah Screw for a delightful cover of Bob Andy’s Studio One hit “Too Experienced”, which was a hit and inspired a number of other versions which dominated the scene in 1991. This success inspired Mango Records to sign him that year, releasing the album, Divine, to positive reviews.

Following a remarkable performance at Sunsplash 1993, he signed to MCA and released the album Barrington with Sly & Robbie Barrington, encompassing many eclectic styles, and his signature vocals. Albums Nothing’s Changed and then Vice Versa followed and he also branched out to produce artists like Pinchers and Jigsy King.

Barrington’s music was pulled into the nascent jungle/drum & bass scene that was proliferating in the UK. By the summer of 1994 “Under Mi Sensi” and “Two Sounds” were remixed and became jungle anthems.

Duets, an album of remixes, rendered some massive collabs. These included former single “Looking My Love” with Cutty Ranks, the aforementioned “Under Mi Sensi” and “Two Sounds” (with Beenie Man), as well as cuts of “Struggler” (with Reggie Stepper), “Don’t Run Away” (with Spragga Benz), and a remix of “Here I Come”, now a massive combination featuring Mega Banton.

Barrington was larger than life with Bounty Killer on the song “Living Dangerously,” undisputedly the biggest reggae song of 1996, both in Jamaica and the United States, and for months held the #1 spot on the dancehall charts worldwide. In 1998 the album Living Dangerously was released on Breakaway Records, and features tracks with Snoop Doggy Dogg, Bounty Killer, Lady G, Jigsy King, Terror Fabulous, and others.

Throughout his professional appearances, Barrington has shared the stage with a veritable who’s-who of music including: Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, U2, and Snoop Dogg. Barrington continues to record and tour extensively throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. With his unstoppable stream of original material and immediately recognisable voice, Barrington remains at the top of playlists on every radio station in Jamaica, dancehalls, and streaming services worldwide.

We are overjoyed to welcome the artist who is “Broader Than Broadway” … the one and only Barrington Levy, to SNWMF 2024!

   

Discography

Bounty Hunter (1979)
Shine Eye Gal (1979)
Shaolin Temple (1979)
Englishman (1979)
Robin Hood (1980)
Doh Ray Me (1980)
Run Come Ya! (1981)
21 Girls Salute (1982)
Poor Man Style (1983)
Barrington Levy’s Life Style (1983)
Teach Me Culture (1983)
Money Move (1983)
Here I Come (1984)
Barrington Levy Meets Frankie Paul (with Frankie Paul) (1984)
Barrington Levy (1984)
Prison Oval Rock (1985)
Open Book (1985)
Clash of the 80s (with Cocoa Tea) (1986)
Love The Life You Live (1988)
Live and Learn Presents: Beres Hammond & Barrington Levy (with Beres Hammond) (1990)
Live and Learn The Barrington Levy Collection (1990)
Divine (1991)
Turning Point (1992)
Barrington (1993)
Duets (1995)
Time Capsule (1996)
Living Dangerously (1998)
Too Experienced: The Best of Barrington Levy (1998)
DJ Counteraction (2000)
Under Me Sensi (2000)
This Is Crucial Reggae: Barrington Levy (2004)
Wanted (2005)
Love Your Brother Man: The Early Years (compilation album) (2005)
Teach The Youth (2008)
Sweet Reggae Music (2012)
Acousticalevy (2015)

June 16 @ 02:30
02:30 — 03:30 (1h)


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