Canada as a reggae/dancehall nation – Interview with Exco Levi

Canada, a beautiful country if you think about the naturesites that this great country contains. What else rings a bell for you when you think about Canada…..Ice Hockey? Shania Twain? Celine Dion or maybe Bryan Adams? That is well possible isn’t it. Atleast to me, those were the first things/persons Canada reminds me of.

Yet, when it comes to music, it is not all about pop/country music. The influence from the Caribbean part of our world has been of huge influence on this country. The top cities to actually go to if you want to enjoy the Reggae and Dancehall vibes are Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. Weekly parties are being held together with concerts trying to expand the love and unity troughout the country. Vancouver is building more towards a real roots reggae scene which is ofcourse the root of Reggae/Dancehall music.

Every country has artists, known or unknown, that have got a load of talent and need to be heared. We have had the honor to interview Exco Levi, Jamaican native but living in Toronto from time to time. The interview can be found below.

Exco Levi is just one of the artists that really have hold this positive vibe that needs to be spread out. Together with him stands artists like: JAH CUTTA & Tanya Mullings who are Roots Reggae singers and ofcourse the Dancehall scene is also represented in Canada by artists like Eyesus(uprising youth), Fire Lion and Sampaloo.

Eyesus is really an artist to look out for in the Dancehall scene, see it for yourself:

Sounds, yes, Sounds are well represented in the nation of Canada. Gunz n Rozes and Thunder Sound are just a few sounds to name when it comes to this part of the scene. They are being well respected and represented troughout the country.

Canada is having huge Reggae/Dancehall events that are returning on a regular base. Let’s take a look at, The Montreal International Reggae Festival which had artists like Melo G, Gyptian, Jah Vinci, Sustain, Wayne Wonder, Exco Levi, and Beres Hammond live on stage:

Interview with Exco Levi:

Wayne Ford Levy, better known as Exco Levi, was born on the 7th of June 1981 in Manchester, Jamaica and now one of the bigger Reggae artists in the World.

Ras Mikeyy had a written interview with Exco Levi who lives in both Canada and Jamaica. Below you can read the entire interview:

Ras Mikeyy:

Exco Levi, give thanks for taking the time to have this chat with me. Let’s start from the start, the begin of Exco Levi, how did it start when we look at the family side, were you part of a big or a small family?

Exco Levi:

Well, I have a big family, yet my mothers side bigger then my fathers side. Still, I grew up at both sides at certain times in my life.

Ras Mikeyy:

Were your parents both Rastafari or did that step came in another stage of your life?

Exco Levi:

Nah, not really, my parents are christians, my grandfather is a pastor. You can say that my choice, becomming a Rasta, is just a path I chose based on my spiritual knowledge.

Ras Mikeyy:

What made you, beside your fathers inspiration/example, pursue a life as a Reggae artist?

Exco Levi:

Well, I grew up listening to mostly one genre only, Gospel. That is because of the background that I have being a child of Christian parents. Yet, after attending highschool, I got exposed to more genres of music including Reggae. I basicly just made my choice since I find Reggae almost similar to Gospel music cause of the spiritual message.

Ras Mikeyy:

I can imagine that as a kid you might have had other careers in mind, or is being an Reggae artist now for you like a dream that came true?

Exco Levi:

Well, I grew up around music, so basicly it was my first choice, However I have always wanted to be a soldier. Might say that I am one now, haha, in Jah Army!

Ras Mikeyy:

What kind of influence have Bob, Peter and more of your favorite artists had on your life or choices that you have made?

Exco Levi:

Well, ofcourse I can none when it comes to being physically around them cause I wasn’t, but the music or we can say the message that they left behind has had a huge influence on me and millions around the world. I like to call their music, a voice to the voiceless.

Ras Mikeyy:

Some of the artists that you have listened too when you were still a youth are still alive, for example Sizzla, is there any artist you would like to do a collaboration with with who you haven’t worked yet??

Exco Levi:

Well, I have no problem working with any artist, as long as the message is truth and rights and it can lift up people from their troubles in this troubled time.

Ras Mikeyy:

Good to know that, any female artist then in particular?

Exco Levi:

Female artist? Hmm, well I would say Etana, Tanya Stephens, Sinead O’Connor and India Irie

Ras Mikeyy:

Let’s go onto an other part of your life for just a bit, for example the man behind Exco Levi, who is Exco Levi when not recording music, giving interviews, etc. ?

Exco Levi:

Well, ofcourse most of my time I spend in music, but I love to play soccer and hang out with my friends.

Ras Mikeyy:

When we come to a subject as family, for me as an Italian family is very important, how important has your family been for you?

Exco Levi:

The support I get from my family is tremendous! They know that this is what I really want to do and therefor they support me.

Ras Mikeyy:

Great to know that king, yet, beside every Lion stands a Lioness right?

Exco Levi:

True that, every Lion needs a Lioness, I am grateful that I do have a Lioness in my life. We love the ladies right, so big up to all the beautiful ladies of the world, mother of creation!

Ras Mikeyy:

Yes-I, blessings towards the Empresses in the world. Then, at a certain moment in your live you decided to move to Canada, why not move to Germany,Italy or Spain, cause the Reggae music is so much more alive there?

Exco Levi:

Well for me it doesn’t really matter where in the world you are from. If you do good music and have the right tools it is gonna reach out. However, most of my work was done in my homeland, Jamaica.

Ras Mikeyy:

Back to the music, your first song ever made, how do you look back at that?

Exco Levi:

Everything in life is a learning process, so looking at myself from the moment I started and looking at where I stand now is a massive change. You learn as you move on and I am happy for what what I have already learned and still am learning every day.

Ras Mikeyy:

Beautiful way of looking towards this subject, then your first show, can you still recall that or atleast the artist you worked together with?

Exco Levi:

Unfortunately I can’t remember what was my first show because I have been performing from when I was still Young. Artists that I perform with for the first time are Regine Bell, AJ Brown and Leroy Sibbles.

Ras Mikeyy:

As a Rastaman, how do you think or look at all the backstabbing and hypocrite people that are in the music nowadays that call themself Rasta?

Exco Levi:

Well, the older you grow the more you realise certaint aspects of life. I figured out myself that I shouldn’t be waisting my time by spending it on negative people because if we Judge them we will be taking the Almighty’s job. Let the Almighty Judge, that job is not mine, every man will be judged for his actions, including myself.

Ras Mikeyy:

You have won quite some awards already, is that important for you or is it just a bonus?

Exco Levi:

No, winning awards is good cause it shows that you are doing something positive and that the massive recognizes it. However, earthly awards are nice but Jah has rewards in store for me and I am waiting fort hat.

Ras Mikeyy:

What makes you think that after all these years, music can still change the world?

Exco Levi:

Good music, good music can still change the world because the message that speaks to the souls of people. To live people up from their troubles and actually that is what it is supposed to be doing, that’s why we have to go back to our roots.

Ras Mikeyy:

There are a lot of people that critisize music, how do you handle them?

Exco Levi:

I don’t like their criticism, I just love positive music.

Ras Mikeyy:

Having performed in North America, the Caribean and Europe, what do you say are the differences if you look at the vibes or taste in these parts of the world?

Exco Levi:

Well, in North America people love familiar artists, like top ten artists. In Europe though, people play a song or like a song as long as it sounds good even if they don’t know the artist.

Ras Mikeyy:

After speaking to some fans in Jamaica and producers, I want to ask you if you agree when they say that REGGAE music in Jamaica is almost dead?

Exco Levi:

I wouldn’t say that Reggae music is dead in Jamaica. The problem is that Jamaica is sleeping when it comes to Reggae music. Most of the people in Jamaica who play the music don’t travel the world and don’t know how important the Reggae music is. They are too busy living the “American” life style, they just need to wake up.

Ras Mikeyy:

As an artist, regardless of the genre, what do you think is the biggest responsibility that you have?

Exco Levi:

Well, every artists responsibility is to uphold true values of life and spread a positive message out to the youths and don’t sell out your souls

Ras Mikeyy:

Exco Levi, give thanks for this interview, we will meet soon bredren!

Exco Levi:

Bless

Exco Levi’s newest video ( Available on Itunes )

Exco Levi – Storms of Life

Knowing all this now, Canada indeed is more of a Reggae/Dancehall nation then you would think. We hope you enjoyed this article and stay tuned for more countries to be lighted out!

 


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