Barrington Ainsworth Levy April 30 1964, Clarendon, Jamaica
As a child, Levy was raised in Clarendon, Jamaica. With his cousin Everton Dacres, he formed a band called the Mighty Multitude, which released the track “My Black Girl” in 1977. It was the following year that the fourteen-year-old established himself as a solo artist with the release of “A Long Time Since We Don’t Have No Love”. While the record did not become a hit, he became a very popular dancehall performer. In an August 2014 interview with Midnight Raver, record producer Delroy Wright revealed that it was his brother Hyman Wright who met Barrington Levy for the first time in the mid-1970s through Wade “Trinity” Brammer. Delroy Wright claims that Hyman Wright produced a number of tracks with Barrington Levy before introducing him to Henry “Junjo” Lawes, according to Delroy Wright. Eventually, these tracks were incorporated into the Jah Life record label’s Bounty Hunter album. There are several singles that were recorded by both record producers with the Roots Radics, including “Al Yah We Deh”, “Looking My Love”, “Englishman”, “Skylarking”, “Wedding Ring Aside”, and “Collie Weed”, which all became hits and helped establish Levy’s career as a musician. The next few singles that Levy released were also quite 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”. Following that, Levi recorded several duets with Toyan, Jah Thomas, and Trinity, and appeared at Reggae Sunsplash in 1980 and 1981. Although albums were not terribly significant in Jamaica at the time, Levy released four albums before 1980: Shaolin Temple, Bounty Hunter, Shine Eye Gal (United Kingdom), and Englishman, which was critically acclaimed at the time. In the wake of his success, many of his earlier studio and sound system performances were reissued without his consent, in what he described as ‘joke business’
It’s safe to say that by the time his album Robin Hood was released in 1980, Levy was one of the biggest Jamaican stars. He also saw his international fame soaring as well, especially in the United Kingdom. On the Canadian Puff Records label, Levy made his debut as a producer in 1981 with the release of the rare showcase album titled Run Come Ya. This was the last album released by the label.
Taking a break from albums, Levy then released a series of hit singles, including “Mary Long Tongue”, “In the Dark”, “Too Poor”, “I Have a Problem”, “Even Tide Fire a Disaster”, “I’m Not in Love”, “You Have It”, “Love of Jah”, “Under Mi Sensi”, “Tomorrow Is Another Day”, “Robberman”, “Black Roses”, “My Woman” and “Money Move”. He began working with Paul “Jah Screw” Love and toured the UK in 1984, where he enjoyed a big hit on the reggae charts with “Under Mi Sensi”, which was followed by the crossover hit “Here I Come”, which reached number 41 on the UK Singles Chart in the year 1985, with Lifestyle and Money Move, followed by a British hit album called Here I Come; Levy received the Best Vocalist prize at the British Reggae Awards in 1984. In the late 1980s, Levy, now in his twenties recorded slowly. However, he continued to perform and record regularly, and played at Sunsplash every year from 1987 to 1995.His fortunes were revived by two cover versions of Bob Andy songs – “My Time” and “Too Experienced”, both produced by Jah Screw, and he was signed by Island Records in 1991 for the Divine album. In 1991 he returned to the UK chart with “Tribal Base”, a single by Rebel MC featuring Levy and Tenor Fly, which reached number 20. In 1993, Levy tried to break in the United States with the Barrington album, produced by Lee Jaffe, Andre Betts and Sly & Robbie, but it failed to give him the breakthrough he wanted and his relationship with MCA Records was short-lived.