Iley Dread prepares to return to music

by Feb 23, 2024News

Iley Dread prepares to return to music

The name Iley Dread created a buzz in Jamaican reggae during the 1990s. The Canada-based singer/producer was a dominant force for most of that decade with his Kings of Kings Productions label.

Iley Dread, whose given name is Colin Levy, is back on the scene after a five-year prison stay in the United States. Throughout his incarceration, he insisted that he was wrongfully arrested by Canadian and US authorities for arms trafficking, charges he blasts in his song, ‘Inna America aka Conspiracy’.

Back in Canada since last September, Iley Dread is preparing to return to music in a big way with a series of shows throughout Canada. They feature a number of artistes he has worked with over the years.

The May 10-12 Wonderful Vibrations Mother’s Day shows in Toronto, Pickering and North York in Ontario are scheduled to launch that series. They will be followed by the Curry Festival in June, Unite The People Extravaganza and Reggae 55th Award Celebration in August, Thanksgiving 2024 Celebration in October, closing with Dancehall Nice Again and Phenomenal Vibes in November.

He said details of all except the Mother’s Day gigs, will be announced soon.

The awards show will honour a number of people who have contributed to Jamaican music over the years. In the past, he gave financial support to similar shows in Canada, but this time around, plans to have a more hands-on approach.

“I was behind the scenes back in the day, because that’s the way I wanted it. But now, I want to take it to another level where people from all over can see the works that our heroes have put in,” he explained.

Colin Levy is from Montego Bay in western Jamaica. He migrated to Montreal in 1990, and managed a reggae club there for his older brother and fellow singer, Orthodox Issachar.

In Montreal, he launched his singing career under the mentorship of Bevin Jackson, a Jamaican he befriended shortly after arriving in Canada. But when Jackson was on the verge of sealing a deal for him with a major record company, he died in a motor accident.

Iley Dread established himself as a promoter, artiste and producer in the 1990s. Kings of Kings Productions produced songs by the biggest names in dancehall/reggae including ‘Persistence’, the 2000 breakthrough album by Norris Man.

Since his return to Canada, Iley Dread says it has been non-stop work putting his 2024 calendar of shows together.

“Wi have a lot of plans; songs, an’ a gospel album, because wi have to give thanks to the Most High,” he said.

(Photo contributed)

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